MODULE DESCRIPTION 2017-18

AUTUMN SEMESTER 15 CREDITS
AAP648 RECONSTRUCTING ANCIENT TECHNOLOGIES: VITREOUS MATERIALS
CO-ORDINATOR: CAROLINE JACKSON
OTHER TUTORS: N/A

MODULE OUTLINE

This course provides students with the theoretical background and practical skills necessary to undertake the study of archaeological vitreous materials, with an emphasis on glass from all periods and also incorporating other vitreous materials such as faience and glazes. The course brings together knowledge of glassy materials, their nature and manufacture through archaeological practice, experimental work in the laboratory and through an understanding of the significance of glass in different societies through stylistic and scientific analysis.


BROAD ACADEMIC AIMS AND PRINCIPLES OF THE UNIT

This unit aims to:

  • develop students’ understanding of the major issues in the archaeology of glass (and associated vitreous materials), glass manufacture and analysis within an archaeological and scientific context
  • show students how to approach an assemblage and devise a research project using primary archaeological material and / or experimental and analytical methods.
  • introduce students to the diverse range of archaeological and archaeometric data relating to glass studies data and enable them to identify to period and region characteristic glasses, styles and manufacturing practices
  • ensure that students understand the main contexts and theoretical stances of material studies relating to glasses and the corresponding implications of raw material availability, glass formation processes and the human and social factors which affect the material record
  • enhance students’ understanding of major current research issues and interpretation through case studies to which scholarly, theoretical and scientific principles will be applied

MEASUREABLE LEARNING OUTCOMES

By the end of this module students should

  • Have developed an understanding of the nature of glass as a material, and understand the basic fundamentals of glass production.
  • Be able to manufacture a basic glass from simple raw materials, and understand the principles of furnace technology and glass chemistry to control such variables as colour and clarity.
  • Be able to develop and conduct a research project using archaeological assemblages to answer a variety of archaeological problems related to glasses.
  • Be able to integrate suitable experimental and analytical techniques to investigate problems in glass technology and archaeology and to interpret complex datasets.
  • Be critical consumers of the glass literature

EXAMPLES OF LECTURE/SEMINAR AND PRACTICAL TITLES

Our lectures/seminars and practicals are highly participative and taught by a world leader in her field.

  • Introduction to the course. What are glasses?
  • The first vitreous materials: Practical: Faience replication
  • Glass raw materials
  • Glass colouring
  • Furnace design and construction/models of production
  • Handling glass
  • Archaeological study of an assemblage
  • Archaeometric analysis of a glass assemblage
  • Research design/data analysis/assessment

STUDENT ATTENDANCE AND INDEPENDENT STUDY

Type

Hours

Lectures 6
Seminars 3
Problem Solving/Example Classes 6
Laboratory Sessions 13
Field Work 12
Independent Study (including preparation for assessments) 110

ASSESSMENT

Method

% of marks

Hours/Length

Essay 100% 4000 words

This module is exempt from the expectation set out in General Regulations relating to intellectual property. which states, “A student undertaking undergraduate and taught postgraduate programmes of study shall be the owner of the Student Intellectual Property created by that student”. If a student works on a project designed by or in collaboration with, or on data generated by or in collaboration with, a member of staff or a third party, a written agreement on ownership of intellectual property must be signed and lodged with the Department. Otherwise, any intellectual property generated will be owned by the student.”