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Experimental Archaeology in Context - ARC00087M

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  • Department: Archaeology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Aimee Little
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2018-19

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2018-19

Module aims

This module aims to equip students with the essential theoretical skills required to critically reflect on experimental research and its application to the study of material culture.

Module learning outcomes

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

Subject content

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

  • Confidently discuss gender and ethical issues in Experimental Archaeological (EA) research

  • Know the limitations of EA research

  • Show familiarity with current analytical approaches to the imaging of objects

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of experimentation in reconstructing artefact biographies

  • Be able to understand and critique key differences between reenactment and EA

  • Know the suitability of different dissemination mediums, including digital, forreaching target audiences in the Heritage Sector

    Academic and graduate skills

  • Demonstrate skills in oral presentations, discussion and debate

  • Have transferable team working skills from small group work and oral presentations

  • Show comprehensive skills in producing powerpoint presentations and essay writing

Module content

During this course students will acquire the theoretical skills required to engage and reflect critically on their own experimental research aims and objectives.

EA is increasingly being used to address key questions in material culture research. These advances, alongside cutting-edge scientific techniques investigating the past function of artefacts, are enriching our understanding of object life histories more than ever before. During this module students will consider theoretical and ethical aspects of EA research, the differences between reenactment and EA, how EA can be employed to reconstruct artefact biographies, as well as the use of digital imaging and media as analytical tools and important forms of dissemination.

An especial focus will be placed on the dissemination of EA research within the heritage sector, making this module relevant to those wishing to pursue a career in Museum Education, Collections Management and other professional roles within the Heritage sector.

Classes will be structured thematically and involve student-led seminars with hands on/interactive sessions. A day long field trip has been scheduled.


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

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

Formative assessment

Summative assessment

Indicative reading

Reading lists are published to the module web pages or 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.

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.

Course changes for new students