Introducing Archaeology

Introducing Archaeology: Sites, Artefacts, Theory and Practice

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Course Description

Introducing Archaeology offers a broad introduction to the processes of exploring past societies. By examining a wide range of international case studies we discover the methods and techniques archaeologists use, and learn how these help us to understand the way people lived and died in the ancient world.

From the initial phases of research in libraries and archives, through processes of site survey and excavation, to the post-excavation analysis of artefacts and materials, we gain unique insights into all of the key stages of  an archaeological project. We then take a global perspective to look at current threats to important archaeological sites around the world, and explore how you can get involved and make a contribution to this exciting discipline.

Participants work through the programme at their own pace, and can access the course materials 24/7. The course is suitable for beginners, and no prior knowledge of the topic is required. Learners who do have some experience in the subject will have many opportunities to share and deepen their knowledge and understanding.

Content Overview

In this course we cover the following topics:

  • What is archaeology? Exploring definitions;
  • Desk-based and archival research;
  • Field survey;
  • Excavation: strategies and techniques;
  • Archaeological recording;
  • Principles of archaeological photography;
  • Artefacts: processing and analysis;
  • Conservation issues: protecting world heritage;
  • Want to be an archaeologist? Getting involved.
Introducing Archaeology

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, participants should be able to:

  • Discuss the development of archaeology as a discipline, including major theories and approaches;
  • Evaluate the significance of key sites and archaeological case studies from a range of countries and periods;
  • Describe some of the key methods and techniques used in modern archaeological fieldwork, survey and artefact analysis;
  • Identify major current issues in the protection of important heritage sites;
  • Develop a personal action plan for becoming more involved in archaeology after the course.

Your Tutor

Dr. Mark Anderson holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in archaeology, and completed a doctorate in African archaeology at the University of Cape Town. He specialises in the anthropology of ritual and religion, the formation of complex societies, and the archaeology and cultures of Africa.

Mark is a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.

Mark Anderson

Course Details

Course Duration:The course is self-paced, but most learners complete within five to ten weeks.
Learner Support:Learners are fully supported by the tutor throughout the course.
Assessment:Assessment methods include quizzes, tutor and peer discussions, and short written tasks.
Award:Akkadium Certificate of Completion.