Introduction To Archaeology

Eminent archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler once wrote that archaeology must be 'seasoned with humanity'. In its attempt to understand the human past through material remains, archaeological research presents a vast range of ways in which humans have communicated, procured food, raised their children, manufactured objects, participated in traditions and religion, and treated their dead, from prehistory into the present. At the same time, archaeology highlights a shared humanity across time and space: what we as a species have in common with each other, where we came from, and where we are headed. On this module we will explore how archaeological excavation, research and interpretation are undertaken; some of the questions with which archaeology is concerned; and how the discipline contributes to our understanding of what it means to be human.

Who is this course for

The course is for anyone who is interested in learning about the discipline of archaeology, the principles of survey, excavation and research, and what we can gain from studying the human past. No previous knowledge or experience is required; the only requirement is that you are open-minded and prepared to contribute to discussion.

What does this course cover

This course will introduce you to the history of the discipline, the basic tenets of archaeological survey excavation and artefact analysis, and scientific and theoretical methods of enquiry. You will also learn about several of the primary themes with which archaeology is concerned, including social organisation, subsistence, technology, trade, exchange, art, religion and our relationship with the environment. Along the way we will explore several archaeological case studies spanning prehistory into the modern period. You will also have the opportunity to participate in artefact identification and handling exercises.

By the end of the course, you should be able to:
' Differentiate between archaeological survey and excavation methods
' Identify primary artefact types, methodological approaches and themes within archaeology
' Evaluate the impact of archaeology on our present and future, in the UK and globally.

What will it be like

The course will be as interactive as possible, with lots of opportunity to participate in sessions. There will be some group work and problem solving exercises, lots of class discussion and the the sessions will be supported by video clips and analysis of objects, tools and materials used in archaeological practice

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

What this course could lead to

Further courses in the archaeology section of the Centre's course offer or other courses in History especially but also in other Humanities and Social Sciences courses at the Centre or elsewhere

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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.’