MODULE DESCRIPTION 2017-2018


SPRING SEMESTER 20 CREDITS



AAP3003 CATASTROPHE AND CLIMATE CHANGE: FROM PREHISTORY TO MODERNITY



CO-ORDINATOR: GIANNA AYALA
OTHER TUTORS: KEVIN KUYKENDALL, HUGH WILLMOTT


MODULE OUTLINE

A series of lectures and seminars examines the responses of past cultures to natural catastrophes and periods of dramatic climate change which took place from earlier prehistoric times to the post medieval period across the globe. The module draws on the archaeological and historical evidence but also includes a review of the physical landscape record. It will explore the development of the landscape change brought about by these natural hazards and its contribution to changes in human society and nature of the archaeological record. Student led as well as staff led seminars will feature to ensure that examples drawn from all time periods of interest to the student body are addressed.


BROAD ACADEMIC AIMS AND PRINCIPLES OF THE UNIT

• provide students with an understanding of current debates surrounding the reaction of human cultures to natural disasters and climate change through time
• introduce students to key conceptual, methodological and historical issues in the study of the relationship between people and the natural environment
• provide students with an understanding of the methods that are used to investigate changes that arise in the archaeological record in relation to the history of landscape change


MEASUREABLE LEARNING OUTCOMES

By the end of this module students should be able to demonstrate:
• be familiar with the debates surrounding the definition and recognition of natural hazards and climate change in relation to human populations
• be familiar with the conceptual issues framing the study of these natural and cultural phenomena, the methodological approaches used and historical frameworks within which these studies take place
• demonstrate the ability to identify different types of archaeological, historical and geomorphological information in understanding how environmental and landscape archaeology can inform archaeological interpretations of societal change


STUDENT ATTENDANCE AND INDEPENDENT STUDY

Type Hours
Lectures 15
Seminars 6
Independent/Group Study (including preparation for assessments) 179


ASSESSMENT

Method % of marks Length / words
Mid Term Assignment 40% 1500
End of Term Assignment 60% 3000


EXAMPLE LECTURE/SEMINAR TITLES

  • Catastrophe and Climate Change: An introduction
  • Climate change and human evolution
  • Boom or bust: extinction events in human evolution
  • Floods and Climatic Downturns
  • Drought and global warming
  • Volcanoes and Tsunami. Was Minoan Crete destroyed by the eruption of Thera / Santorini?
  • Earthquakes and fault: Shaking the Classical world
  • In the footsteps of the Vikings: human impact on the north Atlantic islands in the 9th and 10th centuries AD
  • Little ice Age: Medieval Climate Change
  • Degraded landscapes: erosion and desertification