Themes in World Archaeology (ARC1010)

StaffDr Gillian Juleff - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level6
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The module introduces students to the major recurrent themes that form the foundation of archaeological research and are archaeology's contribution to understanding human and social development.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Develop an awareness of global patterns in Archaeology
  • 2. Become familiar with many major archaeological sites and projects
  • 3. Develop an understanding of how the syntheses and interpretation of archaeological evidence can inform thematic debates

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Assimilate a basic understanding of the chronology and character of human development
  • 5. Appreciate the role archaeology plays in understanding human and social development

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. Research a topic using a reading list and assimilate data from given sources
  • 7. Develop basic academic and library skills
  • 8. Learn how to reference in Harvard style
  • 9. Meet deadlines, manage their own time; contribute to group work and class discussions

Syllabus plan

Indicative topics

  • Becoming and being human
  • Hunter-gatherer lifeways and societies
  • Domestication, pastoralism and the origins of agriculture
  • Settlement and beginnings of urbanization
  • Belief systems, ritual and burial practices
  • Technology, trade and economy
  • Social complexity: why and how societies develop, thrive and decline

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 activity2010 x 2 hour classes
Scheduled learning activity24 x 0.5 group discussions
Guided independent study128Guided 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
Essay500 words1-4Written

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
Essay602000 words1-8Written
Exam (electronic)401.5 hours1-5Factual exam

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay2000 word essay1-8Referred/Deferred period
Exam (electronic)Exam (electronic)1-5Referred/Deferred period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

Bogucki, P. 1999: The Origins of Human Society. Oxford: Blackwell.

Cunliffe, B. (ed.) 1994: Prehistoric Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Darvill, T. 2010: Prehistoric Britain. Routledge

Fagan, B.M. 1998: People of the Earth (9th edition). London: Pearson.

Scarre, C. (ed.) 2005: The Human Past: World Prehistory & the Development of Human Societies (2nd Edition). London: Thames and Hudson.

Renfrew, C and Bahn, P. (2014). The Cambridge World Prehistory.  Cambridge UP.

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Key words search

Archaeology, Themes, World