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Unit information: People and Cultures of the British Isles in 2015/16

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Unit name People and Cultures of the British Isles
Unit code ARCH10011
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Cramp
Open unit status Open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

None

School/department Department of Anthropology and Archaeology
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description

This unit provides a comprehensive survey of the archaeology and material culture of the British Isles focusing upon the islands of Great Britain and Ireland. Starting with the earliest humans in the Palaeolithic, it introduces students to the landscapes, sites and material culture of British and Irish prehistory, including the earliest appearance of farming and the emergence of metallurgy. It continues through to the Roman and Viking ages, ending in the archaeology and material culture of historical times.

The aims of this unit are:

  • To present the key types of sites, artefacts and monuments that characterise the British Isles
  • To critically assess the variety of models developed to explain social and economic change on the British Isles from the earliest humans through to historical times
  • To examine how internally- and externally driven factors affected the landscape and society of the British Isles in the past

To provide a basic understanding of the multi-disciplinary methods and approaches in current archaeological practice and theory, as applied to the archaeology of the British Isles

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this unit, a successful student should be able to:

1. Identify key classes of artefact, site and monument found in the British Isles

2. Outline the significance of key points in the development of society on the British Isles from prehistoric to historical times

3. Critically describe the models employed to understand how and why prehistoric societies changed over time

4. Discuss the possible causes for changes and continuities in landscape, society and culture in the British Isles

5. Demonstrate how the multi-disciplinary methods and approaches in current archaeological practice and theory have been applied to the archaeology of the British Isles

6. Construct logical and structured arguments supported by relevant evidence, at a standard appropriate to level C.

Teaching details

Two one-hour lectures per week

Assessment Details

Essay (2000 words; 50%) ILOs 2 - 6

Exam (2 h, 50%), ILOs 1-6

Reading and References

Bradley, R. 2007. The prehistory of Britain and Ireland. Cambridge: CUP

Cunliffe, B. 2013. Britain begins. Oxford: OUP

Hunter, J. and Ralston, I. 2009. The archaeology of Britain (2nd edition). London: Routledge

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