ARMR4D-Issues and Debates in Medieval Archaeology

Module Provider: Archaeology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Gabor Thomas


Summary module description:

This module provides an in-depth grounding in the methods, approaches and perspectives which define medieval archaeology as a discipline. The modue explores the relationship of medieval archaeology to history, art-history, and developments in archaeological theory, and draws upon case studies from across Europe to examine how archaeologists have enriched understanding of key aspects of medieval life including religion, gender, ethnicity and human life course. It is taught through lectures, seminars and two field trips, and is examined through an assessed assignment and seminar performance.

The aim of this module is to provide graduate students with a conceptual understanding that enables them: to evaluate the nature of, and interrelationship between, the sources used by medieval archaeologists; to assess methodologies and develop critiques of them; to demonstrate a critical awareness of some current issues and debates which are at the forefront of research. It will enable students to have a deeper understanding of the issues and data used in the optional modules and dissertation.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able: * to identify and appraise the main methodologies used in medieval archaeology * to appraise critically the current theoretical approaches used in medieval archaeology * to evaluate critically the inferences which can be made about different aspects of medieval society from archaeological and related sources * to understand and assess the advantages and problems of developing interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the Middle Ages

Additional outcomes:
The module also promotes the development of advanced problem-solving skills applied to diverse, complex and incomplete data and the interpretations derived from them. Seminar presentations and the development of individual essay topics encourage independent learning, communication skills and the exercise of initiative. Students will further develop their visual and analytical skills through field trips.

Outline content:
This module has two parts. The first considers the nature of the sources commonly used by medieval archaeologists and the techniques used to understand particular classes of information; these techniques often exploit archaeological information and that from related disciplines, and therefore it is necessary to consider how these data can be combined. Themes will include: buildings archaeology, landscape archaeology, environmental archaeology, urban environments, the nature of the documentary and art historical record. The second part will focus on particular issues which figure in many aspects of the subject, such as ethnicity, gender and social discrimination, burial, religion and ideologies. Field trips will reinforce and extend the seminar discussions of these themes.

Global context:
The module draws upon case studies from across northern, central and eastern Europe

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Seminars, workshops and structured group discussion requiring preparatory reading. There will also be field trips. Students will present a seminar paper (assessed) about one of the themes.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Tutorials 18
External visits 16
Guided independent study 66
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 0
Oral assessment and presentation 75
Set exercise 25

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:
Students are provided with oral feedback on their assessed oral presentation in Week 3.

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:

Reassessment arrangements:
Resubmission of coursework by 22nd August, but it cannot carry forward more than a pass mark.

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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