Accessibility statement

Special Topic: Visual Media in Archaeology

Module leader:  Dr Colleen Morgan



In general, the purpose of the special topic is to allow students to study the archaeology of a well defined time, space or theme in a small seminar group. This enables them to come to grips with primary source material (material and written, as appropriate) and to apply to it the theoretical and thematic perspectives learned over your first and second years, so as to acquire a deeper knowledge of one aspect of the past than has been possible in more general courses.


In specific, Visual Media in Archaeology will provide students with an opportunity to explore the applications of visual media to the creation and interpretation of the archaeological record.  We will consider photos, maps, illustrations, diagrams, film, digital renderings, temporary and permanent exhibitions, and related 2D and 3D displays. 

The module will look at the theory and practice of archaeological visualisation not only from the perspective of public engagement, but in terms of its consequences for academic knowledge-making and the long-term funding and sustenance of the discipline. The lectures and seminars will focus on:

  • assessment of the widespread visual studies scholarship (both in and beyond archaeology)

  • historical review of the use of visual media by antiquarians and archaeologists from c. the 16th century onwards

  • critical analysis of case studies of different visual media in action, in various recent archaeological contexts

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students will be able to:

  • demonstrate a broad and comparative knowledge of visual media and their implications for creating, interpreting and re-presenting the archaeological record

  • critically discuss and assess the key theories, methods and debates, and their limitations

  • critically evaluate primary data and evidence/communicate an in-depth, logical and structured argument, supported by archaeological evidence 

Visual Media RH (218)