Institute of Archaeology
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Course description

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This core-course covers a wide range of themes, and provides a general introduction to maritime issues in an archaeological context. It comprises 20 x two-hour sessions held in the UCL Institute of Archaeology.

The Introductory sessions look at the development of the subject, and its methodological, theoretical and legal framework. Then a range of detailed Case Studies will be presented, wherever possible by the those directly involved with the work, drawing particularly (but not exclusively) upon recent project work in north-west Europe. These examples will include detailed studies of ships and harbours, coastal and submerged landscapes, as well as research on maritime material culture. That work, together with supplementary set readings, will form the basis for a series of discussion-based sessions, in which the wider issues raised by the case studies will be considered by the group in more detail. Students will thus be encouraged to explore how the topics and themes covered in the course relate to more general.

Aims of the course

This core course covers a wide range of themes, and provides a general introduction to maritime issues in an archaeological context. The introductory sessions look at the development of the subject, and its methodological, theoretical and legal framework.

A range of detailed case-studies will then be presented, wherever possible by the those directly involved with the work, drawing particularly (but not exclusively) upon recent project work in north-west Europe, but also drawing upon recent research in North America and Australia. These examples will include detailed studies of ships and harbours, coastal and submerged landscapes, as well as research on maritime material culture. That work, together with supplementary set readings, will form the basis for a series of discussion-based sessions in which the wider issues that are raised by the case studies will be considered by the group in more detail.

Students will be encouraged to explore how the topics and themes covered in the course relate to more general archaeological research. The course will also inform the formulation, research and writing of the associated dissertation.

Objectives

By the end of this course you should have acquired a good understanding of maritime archaeology, in particular:

  • A broad knowledge of recent and current research in maritime archaeology.
  • An ability to appreciate the range of evidence for the study of maritime cultures and communities, of the problems and possibilities of the integration of archaeological, geographical, historical, and iconographic evidence.
  • An understanding of the theoretical perspectives of maritime archaeology from the early development of the sub-discipline to the present day.
  • A detailed knowledge of specific maritime archaeological case studies.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course, students should be able to demonstrate:

  • An ability to evaluate evidence of varying quality and source.
  • An ability to correlate evidence for different aspects of coastal exploitation.
  • An ability to synthesise evidence from different sources, periods and areas.
  • An ability to evaluate and critique past and current theoretical approaches.
  • Knowledge of particular classes of evidence.
  • An appreciation of the benefits of integrating different types of data.
  • An understanding of particular case-studies.
  • An understanding of particular research traditions.
  • A recognition of the problems and limitations of the available evidence.
  • An ability to write effectively about research themes and problems.
  • An ability to talk effectively about research themes and problems.
  • An ability to structure and organise original enquiry into primary and secondary sources of evidence.

Teaching Methods

Teaching will be a mixture of interlinked lectures and seminars, lasting for 2 hours.

Seminars have weekly, assessed required readings for which you are required to submit weekly synopses of 100-150 words for each article/chapter in advance to the course coordinator by email AND as a cumulative hard copy at the end of term 2.


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