The Archaeology of Canterbury - CL371

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2020 to 2021.


This module will introduce the archaeology of the city of Canterbury and its environs, and the skills needed to study it. The course will review the subject both chronologically, from Bronze Age to 1945, and methodologically, covering non-invasive research methods and techniques used to communicate heritage. It will provide deep knowledge and understanding of the immediate environment of Canterbury and East Kent, and equip students with skills that they need to pursue further interests in archaeology. It will allow students to access the archaeological resources of Canterbury that are on their doorstep and position them well to study local landscape history, built archaeology, or museum collections, in preparation for the archaeological project or dissertation modules. Lectures will describe a full range of local archaeology, including Thanet Sacred Island, Bigbury Hillfort, the Saxon Shore, Excavations in Canterbury City, Canterbury Cathedral, and Medieval Vernacular Architecture. Seminars will equip students to understand research methods relating to Sites and Monuments records, LIDAR and earthwork survey, local museum collections, urban excavation reports, standing building remains, historic maps, and aerial photos. The module also introduces students to Canterbury as a world heritage site.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20

Method of assessment

• Assignment 1 (1,500 words) – 40%
• Assignment 2 (2,000 words) – 60%

Indicative reading

Reading list (Indicative list, current at time of publication. Reading lists will be published annually)
Archaeology Canterbury Series Especially NS Vol I (Cathedral Nave), NS Vol. V (Ickham Roman Watermills), Vol VII (Augustinian Friary)
Lawson, T. and D. Killingray (ed.) (2004). A Historical Atlas of Kent. Chichester: Phillimore & Co
Moody, G. (2008). The Isle of Thanet: From Prehistory to the Norman Conquest. Stroud: History Press
Sweetinburgh, S. (ed.) (2016). Early Medieval Kent 800-1220. Woodbridge: Boydell Press Kent County Council
Williams, J.H. (ed.) (2007). The Archaeology of Kent to AD 800. Woodbridge: Boydall Press

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 encounter in Canterbury and East Kent.
- Demonstrate an understanding of basic skills in use in local archaeological research and in communicating local heritage.
- Demonstrate basic comprehension of how the human landscape in and around Canterbury was formed.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the potential of local museum holdings for understanding the socio-cultural history of the region.
- Demonstrate a mindful awareness of archaeological traces all around them, and the impact of past process, on the world heritage site of Canterbury.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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