ARMM02-Viking Interactions in the West

Module Provider: Archaeology
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
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.

The module aims to provide students with an in-depth understanding of how archaeological evidence has made a critical contribution to our understanding of the Viking Age in Britain and the North Atlantic. Emphasis is placed upon issues of cultural interaction and the process of colonisation in the Viking Age as evidenced through archaeological, art-historical and other material sources.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Students will have a systematic understanding of the different nature of the various types of evidence (archaeological, historical, art-historical and environmental) available for the period, and be able to assess and evaluate one against the other. They will be able to use primary data for the critical evaluation of theories, and for the comparison and assessment of the various positions in current scholarly debates. They will also be able to extend via independent self-study their understanding of, and originality of approach to, the issues discussed in class, and identify topics suitable for essays and dissertations.

Assessable outcomes:
- By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able:
- to provide a critical assessment of the main issues and events
- to critically evaluate the character and quality of archaeological data associated with Vikings in the west
- to locate, extract and assemble data and information with minimal guidance
- to develop independent interpretations of material through self-directed research
- to provide a critical reading of course material, and to debate their conclusions in class discussions
- to synthesise wide-ranging material and articulate an argument effectively, in an assessed essay, and orally in seminar presentations.

Additional outcomes:
This module promotes an awareness of inter-disciplinarity in medieval studies. Seminar presentations, critical reviews and the development of an individual essay topic encourage independent learning, as well as communication skills, personal responsibility, and teamwork in discussion groups.

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.

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
Guided independent study 180
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100
Oral assessment and presentation 0

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
The requirements for a pass is 50%.

Reassessment arrangements:
Resubmission of coursework by end of August

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 31 March 2017

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