Exploring British / European Pre-History

The ten thousand years preceding the Claudian invasion witnessed a host of dramatic changes in Britain: the return of hunter-gatherers following the retreat of the ice sheet, the take-up of sedentary lifestyles and the spread of agriculture, the adoption of metallurgy, developments in exchange and social organization and, ultimately, the impacts of the Roman and Gallic worlds on British Iron Age communities. In some instances the material legacy of this period is conspicuous: prehistoric settlements and monuments like Skara Brae, Stonehenge, Avebury, Maiden Castle and Castlerigg serve as highly visible reminders that this is a long-inhabited landscape. Other aspects of prehistoric life in Britain are more elusive, such as past cosmological beliefs, social complexities and the ways in which people conceived of their own identities. On this course we will explore some of the evidence and creative interpretive approaches employed by archaeologists in the reconstruction of prehistoric lifeways and world views, as well as the key developments, issues and debates in the archaeology of British Prehistory from the Mesolithic period through the Iron Age.

Who is this course for

Anyone with an interest in Archaeology generally, or people with a specifiic interest in the period coveredin the course. The course would suit both new students and returning students who have done previious courses in the subject.

What does this course cover

This course will introduce you to the key themes, developments and debates surrounding the prehistory of Britain, from the Mesolithic to Iron Age periods. Some of the concepts we will explore include cosmologies, settlement and economic strategies, subsistence and the transition to farming, mortuary practice and production technology, with comparisons drawn between periods and regions.

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

' Describe the problems and potentials of evidence available to those studying British Prehistory and how this informs archaeological interpretation
' Compare major thematically described developments in different places and periods in British Prehistory
' Evaluate contrasting approaches to key themes in Prehistoric Britain

What will it be like

Learning and teaching methods include tutor presentation, discussion and debate, small and large group activities, tutorial sessions, object handling exercises and research. There is no formal assessment. Your progress will be monitored and supported through observation and discussion.

What else do you need to buy or do

You only need paper and pen.
You should read the material provided by the tutor. This will help you to participate fully in class

What this course could lead to

Students can enrol on the next course, Food for Thought. They may also be interested in the Mary Ward Centre's Anthropology and History courses.

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I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

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Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

Why choose Mary Ward?

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 and weekends to suit your timetable. You can learn face to face at one of our centres (Bloomsbury or Waterloo) or take an online course

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.’