Roman Archaeology: Northern Provinces of the Empire from their Iron Age Origins - CLAS8070

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 7 30 (15) Steven Willis checkmark-circle


The module examines the varied, rich and extensive archaeological (and historical) evidence for settlement and social life in the area of the northern provinces of the Roman Empire and its near neighbours during the Late Iron Age and Roman eras. The module structure is thematic and explores a range of inter-related topic areas. Particular emphasis is placed on new ideas and approaches. It is expected that there will be site and museum visits related to this module, undertaken in the South East of England and/or on the near continent.

Topics typically covered include: the nature of the archaeological record for the era and approaches to its study; material culture and society in the Iron Age; regional patterns and identity in the Iron Age; continuities into the Roman era and the civitates system; the historiography of Roman studies in North West Europe; the archaeology of Roman London; the character and morphology of settlement in the Roman era: towns and cities, smaller centres and the countryside; material culture and society in the Roman period: production and consumption; regional civitas capitals; the archaeology of the Roman era in The Netherlands (Lower Germany); the Roman 'Saxon-Shore' and military society; religion and ritual; society in the later Roman era and the end of 'urban life; burial evidence and patterns; the archaeologies of people: gender, status, ethnicity and biography.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20
Private Study Hours: 280
Total Study Hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Essay 1 (3,000 words) – 40%
Essay 2 (3,000 words) – 40%
Research Presentation (20 minutes) – 20%

Reassessment methods
Reassessment Instrument: 100% Coursework

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices. The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages:

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate a full awareness of the character, quality and experience of human social life within the settlement types and forms of the period;
2 Confidently and accurately critically assess a range of sources and interpretations and relate these to the archaeological evidence;
3 Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the relationship of the module subject to the contemporary social and cultural world and trends in the Transmanche and wider regions of Temperate and Mediterranean Europe;
4 Demonstrate detailed knowledge of long-term processes of change and development, and of abrupt contrasts, in society, settlement and economy through the transitional era of the later Iron Age into the Roman period in north-west Europe.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate confidence and independence to carry out study and research, and in identifying areas for further learning;
2 Demonstrate substantive awareness of the academic discourse in areas relevant to the subject;
3 Demonstrate the ability to carry out professional critical analysis, writing and argument through engagement with the material;
4 Demonstrate confident IT and data handling abilities;
5 Demonstrate complete responsibility and autonomy in learning and debate;
6 Demonstrate skills in the classification and interpretation of particular forms in relation to wider structures of understanding.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  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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