ARCH06052 2019 IntroductIon to Archaeological Theory
All archaeology is interpretive. Whether an archaeologist is aware of it or not, archaeological theory governs all archaeological interpretations. Theory affects every aspect of archaeology from how a site is excavated to how artefact assemblages are organised; from how excavations are interpreted to the identification of regional patterns and aspects of human nature and evolution. The best archaeologists are those who are not only aware of archaeological theory but of both its necessity and the limitations of any one theoretical paradigm.
On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;
Discuss the dichotomy between ‘objective' scientific analysis and ‘subjective' interpretation.
Teaching and Learning Strategies
A combination of lecturers, directed reading, student presentations and discussions of weekly topics in theroy.
Module Assessment Strategies
The assessments are based primarily on guided reading and the group discussion in seminar format of the key issues explored in the readings. The student will have to give a short presentation of two papers over the course of the module and lead the discussion. The final essay will focus on critical reading and writing, essential skills in professional archaeology.
Topics to be covered will include Culture History, Processual and Post Processual approaches; The Interpretation of Palaeolithic Cave Paintings;The Archaeology of Gender; Social Memory; Ethno-archaeology; The Archaeology of Politics/Nationalism; Landscape Archaeology; Cultural complexity/power relations; Pseudoarchaeology; Cognitive Archaeology; Material Culture Studies
Coursework & Assessment Breakdown
|Title||Type||Form||Percent||Week||Learning Outcomes Assessed|
|1||Presentations||Continuous Assessment||UNKNOWN||30 %||OnGoing||1,2,3,4,5,6|
|2||Participation in discussion||Continuous Assessment||UNKNOWN||30 %||OnGoing||3,4,5,6|
|3||Essay Essay 2000 words||Continuous Assessment||UNKNOWN||40 %||End of Term||1,2,3,4,5,6|
Full Time Mode Workload
|Problem Based Learning||Flat Classroom||Problem Based Learning||2.5||Weekly||2.50|
|Independent Learning||UNKNOWN||Self Study||4.5||Weekly||4.50|
Required & Recommended Book List
2006-09-11 A History of Archaeological Thought Cambridge University Press
In its original edition, Bruce Trigger's book was the first ever to examine the history of archaeological thought from medieval times to the present in world-wide perspective. Now, in this new edition, he both updates the original work and introduces new archaeological perspectives and concerns. At once stimulating and even-handed, it places the development of archaeological thought and theory throughout within a broad social and intellectual framework. The successive but interacting trends apparent in archaeological thought are defined and the author seeks to determine the extent to which these trends were a reflection of the personal and collective interests of archaeologists as these relate - in the West at least - to the fluctuating fortunes of the middle classes. While subjective influences have been powerful, Professor Trigger argues that the gradual accumulation of archaeological data has exercised a growing constraint on interpretation. In turn, this has increased the objectivity of archaeological research and enhanced its value for understanding the entire span of human history and the human condition in general.
2012-04-17 Archaeological Theory Today Polity
ISBN 0745653073 ISBN-13 9780745653075
Contemporary Archaeology in Theory: A Reader edited by Robert W. Preucel and Ian Hodder
B.G. Trigger's A History of Archaeological Thought
Matthew Johnson's Archaeological Theory: an introduction