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Post Excavation - ARC00068I

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  • Department: Archaeology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Elaine Jamieson
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

This module offers a hands-on introduction to post excavation techniques and procedures and builds on the practical excavation skills gained during the archaeological field school in the First Year. Using records and materials from a departmental excavation, you will gain experience of all aspects of post excavation practice from data management and finds processing through to publication and archiving. The module aims to give students an understanding of the principles and approaches involved in this key stage of the archaeological process.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

This modules aims to:

  • To give students practical, hands-on experience of processing, organising and caring for primary data from an archaeological excavation
  • To explain the principles and approaches used to assess, analyse and understand the various classes of data generated by modern archaeological fieldwork
  • To provide students with the skills to communicate and disseminate post excavation results
  • To provide students with an appreciation of finds recording and illustration

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module the students should be able to:

  • Deploy accurately the practical abilities required to carry out preliminary classification of excavated materials with a view to further specialist assessment and analysis
  • Critically assess digital datasets from an archaeological excavation
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of archaeological assessment and post excavation analysis as applied to archaeological fieldwork
  • Communicate understanding through oral presentation

Module content

Post excavation is fundamental to archaeology, with significant discoveries more frequently revealed at this stage of a project than during the excavation itself. This module provides a practical introduction to the key methods and techniques of post excavation practice, with the various components explored through a combination of lectures, interactive discussions and hands-on workshops. Using materials from a departmental research excavation, you will develop skills in processing, recording and caring for archaeological materials, ranging from artefacts to environmental data. Practical sessions will introduce students to techniques for managing digital site archives, with lectures and discussion sessions exploring the assessment and analysis process. The module concludes with a focus on communication, dissemination and archiving and its role in ensuring excavation results are accessible to future researchers.

It should be stressed that this module will not turn you into an expert on the analysis of archaeological assemblages, but is intended to give you an understanding of the post excavation process and its application within professional archaeological practice.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Students will work week by week towards their summative assessment during their activities in class.


Task Length % of module mark
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Pre-recorded presentation
N/A 100

Module feedback

Formative: oral feedback from module leaders in class

Summative: written feedback within the University's turnaround policy

Indicative reading

Carver, M (2009) Archaeological Investigation. London: Routledge.

Roskams, S (2001) Excavation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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.