AR2M6-Europe after Rome: Migrations, Barbarians and the Rise of Medieval States

Module Provider: Archaeology
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:5
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Gabor Thomas

Email: gabor.thomas@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

This single-term module provides an overview of western and northern Europe in the Early Middle Ages (AD 400-1000) as one of the most formative and dynamic periods in the development of European societies.  The central focus is on archaeological evidence (burials, settlements, artefacts etc), although attention is also placed on historical and art-historical approaches and perspectives. Key themes covered include the barbarian migrations, death and burial, religion and belief, settlements and rural production, gender and social identity and symbolism and visual culture.  It is taught in lectures supplemented by seminars, and is examined through an essay and a written examination.


Aims:
The module aims to give students a basic understanding of the nature of this transitional period between the collapse of the Roman Empire and the rise of medieval states. In particular, it aims to make students appreciate the use of various types of complementary evidence to infer the cultural and social dynamics of this period.
This is a single-term module which provides an overview of western and northern Europe in the Early Middle Ages (AD 400-1000), focusing on an understanding of the transitional and formative nature of this period. It is taught in lectures supplemented by seminars, and is examined through an essay and a written examination.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module, it is expected that the student will be able to:

  • identify and appraise the key characteristics of early medieval societies;
  • recognise the potential and problems of complementary types of evidence for this period (archaeological, environmental, textual, linguistic);
  • critically appraise existing interpretations of the evidence, and models and concepts of the period;
  • locate, extract and assemble information from a variety of sources;
  • organise the information to construct an argument in writing, both in essays and under timed conditions.

Additional outcomes:
The seminars encourage students to develop their oral skills, presenting and defending particular arguments. The requirement to search for and locate information will provide opportunities for students to apply and develop their IT skills.

Outline content:
The module provides an overview of early medieval western and northern Europe, c. AD 400 - 1000. At the beginning, the students are introduced to the main terminology, concepts and models of early medieval archaeology, and given an insight into the nature of 'Barbarian' societies outside the Roman Empire. The main block of lectures deals with key themes of the post-Roman and early medieval period in Europe: migrations, settlement, economy, society, religion, and art. Seminars are used to explain and discuss the nature and use of textual and place-name evidence in relation to the archaeological evidence of the period.

Global context:
This module explores the key concepts of early medieval archaeology within an international framework, although its main emphasis is on north-west Europe. Beyond its core geographical focus, case-studies are drawn from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Illustrated lectures; two seminars in smaller groups, with structured discussion based on set reading. There is a revision class in the Summer term.

Introductory Reading
E -Graham-Campbell, J. (ed.) 2007. The Archaeology of Medieval Europe Vol. 1: Eighth to Twelfth
Centuries AD. Arhus: Arhus University Press

E - Innes, Matthew. 2007. Introduction to Early Medieval Europe, 300-900: The Sword,
The Plough, and the Spear

E -Cameron, A., Ward-Perkins, B. & Whitby, M., (eds.) 2000. The Cambridge Ancient History Vol. 14:
Late Antiquity: Empire and its successors, A.D.425-600 (2nd Ed.), Cambridg

Reading List:
E -Graham-Campbell, J. (ed.) 2007. The Archaeology of Medieval Europe Vol. 1: Eighth to Twelfth
Centuries AD. Arhus: Arhus University Press

E - Innes, Matthew. 2007. Introduction to Early Medieval Europe, 300-900: The Sword,
The Plough, and the Spear

E -Cameron, A., Ward-Perkins, B. & Whitby, M., (eds.) 2000. The Cambridge Ancient History Vol. 14:
Late Antiquity: Empire and its successors, A.D.425-600 (2nd Ed.), Cambridge

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 18
Seminars 2
Practicals classes and workshops 2
Guided independent study 178
       
Total hours by term 200.00
       
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 60
Set exercise 40

Other information on summative assessment:

Students will write one essay of c.2000 words and a set exercise in the form of an interpretation panel aimed at the public comprising c. 1000 words and selected images. The coursework must be submitted in the Autumn Term on a date set by the Department.


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: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    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:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    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):
    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: 14 August 2017

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