AR3P20-Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Britain

Module Provider: Archaeology
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:6
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 Duncan Garrow

Email: d.j.garrow@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module focuses on the archaeology of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Britain. The main issues it will cover include the introduction of farming to the British Isles; death, burial and the treatment of the dead; ritual practices at monuments and elsewhere; the nature of settlement and role of houses; perceptions of the landscape; the arrival of metal; long-term change in prehistoric society; and the role of anthropology in archaeological interpretation. The module aims to provide a detailed outline of the kinds of evidence that are encountered for this period. It also considers many of the most important interpretive issues which have arisen during study of that material over the past twenty years. Whilst we will focus mainly on evidence from Britain, international examples across north-west Europe more widely will also be drawn upon where appropriate. We will also go on a one-day field trip to Wessex to see some key Neolithic and Early Bronze Age sites first hand.

Preparatory reading:

Bradley, R. 2007. The prehistory of Britain and Ireland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Pollard, J. (ed.) 2008. Prehistoric Britain. Oxford: Blackwell.

Thomas, J. 2013. The birth of Neolithic Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Aims:
To introduce students to the archaeology of this period in Britain

To discuss some of the key theoretical ideas which have arisen within archaeology in recent decades, and to assess their impact on our understanding of archaeological sites

To provide students with key skills which they will be able to take with them into the wider world of work (whether in archaeology or outside).

Assessable learning outcomes:
On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the primary archaeological evidence in Britain relating to the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age.

2. Identify the principal forms of material culture that archaeologists utilise to understand this period in Britain.

3. Show an awareness of this knowledge in relation to broader theoretical and interpretive debates which have taken place in relation to later prehistory.

4. Present archaeological arguments in written form, and be able to support them with relevant case studies.

5. Describe a key Neolithic or Early Bronze Age site and explain its importance in terms of our broader understandings of the period.

Additional outcomes:
Participation in seminars will enable students to develop and apply their communication and presentation skills through structured discussion sessions and individual presentations. Research and analytical skills will be developed through participation in the seminars and completion of the written coursework components. Production of the ‘site information pack’ will enable students to develop basic desk-top publishing skills and their ability to present archaeological information to a public audience.

Outline content:
This module focuses on the archaeology of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Britain. The course has a broadly chronological structure, within which we cover the main site types (and the interpretive issues associated with them) per week. The kinds of site we will be looking at are long barrows, causewayed enclosures, henges, cursus monuments, settlements, artefact scatters and round barrows. These themes are then brought together towards the end of the course by focusing on two key case study areas (Wessex and Orkney).

Introductory reading:

Bradley, R. 2007. The prehistory of Britain and Ireland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [R]

Pollard, J. (ed.) 2008. Prehistoric Britain. Oxford: Blackwell. [R]

Thomas, J. 1999. Understanding the Neolithic. London: Routledge. [E]

Thomas, J. 2013. The birth of Neolithic Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [R]

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
This course is taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, group discussions and debates, student presentations, directed reading, assignments and a field trip.

There will be 10 main teaching sessions. Each session will last two hours, mostly divided into a one hour lecture, and a one-hour discussion/seminar.

As a 20 credit module, the module should involve 200 hours of study time: attending lectures and seminars, general background reading, preparing for seminars, and reading for, and writing, your written coursework (essay and ‘site information pack’). You should therefore expect the following sort of workload:

- 20 hours: Contact hours in formal teaching sessions (lectures, seminars, etc.)
- 10 hours: Contact hours on the field trip
- 40 hours: General background reading and note-taking from key texts for each week
- 40 hours: Reading for, preparation of, and writing your essay
- 40 hours: Reading for, preparation of, and writing your ‘site information pack’
- 20 hours: Reading, note-taking, and preparation of your seminar presentation
- 30 hours: Reading and note-taking for seminar discussions

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Seminars 10
Tutorials 1
Fieldwork 9
Guided independent study 170
       
Total hours by term 200.00
       
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 90
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Other information on summative assessment:
One ‘site information pack’, 2000 words (40%)
One essay, 3000 words (50%)
One seminar presentation + general seminar performance (10%)

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy.

The following penalties will be applied to coursework which is submitted after the deadline for submission:

• 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

• where the piece of work is submitted more than one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

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.

(Please refer to the Undergraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guideUG.aspx)

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:
    n/a

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-assessment in August/September.

    (Students who are eligible for re-assessment have the right to re-assessment in all elements [i.e. re-submission of all written coursework elements], even if they have previously passed one of those elements.)

    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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