ARCH08027 2019 Archaeology and Cultural Biographies

General Details

Full Title
Archaeology and Cultural Biographies
Transcript Title
Archaeology and Cultural Biogr
N/A %
Subject Area
ARCH - Archaeology
ESCI - Environmental Science
08 - NFQ Level 8
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Frances Lucy, Shirley Markley, Sam Moore
Programme Membership
SG_SAPPL_H08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Applied Archaeology SG_SAPPL_K08 201900 Level 8 Honours Degree Add-on in Applied Archaeology

Monuments and landscapes can change in appearance and meaning through time. This module examines how places in the past and in the present can be re-appropriated for political, social and religious reasons. It looks at a range of monument and landscape studies to explore their life-histories or biographies from their conceptions through to the present. One of the features of this module is the public's view of the past especially relating to national identity and the difficulty of separating the relationship between folklore, early myth/legends and the realities of the archaeological record.

Learning Outcomes

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


Demonstrate an understanding of theoretical considerations regarding a monument's or landscape's life-history 


Evaluate how monuments can be altered through social, political and religious change.

Evaluate the potential interpretive role to be played by folklore/tradition in archaeological enquiry.

Demonstrate the ability to critique the perception of certain monuments within the public imagination


Recognise the possible social values encoded within landscapes and monuments through time


Exprress ideas concerning archaeology and cultural biographies through both written and oral media.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

'This module will be delivered fulltime. This will include lectures 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 60% Continuous Assessment and 40% Final Exam

Continuous assessment of 60% is broken down into 40% for an essay topic that demonstrates the student's critical ability to evaluate an aspect of the history of a monument, group of monuments or an archaeological landscape, and 20% for a presentation where a student expresses the ability to critically impart knowledge concerning the history of an archaeological object.


Repeat Assessments

Repeat Continuous Assessment and/or Final Exam

Module Dependencies


Indicative Syllabus

Topics to be covered includes exploring theoretical aspects on the life-history of monuments and landscapes by critically examining how a monument, or group of monuments can be perceived through time; developed ritual landscapes; placenames; mythology and folklore; mythology as an opaque window on the Iron Age; holywells, holy stones pilgrimage and patrúns; calenders and assemblies; popular perceptions as aspects of a monument's life history; monuments, landscapes and cultural identity.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
60 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
40 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Essay Continuous Assessment Essay 40 % Week 8 1,2,3,4,5,6
2 Presentation Continuous Assessment Assessment 20 % Week 10 1,2,3,4,5,6

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Final Exam Final Exam Closed Book Exam 40 % End of Term 1,2,3,4,5,6

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Flat Classroom Lectures and seminars 2 Weekly 2.00
Independent Learning UNKNOWN Self study 5 Weekly 5.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 2.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Required Reading
1999-09-02 Archaeology and Folklore (Theoretical Archaeology Group) Routledge
ISBN 0415201446 ISBN-13 9780415201445

Folklore and archaeology are traditionally seen as taking very different approaches to the significance of ancient and historic monuments and to the interpretation of life in the past. This text explores the complex relationship between the two disciplines to demonstrate what they might learn from each other. The collection includes theoretical discussions and case studies drawn from Western Europe, the Mediterranean and North. They explore the differences between popular traditions relating to historic sites and archaeological interpretations of their history and meaning. They challenge the view that folklore can genuinely preserve historical truths through unspoken long-term continuity, but conclude that folklore is far from useless to archaeologists. Where previously, archaeologists attempted to correlate folklore with archaeological evidence, the contributors here move beyond this to suggest ways in which folklore might enrich archaeological practice and raise new questions for research. This survey could open up possibilities for dialogue between archaeology and folklore studies.

Required Reading
2001-09-15 Holy Ground: Theoretical Issues Relating to the Landscape and Material Culture of Ritual Space: Papers from a session held at the Theoretical ... Archaeological Reports International Series) BAR Publishing
ISBN 1841712477 ISBN-13 9781841712475
Required Reading
2009-01-01 Archaeologies of Landscape: Contemporary Perspectives (Social Archaeology) John Wiley & Sons
ISBN 0631211063 ISBN-13 9780631211068

Archaeologies of Landscape * Wide--ranging geographical and historical coverage. * Includes new research data. * Includes contributions from a variety of perspectives. . Full description

Required Reading
2011-05-30 Landscapes of Cult and Kingship Four Courts Press Ltd
ISBN 184682219X ISBN-13 9781846822193

Recommended Reading
2012 The Archaeology of Slieve Donard A Cultural Biography of Ulster's Highest Mountain. Down County Museum
ISBN 0956727867 ISBN-13 9780956727862

Exploration of prehistoric remains on the edge of the Mourne mountains in Ulster and St Donard. A cultural biography.

Recommended Reading
2005-07-19 The Kingship and Landscape of Tara Four Courts Press Ltd
ISBN 1851829547 ISBN-13 9781851829545

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Bradley, R and Williams, H 1998 (eds) The Past in the Past: the Reuse of Ancient Mounuments World Archaeology 30 (1)

Gazin-Schwartz, A. and Holtorf, C. 1999 (eds) Archaeology and folklore, London.


Journal Resources

Bradley, R. and Williams, H. (eds.) 1998. ‘The Past in the Past: the Reuse of Ancient Monuments’ World Archaeology. Vol 30, (1)

Hingley, R. 1996. ‘Ancestors and identity in the later prehistory of Atlantic Scotland: the reuse and reinvention on Neolithic monuments and material culture’. World Archaeology, Vol. 28 (2). 231-243..

Holtorf, C. 1998. ‘Life histories of megaliths in Mecklenburg – Vorpommern (Germany)’. World Archaeology 30 (1). 23-38.

Roymans, N. 1995. ‘The cultural biography of urnfileds and the long-term history of a mythical landscape’. Archaeological Dialogues: Dutch Perspectives on Current Issues in Archaeology, 2 (1): 2-38.

URL Resources

Other Resources

Further reading will be supplied

Additional Information