Accessibility statement

Experimental Archaeology in Context

Module Code: ARC00087M

Module leader: Aimee Little


During this course you will acquire the theoretical skills required to engage and reflect critically on your own experimental research aims and objectives.

Experimental Archaeology (EA) is increasingly being used to address key questions in material culture research. These advances, alongside cutting-edge scientific techniques investigating the past function of artefacts, are enriching our understanding of object life histories more than ever before. During this module students will consider theoretical and ethical aspects of EA research, the differences between reenactment and EA, how EA can be employed to reconstruct artefact and house biographies, as well as the use of digital imaging and media as analytical tools and important forms of dissemination.

Classes will be structured thematically and involve student-led seminars with interactive activities embedded into some sessions.


This module aims to equip students with the essential theoretical skills required to critically reflect on experimental research and its application to the study of material culture.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of this module students should:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of why experimentation is a key aspect of artefact studies
  • Confidently discuss gender and ethical issues in EA research
  • Know the limitations of EA research
  • Show familiarity with current analytical approaches to the imaging of objects
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of experimentation in reconstructing artefact and house biographies
  • Be able to understand and critique key differences between reenactment and EA
  • Know the suitability of different dissemination mediums, including digital, for reaching target audiences in the Heritage Sector
  • Demonstrate skills in oral presentations, discussion and debate
  • Have transferable team working skills from small group work and oral presentations
  • Show comprehensive skills in producing powerpoint presentations and essay writing