7AAVMARC Material Culture and Archeology
Mondays 11.00am-1.00pm in the seminar Room - Semester 2 (20 credits)
This Course designed to introduce students to the major issues in the study of ancient material culture. It provides a broad grounding and allows students to critically explore the ways in which the material world interacted with past environments. It contains rich potential for reinterpretation and how traces of human behaviour are preserved in the physical environment.
This module will deal with archaeological data, which consists of any material remains or evidence of human activity. We will be asking the question such as what can archaeologists learn about a culture by looking at the objects left behind?
The students will be able to focus on the archaeological records of the excavation of Lepcis Magna as a source of examples. Some issues will be studied in depth such as the attributes of Archaeological data:
Matrix is other physical attributes surrounding archaeological material or data, which has a provenience.
Provenience is the place of origin of an archaeological artefact.
The Law of Association states that objects deposited in the same layer could be dated to same period.
Law of Superposition, Archaeological artefacts are found in stratified layers could be related to each other either physically, chronologically or both.
Context (primary and secondary) is the position of an archaeological find in time and space and an assessment of its association, matrix and provenience. Context includes an assessment of how an archaeological find got there and what has happened to it since it was buried in the ground.
We will be exploring other methods of recording archaeological remains and finds such as Photography and GIS (Geographical Information System).
Photography has been fundamental to archaeology since at least the late nineteenth century and it is still one of our principal means of primary data gathering as they say, “the camera never lies”. The student will be able have hands on experience of traditional and digital photography and to explore how digital photography is being incorporated into archaeological recording systems. You will be able to explore recording finds and sites using photography.
GIS has added an extra spatial dimension to the recorded archaeological data and has provided archaeologists with a powerful set of tools for management, analysis and research of cultural resources.
Using a GIS lab we will provide detailed coverage of the underlying theory of GIS with hands-on approach.
Students will be able to critically interpret the historic landscape by using GIS. Drawing on examples from regions in the classical world.
The representation of material culture and the role of Museums is a central topic in this course. This course examines the strategies and practices by which museums select, interpret, organise, display and conserve objects produced within diverse historical, geographical and cultural contexts. A field trip to the British Museum will provide students with a knowledge and understanding of representation and curating material culture.
The course will include visits and outings to archaeological sites and Museums usually in London with the aim of studying how to document archaeological findings.