Institute of Archaeology

Geoarchaeology: Methods and Concepts

This course will cover general concepts in geoarchaeology, the geology and geomorphology of archaeological sites in different environmental settings.

Sedimentary environments of archaeological sites (including alluvial systems, desert environments, coastal regions, glacial regions, caves and rock-shelters), site formation processes, laboratory and field procedures will all be investigated.

Aims of the course

This course is an introduction to the reconstruction of past landscapes, the use of sediment analysis in paleoenvironmental reconstruction, and the study of sediments in archaeological contexts. The aim is to provide a basic understanding of the role of earth sciences in answering archaeological questions, and the ability to critically appraise geoarchaeological reports and papers.


On successful completion of this course a student should:

  • understand basic techniques of sediment-recording, grain size analyses, and
  • sedimentological methods for determining past depositional environments associated with archaeological sites, theory and methods of site formation processes, and be familiar with basic analyses of sediment artefacts such as mudbricks and microartefacts.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course students should be able to demonstrate improved skills of observation and critical reflection on academic topics.

Teaching Methods

The course is taught through lectures, seminars and practicals. 

Course information

  • Code: ARCLG104
  • Credits: 15
  • Coordinator: Manuel Arroyo-Kalin
  • Prerequisite: This course does not have a prerequisite.
  • Handbook: open»

For registered students


  • Running in 2017-18

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