AR3M7-The Archaeology of Crusading

Module Provider: Archaeology
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites: AR1RM2 From Rome to the Reformation: an introduction to historic archaeology
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Aleks Pluskowski


Summary module description:

This module reviews the archaeological approaches to the crusading movement and the related processes of colonisation, religious conversion and inter-cultural exchange at the fringes of medieval Christian Europe - covering the years AD1095-1492. It is taught through lectures and seminars, and is examined through an assessed essay, seminar performance and a focused report.

This module aims to provide students with a working knowledge of the comparative contribution of archaeology towards understanding the impact of the crusading movement on societies in the Middle East, Baltic and Iberia.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able: *to identify, discuss and explain the main issues and events of the period *to assess the character and quality of archaeological data associated with crusading, and the related trends of colonisation, religious conversion and inter-cultural exchange *to demonstrate an understanding of how archaeology engages with other disciplines - particularly documentary sources - to reconstruct the period, and a critical awareness of the diversity of sources used by archaeologists *to locate and assemble information for particular topics through self-study *to follow up independently via self-study topics and questions raised in class discussions *to organise their material and construct an effective argument in writing , both in coursework essays and examination answers, and in oral presentations in class

Additional outcomes:

The module also aims to encourage the development of oral, team-working and problem-solving skills. Through the gathering of information students will develop self-study, research and IT skills.

Outline content:

The crusading movement, which took off at the end of the eleventh century with the conquest of Jerusalem and the establishment of a Christian kingdom in the Middle East, came to dominate European society throughout the Middle Ages. This module will focus on how crusading institutions and colonising groups transplanted their society into the areas they occupied, and how this related to crusading ideals. Three major regions will be compared: the Middle East where a crusader kingdom was established from AD 1099-1291; the Baltic where the Teutonic Order carved out its own independent state, accompanied by aggressive military campaigns, mass colonisation and religious conversion, which lasted into the fifteenth century; and south-western Europe, specifically the long-term impact of the Albigensian Crusade in southern France in the thirteenth century, and the so-called "Reconquista" in Iberia - or 'reconquest' of lands previously conquered by Islamic magnates which concluded with the fall of Granada in 1492. Within this comparative survey, various aspects of the archaeology of the crusading movement will be explored; castles, the material culture of the military orders (with a focus on the frontiers of Europe), urban and rural colonies, the industrialisation of the countryside, the problems associated with identifying religious affiliation and conversion in the archaeological record and the diverse traces of inter-cultural interaction ranging from artefacts to architecture.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Illustrated introductory and linking lectures, with weekly reading assignments. Each student will be expected to comment on two readings. The final session will involve group presentations based on the three crusading frontiers: the Middle East, Baltic and Iberia. Mid-way through the course there is a fieldtrip to London to visit sites associated with the military orders: The Hospitaller precinct in Clerkenwell, the Temple and a handling session in the British Museum of Byzantine, Islamic and Crusader-period artefacts. This is a 20 credit module, intended to occupy you for 200 hours of work consisting of session preparation, background reading, essay reading and writing. With that in mind the kind of workload you should expect is: 30 hours: Contact hours within formal teaching sessions (including the fieldtrip) 45 hours: Engaged in reading and note taking from ‘key texts’ for each week 45 hours: Engaged in reading, preparation and writing your essay 80 hours: Background reading for lectures (e.g. 8 hours per topic). A substantial bibliography will be provided at the start of the course and with the focus on archaeology, students will be expected to read at least one major history of the crusades to provide them with a detailed historical framework.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 2
External visits 8
Guided independent study 170
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 60
Report 30
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Other information on summative assessment:

Coursework Students will write one essay of 3000 words (60%) and one artefact report of 1500 words (30%) to be submitted in the second half of the Spring Term, on dates set by the Department. Oral presentation Students are encouraged to participate regularly in class discussion. The mark awarded for this component of the assessment (10%) will be based on regular articles provided each week for students to read and summarise in the following session. Over the entire course of the module you will be expected to have read and commented on at least 2 papers. There will also be a final group presentation session comparing the three crusading frontiers. Students will be asked to sign up to a group at the start of the course, each group will then be expected to organise itself and prepare summaries of the key topics for each frontier by the end session.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (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.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:

    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: 31 March 2017

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