Artefacts and Materials (ARC1040)

StaffDr Marisa Lazzari - Lecturer
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The module will develop skills in recognising artefacts and materials and an understanding of how archaeologists deal with them. Modified materials form artefacts and structures and are a basic category of archaeological evidence. The module will introduce some of the key material categories encountered by archaeologists through practical group and individual assignments using a variety of presentation formats.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Recognise key features relating to the properties and processes of manufacture and use for different materials
  • 2. Know appropriate methods for recording and analysing archaeological finds
  • 3. Identify artefact types and use the concept of types effectively
  • 4. Draw conclusions from observations of real objects and assemblages of artefacts

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. Appreciate the significance of physical materials and technology in interpreting the past
  • 6. Assimilate numerical and graphical data

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Work effectively within a group
  • 8. Contribute as an individual within group work
  • 9. Produce clear and concise work in a variety of written and presentational formats

Syllabus plan

This module is arranged as a series of themed sessions linked to artefact and material categories. Each session will include introductory lectures and/or demonstrations, teaching sessions, practical exercises and independent individual and group study.

v  Introduction to artefacts

v  Stone artefacts

v  Pottery

v  Bone artefacts

Perishable materials and artefacts

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 activity 33lectures (11 x 3hrs)
Guided independent study117Private study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group presentation15minutes1-8Verbal

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 assignment: anillustrated artefact report501000 words1-6, 9Written
In-class artefact-based test50up to 800 words (students will receive 3 artefacts and write a short description considering various aspects of their artefacts; no references required)allWritten

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written assignment: an illustrated artefactWritten assignment: an illustrated artefact1-6, 9Referred/deferred period
In-class artefact-based testWritten report 1000 words max plus referencesallReferred/deferred period

Re-assessment notes

Re-assessment fir in-class based test will be coursework.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading: Hurcombe, L.M., 2007: Archaeological Artefacts as Material Culture. London: Routledge.

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Key words search

Material culture, flaked stones, ceramics, archaeometallurgy