AR2F14-Artefacts in Archaeology

Module Provider: Archaeology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Hella Eckardt


Type of module:

Summary module description:

The module is designed to give you a deeper understanding of the importance of artefacts in the way we practise archaeology. You will have the option of making a  detailed exploration of two types of artefact and/or how they are recorded. This will give you the skills to enable you to go on and develop your expertise in finds handling,  recording and analysis. Another element of the module asks you to think how artefacts are interpreted in a wider context and to consider  the most effective ways of presenting artefacts as a part of approaching a wide-ranging archaeological issue. 

The module aims to provide students with a variety of archaeological skills which involve the presentation and analysis of data resulting from archaeological excavation, concentrating on the study of artefacts. Overall it is designed to help to prepare students for the analysis of data in their dissertations.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able:

  • to identify and make informed observations about a variety of artefactual data
  • to prepare basic archaeological drawings of artefacts
  • to produce brief reports on assemblage compositions and their archaeological implications

Additional outcomes:
The module will also give students broad experience in problem-solving through exercises in drawing, analysing and interpreting artefactual material. Team-working skills will be developed through practical classes, and experience will be obtained in writing laboratory reports. Numeracy will be enhanced through data gathering, measurement, and statistical analysis in the artefactual practicals, and through exercises in measurement, scale, and geometry provided by the illustration classes. Skills in visual analysis will also be developed.

Outline content:
The module exposes students to a wide variety of material relating to the processing of archaeological material. Students choose two out of a number of artefact practical options with a gap after each block for completing their assessments. Artefacts may include ceramics, lithics, and small finds and metallurgy although the options in any year will depend on staff availability and may change from year to year. Students can also choose a practical option on archaeological illustration, covering tools and techniques, and the drawing of artefacts.
Both elements will involve the practice of core techniques of observation, description, recording, measurement, analysis and interpretation of primary archaeological data.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
A mixture of lectures and practical sessions - students select two options from a range that normally includes: Lithics, Neolithic and Bronze Age axes, pottery, archaeological drawing and small finds. All sessions are very practical and require students to analyse and present primary data.

This is a 10 credit module, which means that it is intended to occupy you for 100 hours of work: practical classes, background reading, and preparing and writing your option reports. With that in mind the kind of workload you should expect might be as follows:

- 25 hours: Formal teaching sessions (practicals)
- 25 hours: Background reading
- 50 hours: Reading for, preparing, and writing/illustrating your reports

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 4
Practicals classes and workshops 24
External visits 2
Guided independent study 70
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Students will submit two written practical reports (ca. 1500 words each; 50% each) OR one written report and one drawing portfolio (50% each). All marks will be counted towards assessment. The portfolio and reports must be submitted in the Autumn Term, on dates set by the Department. Detailed guidance will be provided in class.

- Relative percentage of coursework: 100%

Formative assessment methods:
Verbal feedback will be provided in class on the basis of the practical work undertaken by students.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-submission of coursework in August/September.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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