Introduction to Archaeology - CLAS3290

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 4 15 (7.5) Luke Lavan 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
Private Study Hours: 128
Total Study Hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Assignment 1 (1,500 words) – 50%
Assignment 2 (1,500 words) – 50%

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 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;
2 Demonstrate an understanding of how artefacts may be studied in order to gain a range of information on past societies;
3 Demonstrate basic comprehension of how sites are formed and of the types of layers and features that archaeologists may encounter;
4 Demonstrate an understanding of how archaeological evidence can be placed in a temporal sequence;
5 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.

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

1 Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate primary evidence;
2 Demonstrate the ability to gather, use and communicate information effectively;
3 Demonstrate the ability to work in a group.


Compulsory for BA Classical & Archaeological (Single and Joint Honours); BA Ancient History; BA Classical Studies.

Available as a wild module.


  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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