Interpreting Sites and Landscapes (ARC1000A)

StaffDr Gillian Juleff - Lecturer
Dr Ioana Oltean - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.50
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The module aims to outline the key principles and methodologies of locating, surveying, excavating, recording and interpreting archaeological sites and landscapes.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Understand the key techniques for locating, surveying, excavating, recording and interpreting archaeological sites and landscapes.
  • 2. Select the correct archaeological technique for the given context and task
  • 3. Appreciate the information that can be gained about the past from local sites and monuments

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Identify major advantages/disadvantages in different archaeological methods
  • 5. Appreciate the relationship between data collected in the field and its interpretation

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. Produce clear and concise written work, following guidelines and deadlines
  • 7. Communicate information verbally through a presentation
  • 8. Respond to verbal and written feedback on assignments

Syllabus plan

  • Introduction, and a history of archaeology 

  • Essay writing, and Survey I: archaeology in the landscape 

  • Survey II: air photography & fieldwalking 

  • Survey III: geophysics and soil chemistry 

  • Excavation I: soils and site formation 

  • Excavation II: stratigraphy 

  • Case-study: archaeological excavation 

  • Historic Exeter Project

  • Historic Exeter Project

  • Historic Exeter Project 

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities2211 x 2 hour classes
Scheduled learning and teaching activities1Tutorial
Scheduled learning and teaching activities6Study groups for Historic Exeter project
Guided independent study121Guided independent study, including reading, research and preparation for classes, presentation and assignments.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Formative essay500 words6mark and written comments
Group presentation15 minutes3,7verbal feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written essay1001500 words1,2,4,5,6,8feedback sheet with written comments

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1,2,4,5,6,8Referral/deferral period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Bowden, M. 1999: Unravelling the landscape. Tempus

Clark, A. 1990: Seeing beneath the soil. Batsford.

Drewett, P. 1999: Field archaeology: an introduction. Routledge.

Renfrew, C. and Bahn, P. 2008 Archaeology: theories, methods and practice 5th edition. Thames and Hudson 

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Key words search

Archaeology, Landscapes, Excavation