Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


CODE ARC1001

 
TITLE Introduction to Archaeology

 
LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course

 
ECTS CREDITS 8

 
DEPARTMENT Classics and Archaeology

 
DESCRIPTION This study-unit is divided into four parts as follows:

Part 1: Introduction to the Discipline
Definition of Archaeology; its aims and functions in society. Geographical and chronological divisions and specializations. A short history of the discipline. Method: compilation of data, field exploration, post-excavation processing, elaboration and publication of data. Some scientific applications to Archaeology.

Part 2: Research Methods
In this section, students will be introduced to the principles and techniques of academic writing after having been exposed to various methods of retrieving information, both offline and online. Different systems of note-taking will be considered and the Author-Date system of referencing will be explained in detail. Moreover, students will learn how to read and write archaeological reports and how to spot the main logical fallacies in wrong archaeological thinking.

Part 3: Archaeological Interpretations of Pottery
In this section, students will be taught how to interpret ceramic finds in an archaeological context after having studied the main steps of pottery production and the correct definition and explanation of ceramic vocabulary. Great importance will be given to a study of the criteria used in setting up ceramic typologies. Pottery samples from various collections will be handled by the students during some practical sessions.

Part 4: Tutorial sessions
A series of tutorial sessions that is intended to supplement the lectures in the rest of the unit, introduce students to the VLE, to the anti-plagiarism software TURNITIN, and to the e-Resources available in the University library. Visits to the National Museum of Archaeology and the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage will allow students to meet former students of the Department who are now key players in the cultural heritage sector locally.

Study-unit Aims

Part 1:
1. To introduce students to Archaeology as a discipline. [What Archaeology is all about]
2. To discuss the relevance of Archaeology to society. [Why do we bother?]
3. To discuss the relationship between Archaeology and other related disciplines, such as, anthropology and history.
4. To provide students with a short history of the discipline.
5. To explain the nuts and bolts of archaeology, in other words, the practical side of the discipline: how sites are identified and how artefacts are dated and analysed and how the Natural Sciences can come to the aid of archaeologists in evaluating the information collected in the field.

Part 2:
1. To teach students how to conduct academic research properly.
2. To show students how to use the primary sources critically.
3. To teach students how to read and write archaeological reports.

Part 3:
1. To show students how to extract useful information from ceramic finds.
2. To teach students how to set up ceramic typologies.
3. To exhibit in class ceramic remains having various important traits.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

Part 1:
1. Understand the various definitions of Archaeology and its relevance to present day society;
2. Understand the relationship between Archaeology and other related disciplines, such as, anthropology and history;
3. Know how archaeology evolved from its beginnings to the present time;
4. Understand the practical procedures of field archaeology for the acquisition of new data and their recording; and how the Natural Sciences can help in evaluating the information collected in the field.

Part 2:
1. Undertake academic research in an independent and proper manner;
2. Assess critically the sources used;
3. Read, think, argue, and write in a logical and coherent way;
4. Learn what plagiarism is all about.

Part 3:
1. Understand the crucial role which ceramic studies have in archaeological research;
2. Interpret pottery finds according to established academic criteria;
3. Comprehend the different criteria which can be used in pottery typologies.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. Articulate their own definition of archaeology and argue its relevance to present day society;
2. Apply logical thinking and procedures to other life situations;
3. Apply the acquired knowledge to field practices in other study-units later on;
4. Read both texts and objects more closely both in academic and daily life;
5. Learn how to avoid plagiarism;
6. Think in an independent and critical manner.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

Part 1: Introduction to the Discipline
- Renfrew, C. & Bahn, P. (2012) Archaeology: Theories, Methods, and Practice, 6th edition. London: Thames and Hudson. [essential textbook]

Part 2: Methods, Philosophy and Sources in Archaeological Research
- Mann, T. (2005) The Oxford Guide to Library Research, 3rd edn, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Turabian, Kate L. (2013) A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses and Dissertations: Chicago style for students and researchers, 8th edn. Revised by W.C. Booth, G.G Colomb, J.M Williams. (Recommended Textbook)
- Rosen, L. J. and Behrens, L. (2003) The Allyn and Bacon Handbook, 5th edn. New York/London: Longman.

Part 3: Archaeological Interpretations of Pottery
- Orton, Clive, and Hughes, Mike. (2013) Pottery in Archaeology, 2nd edition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

 
RULES/CONDITIONS In TAKING THIS UNIT YOU CANNOT TAKE ARC1201

 
STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Tutorial

 
METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Essay SEM1 Yes 30%
Examination (2 Hours) SEM1 Yes 70%

 
LECTURER/S Maxine Anastasi
John Charles Betts
Anthony Bonanno
Abigail Zammit

 
The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2018/9, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.

https://www.um.edu.mt/course/studyunit