MODULE DESCRIPTION 2017-2018


SPRING SEMESTER 20 CREDITS



AAP113 REVEALING THE PAST



CO-ORDINATOR: COLIN MERRONY
OTHER TUTORS:


MODULE OUTLINE

‘Revealing the Past’ introduces the archaeological research process and the environment within which British archaeology functions. This module enables students to develop fundamental field skills. Students will gain an understanding of the research process throughout the module both by recovering evidence in the field using basic survey and excavation methods and by being introduced to the process of dealing with material and data recovered during fieldwork. The course will build towards a two-week field course which will take place at the end of the teaching period. The majority of the contact hours are practical sessions in the field and laboratory, where students will work collaboratively on an original programme of archaeological research. Lectures provide additional guidance on the methods employed and the historical context for the research. The development of transferable skills will be enhanced by collaboration with University of Sheffield Enterprise.


BROAD ACADEMIC AIMS AND PRINCIPLES OF THE UNIT

This module aims to:
• Familiarise students with the archaeological research process while working as part of a team on a research project.
• Provide students with in-depth practical experience of a range of archaeological fieldwork techniques, and through this to learn core techniques of observation, identification, descriptive recording, analysis and interpretation of archaeological materials and deposits.
• Introduce the organisational structure and professional practice of archaeology and heritage conservation in the U.K.
• Introduce essential safe working methods and familiarise students with health and safety procedures
• Develop students’ skills in acquiring, using and evaluating information from a variety of sources, including material, textual and digital evidence.
• Introduce basic analytical techniques, including simple statistical methods, in order to interpret different kinds of archaeological data.
• Develop students’ opportunities for personal development including the introduction of the skills passport.


MEASUREABLE LEARNING OUTCOMES

By the end of the unit, a candidate will be able to:

• Demonstrate an understanding of the process of undertaking archaeological research.
• Demonstrate core techniques of recovery, identification, descriptive recording, analysis and interpretation of materials and deposits encountered during an archaeological field project.
• Perform and describe basic analytical techniques, including simple statistical methods, in order to interpret different kinds of archaeological data.
• Demonstrate an understanding of safe working practices within field archaeology and of the relevant health and safety regulations/procedures.
• Outline the main components of the organisational structure and professional practice of archaeology and heritage conservation in the U.K.
• Demonstrate an understanding of reflective learning methods and document practical skills development, through completing the initial content of their skills passport.


PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT SKILLS ACQUIRED

• Awareness of archaeological skills development and the skills passport which will lead to enhanced employability
• Ability to recognise, interpret and record archaeological features and deposits
• Understanding and application of technical archaeological field skills
• Transferrable skills including teamwork, working safely, time management


STUDENT ATTENDANCE AND INDEPENDENT STUDY

Type Hours
Lectures/Seminars 15
Fieldwork 75
Independent Study (including preparation for assessments) 110


ASSESSMENT

Method % of marks Length / words
Four practical assessments 40%
On site fieldwork assessment 20%
Reflective assessment/skills passport 40%


EXAMPLE LECTURE/SEMINAR TITLES

  • Introduction to the module: Legislation and the process: the basics of British archaeology; Working safely
  • Exploring the revolution: sources for Sheffield and North Derbyshire
  • Identifying change above ground: APs/field-walking/geophysical and topographic surveying
  • Identifying change above ground 2: Building survey and recording
  • Observing change: the landscape of Sheffield
  • Beneath our feet – investigating and understanding buried deposits
  • Making sense of the record – matrices, phases, statistics
  • Reports to archives – Where does it all go? Why do we do it?
  • The field course: practical issues, research context
  • Field course: Fieldwork