This module introduces students to the development and range of archaeological thought. Many of the theoretical issues currently being debated in archaeology have a long history, and their placement in a broader social and political context is a necessary adjunct to a fuller understanding of where the discipline is now. In addition, the module will focus in more detail on a selected number of key topics for further exploration, such as the nature of archaeological assemblages, the concept of culture, the processual-postprocessual debate, gender, and the so-called ‘interpretative’ approaches. The module will also introduce students to methodological concepts and the techniques of research design, in preparation for their undergraduate dissertation.
You will gain a broad knowledge and understanding of archaeological interpretation, and its social and political context, and you will develop an appreciation of the complex relationship between archaeological theory and practice. You will also build an understanding of current issues and debates in archaeological theory, and of the terminology used in such debates, and learn how to appraise archaeological research and how to prepare a substantial research project or thesis.