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Experimental Archaeology Design & Practice - ARC00074M

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  • Department: Archaeology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Gareth Perry
  • Credit value: 5 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23
    • See module specification for other years: 2021-22

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2022-23

Module aims

This module will equip students with the practical skills required to design, conduct and critique experiments related to material culture.

Module learning outcomes

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

Subject content

  • Apply an understanding of why experimentation is a key aspect of artefact studies

  • Use skills in experimental project design and implementation, with clearly stated aims, methods and consideration of variables

  • Demonstrate developed skills that will enable them to make a distinction between good and poor quality reporting

  • Grasp the application of different analytical techniques employed to study the use life of objects

  • Apply basic hands on practical experience in the methods of microwear and residue analysis

  • Make and use experimentally produced reference collections

  • Present an experimental research project to the wider public/research community as a short documentary-style film

Academic and graduate skills

  • Apply skills in oral presentation, discussion and debate

  • Use transferable team working skills in small group work and oral presentations

  • Utilise their project and time management skills

  • Demonstrate skills in producing powerpoint presentations and digital methods of documentation through the production of a short film

  • Be equipped with curation, public outreach/impact skills


Module content

During this module students will get hands on practical experience through the implementation of an archaeological experiment based on an outstanding question relating to a specific form of material culture. Practical work will be undertaken outdoors, fireside, at the YEAR Centre. Teamwork involving the production of a short documentary film based on their experimental research, and requiring close consideration of target audience, will be exhibited and judged at the end of the course. By which time students will be have acquired the theoretical and planning skills required to design, implement, record and critically reflect on their own experimental research project. An introductory presentation on the microscopic techniques of microwear and residue analysis, followed by a practical workshop involving microscopy will provide basic skills in these methods


Task Length % of module mark
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Video blog
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

Timing of written and verbal feedback is published on our deadlines pages:

Formative assessment

Summative assessment


Indicative reading

Reading accessible via module web page and VLE

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.