MODULE DESCRIPTION 2019-20

AUTUMN SEMESTER 15 CREDITS
AAP6137 FUNERARY ARCHAEOLOGY
CO-ORDINATOR: HUGH WILLMOTT
OTHER TUTORS: MAUREEN CARROLL, ELIZABETH CRAIG-ATKINS

MODULE OUTLINE

This module provides an advanced level exploration of human responses to death in societies around the world from the earliest burials of our hominin ancestors to the present day. Delivered through a series of chronologically-themed lectures and thematic seminars, case studies focus on the nature and interpretation of the burial record, and survey the methods of analysis, theoretical underpinnings and material residues of funerary ritual helping the student to develop a broad knowledge of world-wide burial rites and a nuanced understanding of the discipline of funerary archaeology.


BROAD ACADEMIC AIMS AND PRINCIPLES OF THE UNIT

This unit aims to:

  • Provide an advanced introduction to the varied evidence and chronological frameworks relevant to funerary archaeology, drawing on diverse case studies from across the world
  • Integrate a variety of archaeological and historical evidence in a theoretically informed and critical manner
  • Explore a range of current themes in funerary archaeology, patterns of human behaviour in funerary archaeology and the relationship between material culture and funerary practices
  • Develop students’ abilities in judging between relevant academic arguments
  • Encourage students to contribute to current research debates, and develop innovative critical perspectives and evidence-based arguments
  • Foster students’ skills in presenting complex ideas, arguments and critical analysis during seminars and presentations and in written contributions

MEASUREABLE LEARNING OUTCOMES

By the end of this module students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of:

  • Demonstrate detailed, advanced knowledge of the evidence, chronological frameworks, key debates and theoretical approaches relevant to the study of funerary archaeology
  • Critically evaluate competing interpretations of the archaeology of death and burial, and situate these within the broader context of changing perspectives in archaeology
  • Develop fresh critical perspectives and contribute to current research debates concerning funerary archaeology
  • Present cogent, evidence-based arguments in seminars and written contributions

EXAMPLES OF LECTURE/SEMINAR TITLES/TUTORIALS

Our lectures/seminars are highly participative and taught by leaders in their field.

  • What is death? What is burial?
  • Ethnoarchaeology and biocultural approaches
  • Funerary practices in the Classical World
  • Death on the Black Sea
  • The Black Death
  • Post-medieval death and commemoration
  • Children and the human life cycle

STUDENT ATTENDANCE AND INDEPENDENT STUDY

Type

Hours

Lectures 14
Independent Study (including preparation for assessments) 136

ASSESSMENT

Method

% of marks

Hours/Length

mid-term Essay 30% 1000 words
end of term Essay 70% 2000 words