APPROACHES TO ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH

ARC3AAR

2018

Credit points: 30

Subject outline

In this subject students are introduced to the fundamental principles of archaeological research and how research programs are designed and developed. Particular attention is given to practical and technical issues. This involves following through the many decisions involved in designing archaeological projects from initial research design to publication, including the choice of particular field strategies, methods of recording and documentation, and the preparation of reports. This subject is designed for students wishing to make a career in archaeology and is a prerequisite for those wishing to enrol in Archaeology Honours

SchoolSchool of Humanities & Social Sciences

Credit points30

Subject Co-ordinatorSusan Lawrence

Available to Study Abroad StudentsNo

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Exchange StudentsNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites This subject is only available to students enrolled in Bachelor of Archaeology or with subject coordinator's approval.

Co-requisitesN/A

Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditions Core subject at third-year level in the ABAR - Bachelor of Archaeology.

Readings

Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsArchaeology in PracticePreliminaryBalme, J. & A. PatersonBLACKWELL PUB., MALDEN, MA 2007
ReadingsThe Archaeologist's Field HandbookPreliminaryBurke, H. & C. SmithAllen and Unwin

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Communicating with other team members and supervising staff about strategies for excavation and recording in the TARDIS

Activities:
Oral presentation of on-going excavation strategies to weekly workshops
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Creative Problem-solving
Critical Thinking
Speaking

02. Develop a self-conscious critique of field and laboratory strategies, recording, self and others

Activities:
A written critical evaluation in the form of a report on the activities of the team as well as one's own performance
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Critical Thinking
Writing
Inquiry/ Research

03. Develop effective team work skills through clear communication, organisation of tasks and responsibilities

Activities:
Develop a research strategy to the excavation of pre-selected squares in the TARDIS resource and write up as a report
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Writing
Speaking
Teamwork

04. Develop project management through allocation of time and funding

Activities:
Teams are allocated blocks of time and money to a range of project options, covering the fieldwork, post-excavation and publication stages of the archaeological process
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Inquiry/ Research
Writing
Teamwork
Critical Thinking
Creative Problem-solving

05. Understand how research programs are designed and developed

Activities:
Write a detailed excavation report on the work carried out in the TARDIS and in other contexts. These will include the explicit descriptions of methods and approaches to that work
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Inquiry/ Research
Creative Problem-solving
Critical Thinking

06. Understand the basic technology and concepts in archaeological research

Activities:
Class exercises, practical work, literature review
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Inquiry/ Research
Writing
Critical Thinking

07. Write a major report on excavation and analysis of archaeological materials that are grounded in primary data

Activities:
Keep a detailed field note book that describes, tracks & evaluates daily activities on an archaeological excavation and artefact analysis
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Creative Problem-solving
Writing
Inquiry/ Research
Critical Thinking

Subject options

Select to view your study options…

Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2018, Semester 2, Day

Overview

Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorSusan Lawrence

Class requirements

Block Mode Week: 34 - 35
Six 8.0 hours block mode per study period on weekdays during the day from week 34 to week 35 and delivered via face-to-face.
"The subject will be taught intensively Wednesday-Friday in Week 34 (22-24 Aug) and Wednesday-Friday in Week 35 (29-31 Aug)."

Assessments

Assessment elementComments% ILO*
Field notebook (2000-word equivalent)This will consist of the completed context forms, photographs, measured plans, journal and artefact catalogue that comprise the record of the excavation. Students will complete the work in their excavation teams and hand it in at the end of the intensive teaching block. This work will be assessed as a group project.20 01, 02, 03, 04, 05
Research design (1,500-word equivalent)Students are asked to plan how they will carry out the excavation of the part of the site assigned to their group. The assignment will assess the students' abilities to understand the relationships between intellectual aims, excavation methods, and data collection strategies. It will be handed in at the start of the excavation and assessed individually.20 05, 06, 07
Site report (3,000-word equivalent)Students must use the primary data recorded in the field notebook to construct a coherent account of the excavation. The assignment will assess students' abilities to analyse and interpret data, to use the data to address a set of research questions, and to place their interpretation in the context of a relevant body of research. The report will be handed in after the mid-semester break and will be assess40 04, 06, 07
Literature review (1000 words)Students must provide a synthesis of key texts that consider the justification for archaeological excavation.20 05, 06