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Last modified: 31 May 2022 13:05

Course Overview

This course provides an introduction to how archaeological discoveries are made, the types of questions we can ask about past human societies using the evidence of their material remains, and the range of methods that archaeologists can draw on to try to answer the questions that excite them. By visiting archaeological sites, focussing on some of the world's most spectacular archaeological discoveries, and discussing some of the department's own original research projects, we will explore what the discipline of archaeology adds to our understanding of the human past and present, and what tools and techniques archaeologists employ in different environments.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 1
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Robert Dinnis

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 1 or Programme Level 2

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

  • Either Programme Level 1 or Programme Level 2
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • One of Distance Learning (Studied) or Non-Graduating Student in Arts & Social Sciences Iss or Archaeology Iss

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The aim of this course is to introduce students coming to archaeology for the first time to the range of questions archaeologists ask about past societies and the very wide range of interdisciplinary methods they use to answer these questions. This course aims to introduce you to the excitement of archaeological discoveries, and to stimulate you to think about what it is about our past that interests and excites you. By the end of the course, you will be able to: define archaeology as a discipline distinct from other disciplines that study human history and culture; explain a brief history of archaeological endeavour; outline key ethical issues related to the acquisition and study of human remains and material culture; explain at least five key questions that the archaeological discovery of material culture and human remains tends to stimulate about past human societies; explain the key methods that archaeologists use to study the social structures, settlement patterns, diet, mortuary practices, and belief systems of past human societies; discuss how archaeological projects conducted in different environments differ in their approaches, methods, and potentials

Associated Costs

Estimated cost of fieldtrip GBP 20.00

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

1st Attempt:

Essay (70%)

Online test (30%)


Essay (70%)

Online test (30%)

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberILO’s for this course are available in the course guide.

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