Archaeological science is an exciting and rapidly growing area of archaeology, and is revealing new information about the past, as well as informing current heritage practices. In this module we will explore how archaeological science helps us to understand past cultures, drawing on case studies from around the world. Students say they find this module gives them a friendly introduction to scientific applications in archaeology.
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This module aims to:
Demonstrate how archaeology uses a range of techniques adapted from the physical, biological and earth sciences to better understand the human past, by examining case studies from around the world
Introduce some of the most recent and exciting scientific methods employed in archaeology and provide background information on techniques students may later wish to study in greater detail.
Prepare students to access and assess published research
This module will be taught through lectures by specialists in the relevant fields, with each week focusing on a different archaeological science technique or theme, such as scientific dating, forensic archaeology, palaeodiets, animal bones and artefact conservation. This module will also assist students in reading, understanding and critiquing archaeological science articles. Students will undertake a series of VLE activities surrounding accessing and reading academic scientific articles and will write a critique of a journal article for their formative and summative assessments. Workshops alongside the lectures will help students to develop their skills in reading and interpreting articles and help students prepare for their assessments.
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Formative: The marker will share written feedback with you in a timetabled one-to-one meeting and you will have the opportunity to ask further questions about how to improve your work before your summative assessment. It is important that you attend these feedback sessions to discuss your work and to gain a good understanding of how markers use Grade Descriptors to mark your work. If you are unable to attend the feedback session, your tutor will share the formative feedback with you digitally.
Summative: Written feedback sheets will be uploaded to your e:vision account (your personal University of York online services account) within 20 working days of the submission deadline, along with your overall mark for the module. There will also be a timetabled feedback meeting with the marker.
Brown, T.A. & Brown, Keri, 2011. Biomolecular archaeology, Malden, MA ; Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Renfrew, C. & Bahn, Paul G, 2016. Archaeology: theories, methods and practice 7th ed., London: Thames & Hudson.
Gokcumen, O. and Frachetti, M., 2020. The Impact of Ancient Genome Studies in Archaeology. Annual Review of Anthropology, 49.
Detailed reading for the module will be available via YorkShare (the University's virtual learning environment). When you have enrolled on a module, you will be able to access the full reading list.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses
The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.
Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.