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AY2006: TEST TUBES AND TROWELS: AN INTRODUCTION TO ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE (2017-2018)

Last modified: 01 Sep 2017 16:42


Course Overview

Ever wondered how Archaeologists know what Neandertals ate, or what killed Ötzi the Iceman? Test Tubes & Trowels provides an accessible overview of the key scientific approaches used in modern archaeology to better understand archaeological sites and materials and to reconstruct past lives. Using a combination of lectures and practical workshops, the course will cover scientific methods of dating, artefact provenancing and ancient technologies, methods used for the study of diet, health, and movements of humans and animals in the past, and the identification of the environmental impacts of past human activities.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Jennifer Jones

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

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Programme Level 2

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

Test Tubes & Trowels presents an overview of the key scientific approaches used in archaeological science today that allow field archaeologists to maximize the quantity and quality of the material they can recover from sites, and which enhance the understanding, dating and interpretation of archaeological sites and materials. Using a combination of lectures and practical workshops, the course will cover scientific methods of dating, artefact provenancing and ancient technologies, methods used for the study of diet, health, and movements of humans and animals in the past, and the identification of the environmental impacts of past human activities. 

This course provides a key knowledge base needed by all archaeologists, and provides a springboard for honours-level archaeological research projects on archaeological science topics, and for level 3 and 4 science courses such as Geoarchaeology and Bioarchaeology.

 The course will give students with an understanding of the principal scientific approaches and techniques employed within Archaeology and will:

  •  introduce participants to the field of modern archaeological science and the history, development and scope of the discipline
  • provide students with knowledge of principle scientific approaches and techniques used to explore the past
  • offer students an overview of the contribution made by the archaeological sciences to archaeological research, and an understanding of the practical relationship between the field and laboratory
  • present novel case studies and introduce new within-discipline debates
  • create awareness of the role of scientific techniques in addressing and highlighting key archaeological questions
  • develop skills required to better access scientific publications and critically review the work of others
  • provide the ability to process, interpret and critically evaluate basic data

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed

  • Archeology Joint
  • Archeology Major
  • BSc Archaeology
  • BSc Archaeology with Chemistry
  • BSc Archaeology-Geoscience
  • MA Archaeology

Contact Teaching Time

44 hours

This is the total time spent in lectures, tutorials and other class teaching.

Teaching Breakdown


Assessment

1st Attempt: Continuous assessment, consisting of practical exercises (60%) and a written critical review report (40%)

Formative Assessment

None.

Feedback

Formal feedback from the summative assessment is given in the form of an annotated copy of the student’s work and a detailed written critical review feedback sheet. Feedback for practical reports/write-ups comes in the form of a detailed written practical feedback sheet and an annotated copy of the student's work.

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