Introduction to Archaeology: Basic techniques, Approaches and Controversies

This practically orientated course offers hands-on experience of a wide range of basic techniques, including artefact handling, site survey, aerial photographic interpretation and transcription, principles of geophysical survey, excavation and post-excavation analysis. Through these experiences we will explore the basic tenets of archaeology, including the main methods of discovering, dating and investigating archaeological evidence as well as debating the issues (and controversies) involved in its interpretation.

Who is this course for

No previous knowledge or experience required
This practically orientated course offers hands-on experience of a wide range of basic techniques, including artefact handling, site survey, aerial photographic interpretation and transcription, principles of geophysical survey, excavation and post-excavation analysis. Through these experiences we will explore the basic tenets of archaeology, including the main methods of discovering, dating and investigating archaeological evidence as well as debating the issues (and controversies) involved in its interpretation. This course is delivered through partnership with the Museum of London Archaeological Archive and Research Centre.

What does this course cover

This course covers the following topics below.
What is Archaeology?
The Science of Discovery
Site Survey: The basics
Seeing Beneth the Soil
Principloes of excavation
Dating and Chronology
Investigating the Ancient Environment
Post Excavation Analysis
Exploring Artefacts
Archive Archaeology
Course Overview and Reflections
By the end of the course you should be able to handle archaeolgical artefacts safely, describe some of the methods used in archaeology and list the resources that might be useful for planning a campaign of archaeological research.

What will it be like

Small group tasks (e.g. artefact identification, using surveying tools, describing soil samples)
Lectures
Group discussion
At the start: small group tasks
On the course: small group tasks, Group discussion, 'post-it note' anonymous feedback session
At the end: small group tasks, individual feedback forms

What else do you need to buy or do

Nothing additional is required, although pens, pencils and notepaper may be useful for class activities and if you need to make notes. Core texts, additional reading materials and websites are identified in a handout each week.

What this course could lead to

Further studies in Archaeology such as 'Collecting the World: Discovering Archaeological Museums and Collections', 'Questioning British Prehistories', 'Museum Studies' and 'Civilisations of the Ancient World'. Tuotor to advise.

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Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

Why come to Mary Ward Centre?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’