Introduction to Archaeology

Archaeology of the Holy Lands
Science and computing in archaeology
Introduction to Archaeology

Introductory course to Archaeology

An Introduction to Archaeology:

This innovative and continually updated module, will cover a wide spectrum of the methods and techniques practised in modern archaeology, including the history and development of archaeology as a subject itself.
The course will deal with excavation techniques, study of maps, dating methods, report writing, the latest scientific methods in satellite imagery, virtual reconstruction of archaeological sites and artefact recognition.
Students will have the opportunity to investigate and generate their own results throughout the course, which will be collated in the final assignment.

Utilising the fast developing website technology, this course will prove to be an ideal candidate as an on-line learning module, to demonstrate the diverse methods available in a most interactive and instructive manner.

Interactive "live" contact between students and tutor will be maintained via e-mail and "classroom" virtual chat


Session 1

1.1  Introduction to the course.

1.2  Bibliographies – sources

1.3  Human origins

1.4  Background and history of archaeology –

1.5  Video – The Archaeology of Gower


Session 2

2.1 Structure of archaeology today

2.2 Ancient Civilisations

2.3 Chronology


Session 3

3.1 Introduction to fieldwork and recording

3.2 How sites are formed

3.3 Pre-excavation research  - Covered more fully in sessions 4-6

3.4 Excavation Techniques


Session 4

4.1 Excavation techniques – non-destructive

4.2 Interpretation and recording

4.3 Introduction to computers and their applications in archaeology – report writing


Session 5

5.1 Dating techniques

From Dendrochronology through to radiocarbon and thermoluminescence

5.2 Science in archaeology. Scientific applications


Session 6


6.1 Report writing – Microsoft word and applications

Science – Ground radar – resistivity – satellite imagery –aerial photography

6.2 Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning systems

6.3 Project work


Session 7

7.1 Databases and spreadsheets – an introduction

7.2 Word applications in report writing

7.3 WWW excavation sites and project work



Session 8


8.1 Using site examples from the WWW follow excavations in various stages to final interim report summaries.

8.2 3D and Virtual Reality (VR) in archaeological reconstructions

8.3 Integration of applications to create a site report


Session 9

9.1 Project work summary

9.2 Archaeology – the future – making sense of the past to change the future?

9.3 Legislation – planning – metal detecting and treasure trove.


Session 10

10.1 Overview of course

10.2 Project dissemination



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Archaeology and ancient history modules