AR3V1-Vikings in the West

Module Provider: Archaeology
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring / Summer 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 Gabor Thomas


Summary module description:

This single-term follows the exploits of Viking raiders and settlers across the Northern Seas between the late eighth and the eleventh centuries as one of the most dramatic cases of cultural expansion in European history. It places a particular emphasis on the use of archaeological evidence to examine cultural interactions during the Viking Age and processes associated with the colonisation of pristine territories such as Iceland and Greenland. It is taught in seminars and is examined through an assessed essay, seminar performance and a written examination.

This module aims to provide students with a thorough knowledge of how archaeological evidence has made a critical contribution to our understanding of the Viking Age in Britain and the North Atlantic. They will also acquire a grounded appreciation of the particular character of the period as represented in the Scandinavian homelands and zones of colonisation and contact across the North Sea.

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 *to demonstrate an understanding of how archaeology engages with other disciplines in a reconstruction of the period, and a critical awareness of the diversity of sources used by archaeologists *to assess the character and the quality of archaeological data, and evaluate the interpretations placed on them *to locate and assemble information from a range of sources for particular topics through self-study *to organize their material and construct an effective argument in writing, both in coursework essays and examination answers, and in oral presentations in class

Additional outcomes:
This module also aims to enhance students' oral communication skills, their ability to work in teams, and problem-solving in group seminars. Through the gathering of information they will develop self-study, research and IT skills.

Outline content:
This module covers the period of Viking cultural expansion across north-west Europe between the late eighth and eleventh centuries. It will evaluate the particular character and quality of the archaeological evidence available for the period against the background provided by historical and Saga sources. The module will be structured around the geography of Viking colonisation in the West commencing with the Scandinavian background and progressing to Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Greenland and North America. A special concern of the module is the contribution archaeology is making to an understanding of ethnic identity and cultural interaction during the Viking Age. Major nested themes include religion and burial, the silver economy, towns, rural settlement, craft and industry and art and artefacts.

Global context:
This module will consider archaeological evidence from Scandinavia, the British Isles and the North Atlantic, from the Faeroe Islands in the east to North America in the west.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Largely seminars at which students will be expected to contribute by presenting the results of set reading. Lectures used to introduce complex topics. Individual tutorials to discuss essays. There will be a revision session in the Summer Term.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Seminars 10
Tutorials 2
External visits 10
Guided independent study 140 28
Total hours by term 170.00 30.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 50
Report 40
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

Coursework: Students will write one essay of 3000 words and a report of 2000 words examining a key site or object covered on the module. Coursework is to be submitted in the second half of Spring Term, on dates set by the Department.

Oral presentation: Students are encouraged to participate regularly in seminar discussion. The mark awarded for this component of the assessment will be based on one assessed presentation of 15-20 minutes duration combined with general seminar performance.

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:
    The requirement for a pass is 40%

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Students who are eligible for re-assessment will have the right to re-assessment in coursework and re-examination.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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