ARCH06053 2019 Archaeological Scientific Analysis

General Details

Full Title
Archaeological Scientific Analysis
Transcript Title
Archaeological Scientific Anal
75 %
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
Eoin Gillespie
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

This module provides a practical and theoretical introduction to scientific analytical techniques and reviews their applications to archaeology.

Learning Outcomes

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


Explain the science behind a variety of scientific techniques that can be employed in the analysis of archaeological materials and outline their applications and limitations.


Perform a range of analytical techniques on a variety of organic and inorganic materials.


Describe case studies where scientific techniques were used in the investigation of archaeological materials and discuss the valuable information they provide about the past.


Solve numerical problems which involve calculations pertaining to selected analytical techniques.


Conduct practical work competently in a safe and responsible manner.


Calculate chemical compositions of samples using raw experimental data and determine the accuracy and precision of analytical measurements.


Communicate and present scientific information concisely and in proper scientific format.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module will be delivered fulltime. This will include lectures, laboratory practicals, and site visits augmented by independent learning and directed learning. This approach is expected to address student learning needs. Moodle will be used as a repository of educational resources and as a means of assessment (e.g. quizzes, uploading assignments and journals)

Module Assessment Strategies

'This module is 65% Continuous Assessment and 35% Final exam.

Laboratory skills and report-writing ability are assessed as part of the practical work performed during the module. Regular summative tests are used to encourage engagement with the module, monitor progress and provide feedback. 

The student must reach an assigned gate (mark) in the final exam and achieve 40% overall to pass the subject

Repeat Assessments

Repeat Continuous Assessment and/or Final Exam.

Indicative Syllabus

Accuracy, precision, error

Numerical calculations: solution concentrations, dilution of solutions, calculations pertaining to analytical techniques

The Beer‑Lambert Law

UV‑Visible Spectroscopy

Atomic Emission Spectroscopy

Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy

Scanning Electron Microscopy

X‑Ray Fluorescence

Gas Chromatograhy‑Mass Spectrometry

High ‑Performance Liquid Chromatography

Case studies from peer‑referenced archaeological science journals

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
65 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
35 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Continuous Assessment Assessment of Theory Knowledge Continuous Assessment Closed Book Exam 15 % OnGoing 1,2,3,4
2 Practical Evaluation Assessment of practical laboratory skills, pre practical and post practical assessments,laboratory reports Practical Practical Evaluation 50 % OnGoing 4,5,6,7

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Theory Exam Final Exam Closed Book Exam 35 % End of Semester 1,2,3,4

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Flat Classroom Theory lecture 2.00 Weekly 2.00
Laboratory Practical Science Laboratory Practical Activities 2 Weekly 2.00
Independent Learning Not Specified Self-directed Learning 3.00 Weekly 3.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 4.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Required Reading
01/01/2007 Archaeological Chemistry Wiley

Required Reading
01/01/2007 Analytical Chemistry in Archaeology Cambridge University Press

Required Reading
01/01/2008 Archaeological Chemistry RSC Publishing

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources


Journal Resources


URL Resources


Other Resources


Additional Information