ARCH06036 2019 Bronze Age Ireland and Europe

General Details

Full Title
Bronze Age Ireland and Europe
Transcript Title
Bronze Age Ireland and Europe
N/A %
Subject Area
ARCH - Archaeology
ESCI - Environmental Science
06 - NFQ Level 6
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Frances Lucy, Sam Moore, Shirley Markley
Programme Membership
SG_SAPPL_H08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Applied Archaeology SG_SAPPL_B07 201900 Bachelor of Science in Applied Archaeology SG_SAPPL_C06 201900 Higher Certificate in Science in Applied Archaeology

The Bronze Age sees a marked change in the archaeological record. The Irish evidence is examined within the broader European framework. Topics include: Bronze Age beginnings; Beaker Europe and Ireland; metalworking; settlement, hillforts and social stratification; fulachtaí fiadh and burnt mounds; material culture, burial and ritual; monumental change; votive deposition and religious belief; perceptions of the natural landscape; trade and communication across Bronze Age Europe; regionality and identity.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Demonstrate awareness concerning the arguments regarding the introduction of metallurgy in Ireland.

Demonstrate detailed knowledge of Bronze Age settlement, material culture/technology, economy and ritual activities.
Place the Irish Bronze Age within a wider European context.
Demonstrate skill in researching the Bronze Age archaeology of Ireland.
Express archaeological data and ideas concerning the Bronze Age through both oral and written formats.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module will be delivered full-time. This will include lectures, artefact practicals, and site visits augmented by independent learning and directed learning. This approach is expected to address student learning needs.

Module Assessment Strategies

This module is 70% Continuous Assessment and 30% Final Exam

The continuous assessment is broken down into 50% for a selected essay and 20% for a presentation on a chosen topic comparing an aspect of the Irish Bronze Age to Europe.

Repeat Assessments

Repeat Continuous Assessment and/or Final Exam

Module Dependencies


Indicative Syllabus

Topics covered in this module include Beaker Europe and Ireland; mining and metalworking technology; artefacts associated with the period; settlements and hillforts; Fulachtai fiadh and burnt mounds; votive deposition; funerary practises; art; trade and communication and transition to Iron.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
70 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
30 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Essay Continuous Assessment Essay 50 % Week 8 3,4,5
2 Presentation Continuous Assessment Assessment 20 % Week 13 1,2,3,4,5

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Final Exam Final Exam Open Book Exam 30 % End of Term 1,2,3,4,5

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Flat Classroom Lecture 2.5 Weekly 2.50
Independent Learning UNKNOWN Independent learning 4.5 Weekly 4.50
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 2.50 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Required Reading
2013-06-27 The Oxford Handbook of the European Bronze Age (Oxford Handbooks) OUP Oxford
ISBN 9780199572861 ISBN-13 9780199572861

The Oxford Handbook of the European Bronze Age The Handbook is a wide-ranging survey of a crucial period in prehistory during which many social, economic, and technological changes took place. Written by specialists in the field, the book provides coverage both of the themes that characterize the period, and of the specific developments that took place in the various countries of Europe. Full description

Required Reading
1991-12-01 Irish Prehistory: A Social Perspective Wordwell
ISBN 1869857119 ISBN-13 9781869857110

Hard to find book

Required Reading
2000-08-01 The Prehistoric Archaeology of Ireland Wordwell
ISBN 1869857399 ISBN-13 9781869857394
Recommended Reading
2016-11-30 A Geography of Offerings: Deposits of Valuables in the Landscapes of Ancient Europe (Oxbow Insights in Archaeology Book 3) Oxbow Books

More than quarter of a century ago Richard Bradley published The Passage of Arms. It was conceived as An Archaeological Analysis of Prehistoric Hoards and Votive Deposits, but, as the author concedes, these terms were too narrrowly focused for the complex subject of deliberate deposition and the period covered too short. A Geography of Offerings has been written to provoke a reaction from archaeologists and has two main aims. The first is to move this kind of archaeology away from the minute study of ancient objects to a more ambitious analysis of ancient places and landscapes. The second is to recognise that problems of interpretation are not restricted to the pre-Roman period. Mesolithic finds have a place in this discussion, and so do those of the 1st millennium AD. Archaeologists studying individual periods confront with similar problems and the same debates are repeated within separate groups of scholars but they arrive at different conclusions. Here, the author presents a review that brings these discussions together and extends across the entire sequence. Rather than offer a comprehensive survey, this is an extended essay about the strengths and weaknesses of current thinking regarding specialised deposits, which encompass both sacrificial deposits characterised by large quantities of animal and human bones and other collections which are dominated by finds of stone or metal artefacts. It considers current approaches and theory, the histories of individual artefacts and the landscape and physical context of the of places where they were deposited, the character of materials, the importance of animism and the character of ancient cosmologies.

Recommended Reading
2018-10-31 The Beaker Phenomenon?: Understanding the character and context of social practices in Ireland 2500-2000 BC Sidestone Press
ISBN 9088904634 ISBN-13 9789088904639
Recommended Reading
2017-07-24 Hillforts, Warfare and Society in Bronze Age Ireland Archaeopress Archaeology
ISBN 1784916552 ISBN-13 9781784916558
Recommended Reading
2008-08-21 European Societies in Bronze Age (Cambridge World Archaeology) Cambridge University Press
ISBN 9780521367295 ISBN-13 9780521367295

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Waddell, J. 2010. The prehistoric archaeology of Ireland (B.A. chapters).

Cunliffe, B. 1997. The Oxford illustrated prehistory of Europe (B.A. chapter).

Harding, A. 2000. European society in the Bronze Age.

Journal Resources

Kristiansen, K., 2014. Religion and society in the Bronze Age. The Handbook of Religions in Ancient Europe, pp.77-92.

Leonard 2014 Ritual in Late Bronze Age Ireland. Unpublished PhD thesis, NUI Galway

McLaughlin, T.R., Whitehouse, N.J., Schulting, R.J., McClatchie, M., Barratt, P. and Bogaard, A., 2016. The changing face of Neolithic and Bronze Age Ireland: a big data approach to the settlement and burial records. Journal of World Prehistory29(2), pp.117-153.

Molloy, B.P., 2017. Hunting Warriors: The Transformation of Weapons, Combat Practices and Society during the Bronze Age in Ireland. European Journal of Archaeology20(2), pp.280-316.

URL Resources

Other Resources


Additional Information