By the end of the module, students should be able to:
This module builds on the first year module Field Archaeology where students have been introduced to artefacts through fieldwalking and training in the museum.
Through the term, students will develop skills of ceramic analysis through hands-on activities with archaeological ceramics. They will learn about the analytical process by working with ceramics and assemblages, moving through the steps in data processing in preparation for the team project in the following term. Students write their own report in the following term, so another key aspect of preparation will be in critiquing and interpreting specialist reports; we will spend time throughout the course discussing aspects of good practice in this regard. The formative assessment is designed to provide training and a similar summative assessment is handed in at the end of term. Students will be encouraged to keep a lab notebook during term and in week 10 they will be assessed on the practical skills they have acquired during practical sessions through the term, and their ability to “think on their feet” in a class test.
The module’s goal is to provide basic methodological knowledge and skills related to ceramic analysis and interpretation, that may then be built upon in the summer term’s ‘team project: ceramic analysis’. Practically, the students will work with several different kinds of assemblages in order to explore different technologies and organisations of production. Students will be introduced to basic analytical skills (description, measurement, identification of manufacturing methods, and dating) and how archaeologists use these to discuss production, exchange and use. Furthermore, students will become familiar with basic data sources used by specialists, including site reports, and specialist ceramics volumes.
Finally, the course will allow students to consider how the various facets of analysis may be brought together as finds reports, and, in turn, how such reports may best be integrated with site reports. This will allow critique and consideration of best-practice in publication, and will provide a valuable introduction for the work to be undertaken as part of the summer term’s ‘team project’ on ceramic analysis.
This module not only provides practical skills in a certain area but also gives students the opportunity to develop the following skills: