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Concepts of Landscape - ARC00025M

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  • Department: Archaeology
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Kevin Walsh
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23
    • See module specification for other years: 2021-22

Module summary

This module is aimed at anyone who has an interest in how and why archaeologists move beyond the study of individual sites and artefacts with a view to reconstructing the full complexity of human lifeways in the past. The module comprises a review of appropriate methods and theories which allows students to consider the many ways in which people have lived and worked in the landscape.

Students are extremely positive about this module, emphasising the stimulating intellectual frameworks and the use of examples that illustrate the integration of methods and theory. 

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2022-23

Module aims

  • To provide a thorough grounding in theoretical and methodological approaches to landscape archaeology

  • To demonstrate the analysis and interpretation of the natural environment and cultural landscape

  • To encourage the critical review of published work on a wide variety of landscapes from all over the world

Module learning outcomes

  • By the end of the module, students should

  • achieve a critical review of interpretative and theoretical approaches to historic landscapes from a regional to a world-wide perspective.

  • gain an understanding of the evaluation and the conservation of multi-period landscapes.

  • understand a number of key themes through the exploration of varied landscape types

Module content

This module introduces a range of important themes and issues in landscape archaeology. We will consider the development of landscape archaeology and the theoretical frameworks that underpin our subject. We go on to address the key approaches and methodologies in landscape archaeology; looking at the development of mapping, through to the uses of geographical information systems. The role of environmental reconstruction is another important topic dealt with during this first term. Historic Landscape Characterisation is also introduced; the links between landscape archaeology and heritage management will be considered in this session. The methods and frameworks are illustrated by a range of examples either presented via lectures or discussed in seminars.  Ultimately, this module provides an overview of this dynamic and multi-disciplinary area of modern archaeology.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay - 3500 words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay - 3500 words
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback will be available within 6 weeks

Indicative reading

David, B. & Thomas, J. (eds.) 2008 Handbook of Landscape Archaeology. California. Left Coast Press.

Johnson, M. 2006: Ideas of Landscape. Oxford. Blackwells.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.