CL3PCA-Pioneers of Classical Archaeology

Module Provider: Classics
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Rachel Mairs


Type of module:

Summary module description:

To explore the methods, techniques & accomplishments of pioneering 19th–early 20th c. archaeologists in the old world (primarily the Mediterranean, Europe and the Near East).

Assessable learning outcomes:
Assessable outcomes
By the end of this module students will be able to:
•trace the development of the academic subject of archaeology
•identify many of the pioneers of archaeology in the old world
•recognise the personal and public motivations of these pioneering individuals, and their wider socio-political context
•identify the theoretical and technical methods of these scholars
•consider the influence these scholars had on contemporary and subsequent scholars, collectors, politicians, educators, etc.
•critically appraise primary sources for their work
•locate, organize, and synthesize a variety of resources for historiography
•effectively articulate arguments orally and in writing

Additional outcomes:
Students will develop oral presentation skills and IT skills while using web resources.

Outline content:
This module comprises a survey of the pioneering men and women from the end of the 18th century who explored, excavated and documented archaeological sites throughout the ‘old world’, particularly in the Mediterranean, Egypt & the Near East. These archaeologists emerged from a variety of backgrounds, having trained as artists, engineers, and businessmen as well as scholars. Although most of those who became famous were European or American, large numbers of local excavators and dealers played a part in the archaeological discoveries of the period, and this module aims to elucidate their story as well. Archaeologists encountered many challenges, working through wars, poor environmental conditions, and economic instability, and crossing political, racial & gender divisions. An understanding of the political, often colonial, context in which each of them worked helps us to understand the unique way in which the academic field of archaeology and related fields (anthropology, epigraphy, topography, museology etc.) have developed. We will identify and investigate primary material including that in the Ure Museum Archives (letters, photographs, maps and plans, etc.). The pioneers are surveyed chronologically but also thematically, so that study of each individual’s work will cast light on the evolution of an aspect or subfield of archaeology.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module is comprised of two contact hours per week that constitute 18 one-hour meetings (twelve lectures and six seminars) and 1 two-hour meeting (museum visit). Seminars will revolve around students' presentations of their own work. Students will be expected to study primary as well as secondary sources, using objects in museums & archives and internet resources, as well as books.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 12
Seminars 6
Fieldwork 2
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 50
Project output other than dissertation 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
This module will be assessed by: (1) a blog concerning the life, work and impact of one archaeological pioneer, for which a portfolio is due in by 12 noon on the last day of term (50%); (4) one essay of about 3000 words on a topic chosen by the student and approved by the convenors, due in by 12 noon on the first Tuesday of the following term (50%).

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.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Re-submission by 1st 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: 19 March 2018

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