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AY3027: MAMMOTHS TO MICROLITHS: LIFE AND LANDSCAPES IN PALAEOLITHIC EUROPE (2022-2023)

Last modified: 09 Dec 2022 16:10


Course Overview

For over a million years, our Palaeolithic ancestors lived a hunter-gatherer life. Sometimes their world was gripped by an Ice Age; at other times it was warm enough that hippos swam in the River Thames. Drawing on evidence from Britain and Europe, this course explores how humans lived in these environments. In doing so we look at the archaeological evidence for key questions, such as how humans first occupied the north, whether Neanderthals made art, and when “modern” human behaviour first appeared.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Robert Dinnis

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

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

The course covers more than one million years of the Palaeolithic, examining the period in much more detail than Year 1 and 2 courses. It is (broadly) structured chronologically, going from the earliest known humans in Europe to the end of the last Ice Age. Along the way we focus on key questions, such as how successfully we can reconstruct past environments, what adaptations humans needed to first occupy northern Europe, whether Neanderthals made art, and when different aspects of “modern” human behaviour first emerged.

Lectures, seminars and an artefact handling session will therefore provide students with a broad overview of the period, while also providing an in-depth understanding of certain issues. The often-fragmentary archaeological evidence, as well as the limitations of some archaeological methods, mean that significant disagreement is common in Palaeolithic archaeology. This course’s focus on some of these debates means that students will become familiar with important archaeological principles and methods, their potentials and limitations. As well as revealing past societies, this course therefore also has a considerable focus on how we do Palaeolithic archaeology.

Through the course, students will:

  • Gain a broad knowledge of the evidence we have for European Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers and their societies, as well as evidence for the environments in which they lived
  • Acquire a detailed knowledge of specific methods, forms of evidence and archaeological questions
  • Develop critical skills by assessing the merits and drawbacks of different approaches and methods

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Lecture during University weeks 8 - 17
  • 1 Seminar during University weeks 10, 13, 16

More Information about Week Numbers


Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 60
Assessment Weeks 17 Feedback Weeks 20

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Feedback

Detailed feedback will be given via annotation of the essay and an accompanying feedback summary.

Word Count 3000
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualCreateProduce and present well-organised, critical syntheses of different types of archaeological data relevant to a specific issue
ConceptualUnderstandGain a broad knowledge and understanding of the evidence we have for European Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers and their societies, as well as evidence for the environments in which they lived
ProceduralEvaluateDevelop critical skills by assessing the merits and drawbacks of different approaches and methods used in Palaeolithic archaeology
ProceduralUnderstandAcquire a detailed knowledge and understanding of specific methods, types of evidence and archaeological questions
ReflectionAnalyseDevelop a critical understanding of the terminology and classification systems used by Palaeolithic archaeologists

Reflective Report

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 20
Assessment Weeks 14 Feedback Weeks 16

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Feedback

Formal feedback will be given via combined comments on the presentation and reflective report.

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ReflectionEvaluateEffectively reflect on feedback for assessed work and propose best routes for future development and improvement

Presentation

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 20
Assessment Weeks 13 Feedback Weeks 16

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Feedback

Presentation (with visual aids) critically analysing the argument of an academic paper. Presentations will be done in groups of two. The other students will peer-review each presentation, to help with the subsequent self-reflective report - see below.

Feedback will be given by other students. Formal feedback will be given via combined comments on the presentation and reflective report (see below).

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualCreateProduce and present well-organised, critical syntheses of different types of archaeological data relevant to a specific issue
ProceduralEvaluateDevelop critical skills by assessing the merits and drawbacks of different approaches and methods used in Palaeolithic archaeology
ProceduralUnderstandAcquire a detailed knowledge and understanding of specific methods, types of evidence and archaeological questions
ReflectionAnalyseDevelop a critical understanding of the terminology and classification systems used by Palaeolithic archaeologists

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Resit Assessments

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 100
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

Detailed feeback will be given via annotation of the essay and an accompanying feedback summary

Word Count 4000
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ProceduralEvaluateDevelop critical skills by assessing the merits and drawbacks of different approaches and methods used in Palaeolithic archaeology
ConceptualCreateProduce and present well-organised, critical syntheses of different types of archaeological data relevant to a specific issue
ReflectionEvaluateEffectively reflect on feedback for assessed work and propose best routes for future development and improvement
ConceptualUnderstandGain a broad knowledge and understanding of the evidence we have for European Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers and their societies, as well as evidence for the environments in which they lived
ProceduralUnderstandAcquire a detailed knowledge and understanding of specific methods, types of evidence and archaeological questions
ReflectionAnalyseDevelop a critical understanding of the terminology and classification systems used by Palaeolithic archaeologists

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