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AY5512: THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF DEATH (2022-2023)

Last modified: 20 Oct 2022 14:20


Course Overview

Archaeologists are accused of not engaging with the significance of skeletal remains, osteologists are accused of not engaging with the mortuary context. This course aims to draw both worlds together and understand the complex and intertwined relationships between the two. Incorporating archaeological studies of skeletons and mortuary sites, as well as ethical, anthropological and forensic perspectives, you will explore and work to understand how people in the past reacted to, and dealt with, the realities of the inevitable.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Rebecca Crozier

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Archaeology (AY)

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

None.

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

Birth and death are universal human experiences. However, there are as many ways that human societies experience death, as there are ways to die. Archaeology has long focused on the discovery and interpretation of human remains and burials as a means of understanding and reconstructing past societies, and is the discipline best situated to guide students through the long-term history of the diverse processes and human experiences of death, its study, and its impact on the living. This course offers a global perspective made up of different temporal and regional situations. Through student-led seminars and a field trip focusing on mortuary monuments, students will learn to interrogate the data within current theoretical frameworks, and develop the skills and knowledge to generate their own, more nuanced understanding of the significance of death and burial in past societies. From ancestor worship to the liminality of decay, we will critically assess how we interrogate the archaeological record, and gain insight into that universal human experience, ultimately asking; how did the living react to death and the dead?

Associated Costs

DescriptionValue
Field trip GBP 255.00

Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 2 Seminars during University weeks 26 - 35, 39

More Information about Week Numbers


Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Summative Assessments

Report: Individual

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 40
Assessment Weeks 39 Feedback Weeks 41

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Individual project
Mortuary data analysis

Students will be given a set of mortuary data to work with and are expected to develop their own research question and write a report based on their findings (5,000 words).

Written feedback will be provided

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualAnalyseLearn how to use mortuary data sets within an analytical framework
ReflectionCreateDevelop the knowledge to create advanced reading lists for a group of your graduate peers
ReflectionEvaluateDevelop skills in researching, synthesizing and presenting data on specific archaeological sites and demonstrate a critical awareness of the complex debates they inform
ReflectionEvaluateDevelop a deeper understanding of the complexities and nuances involved in death studies and the archaeological record
ReflectionEvaluateLearn to critically evaluate the key themes in mortuary archaeology literature

Individual: Seminar Leading

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 30
Assessment Weeks 36 Feedback Weeks 36

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We will conduct a mortuary archaeology fieldtrip in Orkney

Students will choose and research an archaeological site.

They will lead the exploration of these sites in the field. They will summarise their findings as a poster format for evening discussion

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualAnalyseLearn how to use mortuary data sets within an analytical framework
ReflectionCreateDevelop the knowledge to create advanced reading lists for a group of your graduate peers
ReflectionEvaluateDevelop a deeper understanding of the complexities and nuances involved in death studies and the archaeological record
ReflectionEvaluateLearn to critically evaluate the key themes in mortuary archaeology literature
ReflectionEvaluateDevelop skills in researching, synthesizing and presenting data on specific archaeological sites and demonstrate a critical awareness of the complex debates they inform

Poster Presentation

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 20
Assessment Weeks 27,29,31,33,35 Feedback Weeks 28,30,32,34,36

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Students will choose from a range of topics provided

Will follow a 2 week pattern for each topic

Week 1: Research and develop a reading list for the peer group

Week 2: The peer group will engage with the readings

End of the second week, the students responsible for the reading list will run the seminar.

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualAnalyseLearn how to use mortuary data sets within an analytical framework
ReflectionCreateDevelop the knowledge to create advanced reading lists for a group of your graduate peers
ReflectionEvaluateLearn to critically evaluate the key themes in mortuary archaeology literature
ReflectionEvaluateDevelop skills in researching, synthesizing and presenting data on specific archaeological sites and demonstrate a critical awareness of the complex debates they inform
ReflectionEvaluateDevelop a deeper understanding of the complexities and nuances involved in death studies and the archaeological record

Tutorial/Seminar Participation

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 10
Assessment Weeks 25,27,29,31,33,35,36 Feedback Weeks 25,27,29,31,33,35,36

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Feedback

Feedback as part of each student led session via rubric – students are expected to attend all sessions and participate constructively in discussion. There will be opportunities to post via online discussion boards in advance of the formal meeting

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualAnalyseLearn how to use mortuary data sets within an analytical framework
ReflectionCreateDevelop the knowledge to create advanced reading lists for a group of your graduate peers
ReflectionEvaluateLearn to critically evaluate the key themes in mortuary archaeology literature
ReflectionEvaluateDevelop skills in researching, synthesizing and presenting data on specific archaeological sites and demonstrate a critical awareness of the complex debates they inform
ReflectionEvaluateDevelop a deeper understanding of the complexities and nuances involved in death studies and the archaeological record

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ReflectionCreateDevelop the knowledge to create advanced reading lists for a group of your graduate peers
ReflectionEvaluateDevelop a deeper understanding of the complexities and nuances involved in death studies and the archaeological record
ReflectionEvaluateDevelop skills in researching, synthesizing and presenting data on specific archaeological sites and demonstrate a critical awareness of the complex debates they inform
ConceptualAnalyseLearn how to use mortuary data sets within an analytical framework
ReflectionEvaluateLearn to critically evaluate the key themes in mortuary archaeology literature

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