Introduction to archaelogical methods
|Erasmus code / ISCED:||
|Course title:||Introduction to archaelogical methods|
|Name in Polish:||Wstęp do archeologii|
|Organizational unit:||Institute of Archaeology|
(in Polish) Obowiązkowe przedmioty dla I roku
|ECTS credit allocation (and other scores):||
|Type of course:||
Compulsory lecture - Ist year of the BA-studies
General introduction to archaeology - its subject, scope, methods and goals of archeological research (fieldworks - surveys and praparatory works, excavations; archaeological interpretations and compilations), preparing for further studies and giving a theoretical background for the participation in the field practices.
The lecture shall present the methods and tasks of archeological investigation, both in the field and in the further study. The main themes are:
1. The definition of archaeology; a short history.
2. Archaeology as history and archaeology as anthropology; archaeological thought – from early evolutionism to postprocessual approaches.
3. The variety of archeology – as defined by subject of investigation, and by methods.
4. Basic definitions and concepts (artefacts, features, sites and their types; archaeological culture).
5. Classifications in archaeology – typologies and seriations.
6. Time in archaeology – periodization, dating, chronology.
7. Archaeology in the field –location of sites, non-invasive investigation (geophysical methods, aerial photography, remote sensing), survey, measurement. Exploration and documentation of finds and features.
8. Basic methods of preservation (pottery, metals, organic materials) and storage of finds.
8. Site formation processes – deposition and post-deposition.
9.Archaeological stratigraphy – layers, levels, phases, sequences; Harris matrix.
10. Post-excavation study – catalogues, collections, publication.
11. Library querenda, citations; archival research (historical archaeology).
12. Auxiliaries to archaeology – humanities (history of art, ethnography, numismatics, epigraphy, metrology etc.)
13. Auxiliaries to archaeology – sciences (physical-chemical analyses, paleobotanics and archaeozoology; physical anthropology, etc.).
14. Scientific procedures (inductive, deductive; heuristics and hermeneutic; hypotheses and testing).
15. Basic legal regulations for archaeology, in Polish and international law.
16. Ethics of archaeology; protection of sites, archaeological heritage and historical landscape. “Archaeology and society” – popularization.
See the list in Polish section
Knowledge of/ability to:
- subject of archaeology; its methods and theory within the humanities and in comparison with exact sciences;
- basic terms and definitions, these specific for the discipline and these shared (history, cultural anthropology);
- research base/sources (from artefacts and features towards sites, archaeological cultures and complexes); their adequate description, analysis and interpretation;
- interdisciplinary scope of archeology ("auxiliaries" of archeology, both in humanities and exact sciences);
- main research paradigms in archaeology, as applied to specific approaches in description and interpretation, and in historical overview;
- material culture as the cognitive base for archaeology, in its raw material/technological, typology/classification and semantic frame;
- publicizing and exchange of information (in different forms and techniques), within the discipline and in the interdisciplinary scale;
- ethic, legal and social scope of archaeology; archaeological heritage as a part of the global cultural heritage; uniqueness and "unreproductability" of the archaeological sources/resources;
- "variety of archaeology" - acceptance and value of different research approaches, both these effecting from changing paradigms formed historically within the discipline, and these resulting from various cultural and social backgrounds.
|Assessment methods and assessment criteria:||
Evaluation method and criteria: memorization of definitions, concepts and procedures. Exam (in writing) – ca 40 questions, partly choice test, partly requiring a short answer; simple calculations for archaeological surveying.
Copyright by University of Warsaw.