|First Year Teaching: B.A./BSc. (Part I)
This section deals with those first year modules which I currently teach and which contribute to Part I of our degree scheme.
HS2117 - Great Discoveries in Archaeology (10 Credits)
This course is intended to introduce students to the history of archaeology and the great discoveries made in the course of the development of the subject. In tracing the outline of the subject the course examines some of the great theoretical debates in archaeology as well as the great archaeologists and their discoveries.
The course helps to set archaeologists and sites in their broader context so that when students learn about the sites, or excavators, in greater detail elsewhere in the course they are already familiar with the academic context. The module also paves the way for the History of Archaeological Thought module in Year 2.
Extensive use is made of contemporary images and quotations from the early excavators in order to give a flavour of the conditions of their times and of the contributions which they believed they were making to the subject.
There are no seminars for this course, but students are able to come and discuss aspects of the course and of their essays with me, and – as usual at Cardiff – there is one-to-one essay feedback for students after their work has been marked. The images from the module are also included in the Blackboard site.
Study Skills for Archeology. What Archaeology is.
Where should you look for information for this course? How should you prepare your essays? What exactly is archaeology? How might we define it?
Ancient Scholars and Antiquarians.
People have always encountered the remains of earlier peoples. This lecture will show how people in the past were aware of their predecessors, and will focus on Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Medieval conceptions of the past. By the 15th century, there was a growing interest in the past. A new group of people (‘antiquaries’) began to systematically look at the remains of the past. However, early antiquarian attitudes were heavily influenced by classical sources and the Bible, as well as colonialism. The focus here will be on the most influential antiquaries: Camden, Aubrey, Stukeley and Cunnington and Colt-Hoare and their contribution to the beginnings of archaeological investigation.
Origins of archaeology 1: developments in the 19th century.
The 19th century saw a number of radical changes in the way that people understood the past. We start with the creation of the three age system in Denmark by Thomsen. We then look at the discovery of the Palaeolithic, and the dating of the origin of mankind prior to 4004BC. We also explore the influences of geology and Darwinism. We end by considering the lasting impact of Darwin, and the beginnings of imperialism (Lubbock).
Origins of archaeology 2: key sites in Europe in the 19th century
In this lecture we look at the key sites excavated in Europe in the 19th Century, from prehistoric and historic sites in Britain, to the Swiss lake settlements, Hallstatt, Troy, Mycenae and Pompeii. Excavations at these sites enabled a number of other breakthroughs in understanding the archaeological record.
Origins of archaeology 3: the 19th century outside Europe
We now consider the development of archaeology outside Europe. There was considerable interest in Egyptian archaeology (the role of Petrie being key here and his work on seriation and ceramics), as well as exploration further afield in south America, north America, Africa and Asia.
By the early 20th century, the first coherent theoretical approach to the archaeological record began to emerge: ‘culture-history’. Here we look at some of key figures in the development of this approach to the past: Montelius, Kossina and most critically, Gordon Childe, and we explore the ideas that these people were advocating. We follow the story up by looking at archaeology in the early-mid 20th century and follow the ideas of some of the key proponents of this approach which included some of the great British archaeologists such as Piggott, Clark, Fox, and Hawkes.
The big digs: British prehistory in the 20th century
We begin by looking at the evolution of excavation techniques, pioneered by Mortimer Wheeler and others in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We then look at some of the key excavations in British prehistory, including Palaeolithic sites (Piltdown), Mesolithic sites (Star Carr), Neolithic monuments (Stonehenge, Avebury, Skara Brae, Cranborne Chase) and Iron Age sites (Glastonbury lake villages, Maiden Castle). We will see how these excavations were incorporated into a culture-historical understanding of the past.
The big digs: Europe and beyond in the 20th century
Excavations and discoveries elsewhere in the world had an important impact on archaeology. This lecture will look at some of these sites, from Europe, to Egypt and South America, and will include sites such as Olduvai Gorge, Knossos, Tutankamen and Macchu Piccu.
The radiocarbon revolution
This lecture looks at the history of dating techniques in the 20th century and includes varves, dendrochronology and finally radiocarbon dating. In particular, radiocarbon dating (C-14) had an enormous impact on world chronology and we will focus here on how our understanding of prehistory in Europe radically changed after the radiocarbon revolution.
An introduction to New Archaeology
Up until 1960 it was primarily new finds or new methods (such as C-14) which brought about changes in the way we understood the past. In this lecture we look at the theoretical development of ‘New Archaeology’ (processualism). Influenced in part by the range of new scientific techniques such as radiocarbon dating, a group of young scholars tried to think about the past in a rather different way. We will focus on the work of Lewis Binford in the US and Colin Renfrew in the UK.
HS2120 - Ancient Egypt: An Introduction (10 Credits)
This module was introduced partly in response to student requests to cover Ancient Egypt earlier in their degree and partly from my own interest in the subject.
The module provides an introduction to ancient Egypt and to Egyptian archaeology by looking briefly at the history of the Egyptian civilization, at its discovery and more importantly at how the Egyptians themselves saw their land, their neighbours and their world.
Extensive use is made of images and links between this and other modules such as Great Discoveries are made clear. There are no seminars for the course, but students are encouraged to discuss their essay topics with me and as usual at Cardiff there is one-to-one essay feedback for students after their work has been marked. The images from the module are also included in the Blackboard site.
Whilst the module is complete in itself, it also provides the background to more specialized modules in Egyptian archaeology in Part II (Years 2 and 3) as well as providing background for those students who want to write Independent Studies or Dissertations on aspects of ancient Egypt.
Lecture Topics Currently Include:
Study/Research Skills for Egyptian Archaeology
Background to Egyptology
Introduction to the key literature for studies of Egyptian Archaeology - with particular reference to materials available at Cardiff. This session will form the essential groundwork for essays.
The development of Egyptian Archaeology/Egyptology and its relation to the development of archaeology outside Egypt.
An introduction to the chronology of Ancient Egypt.
Geography (Physical and Symbolic) and Prehistory
Looks at the ‘Two Lands’ and their resources and examines how the earliest settlements came into being.
The Egyptian view of religion, and how it ordered their world.
Sacred Markings: Writing in Ancient Egypt
This lecture looks at why writing developed in ancient Egypt, how it was used and what it tells us, as well as what it ignores.
Pyramids: Their Religious and Social Function
Why and how were the pyramids built? What purpose did they serve? How should they be seen in relation to Egyptian society?
The “Amarna Heresy”
Akhenaten and his legacy. The ‘monotheism experiment’.
Towns and Daily Life
Amarna: A new town. Life in Egyptian towns generally.
Tombs and the Afterlife
An introduction to the tomb and its purpose, concentrating especially on the New Kingdom.