Introduction to Archaeology - CL329

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
Autumn 4 15 (7.5) DR S Willis checkmark-circle


The module will introduce archaeology as an academic discipline, providing grounding in basic concepts and methodology and techniques of analysis relating to archaeological evidence. It will provide background relevant to other archaeological and historical modules in the Classical & Archaeological Studies and related programmes, through examining aspects of the archaeological process and examples in prehistoric, Roman, medieval and post-medieval contexts. It will enable students to make an informed choice of subsequent modules. Topics will include ceremonial, religious and burial sites, the emergence of settlement sites, the creation and development of towns, trade and exchange, artefactual and landscape studies using cases through time. Seminars will focus on methods and approaches, and the presentation of data and its interpretation.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 22

Method of assessment

• Assignment 1 (1,500 words) – 50%
• Assignment 2 (1,500 words) – 50%

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List

Barker, P. (2008) Techniques of Archaeological Excavation, (5th Edition). London/New York: Routledge
Greene, K. & Moore T. (2010) Archaeology, an introduction, the history, principles and methods of modern archaeology, (5th Edition) London: Routledge
Renfrew, C. & Bahn, P. (2016) Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice, (7th Edition) London: Thames and Hudson
Roskams, S. (2001) Excavation. Cambridge Manuals in Archaeology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Scarre, C. (ed.) (2005) The Human Past, London: Thames & Hudson.
Wilkinson, P. (2007) Archaeology: What it is, Where it is, and How to do it, Archaeopress.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

Demonstrate an understanding of the types of remains that archaeologists normally encounter, how they can be detected and collected, and their potential to inform us regarding past cultures;
Demonstrate an understanding of how artefacts may be studied in order to gain a range of information on past societies;
Demonstrate basic comprehension of how sites are formed and of the types of layers and features that archaeologists may encounter;
Demonstrate an understanding of how archaeological evidence can be placed in a temporal sequence;
Demonstrate an understanding of how the attributes of material culture (artefacts) paleo-environmental, faunal and archaeo-botanical evidence types can be studied for the information they may yield regarding past environments technology, trade, usage, etc.


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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