Objects: Contexts and Display (ARC1050)

StaffDr Hajnalka Herold - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

  • The module introduces some of the key material categories and contexts encountered by archaeologists in phases of historic archaeology from the Bronze Age to early Modern periods. The key issues of recording, explaining and displaying artefacts are considered, including mounting temporary exhibitions, permanent museum display, and publication. The module explores these issues 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 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. Make interpretations from observations of real objects and assemblages of artefact
  • 5. Understand the issues relating to presenting and displaying artefacts

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 6. Appreciate the significance of physical materials and technology in interpreting the past
  • 7. Recognise archaeological contexts and the artefacts they contain

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. Work effectively within a group
  • 9. Contribute as an individual within group presentations
  • 10. 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, archaeological contexts and display. The emphasis in this module is on historical archaeology. Each session will include introductory lectures and/or demonstrations, practical exercises and group study. Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Organic materials in historic archaeology
  • Artefacts in archaeological contexts
  • Introduction to economic and cultural exchange
  • Museums: looking at and displaying artefacts
  • Publications: presenting archaeological material and artefacts in academic publications, catalogues and ‘popular’ literature

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 Teaching2211 x 2 hours, lectures, group work, exhibition preparation
Guided independent study 128Private study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Class work on objectMaximum one hour1-5, 7, 8-10Class 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
Report 150Written catalogue entry with poster (1500 words maximum)1-10Oral and written feedback
Report 250Written report on artefact/artefact biography/site (1500 words maximum)1-10Oral and written feedback

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Report 1Poster and catalogue entry (1500 words maximum)1-10Referral/Deferral period
Report 2Written report on artefact/artefact biography/site (1500 words maximum)1-10Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Museums Journal (examples provided in class and online)
  • Exhibition catalogues

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date