This module introduces students to the archaeology of islands. The opening part of the module provides an overview of the conceptual issues surrounding the study of islands, including the physical geography of islands, theories of island colonisation, concepts of insularity, material adaption and evolution in insular environments, and social resilience and decline on islands. This section of the course is assessed through an essay. Following this, students will explore concepts through specific island case studies presented by staff and through directed leaning and seminars. This is assessed via short projects/ posters. The module has a substantial fieldwork component, so its latter part will focus on preparation for this, exploring in depth issues specific to the fieldwork destination. Students also receive training in basic recording methods prior to the fieldtrip. The fieldwork component is assessed through a notebook and presentations to the class on sites (with an accompanying prepared fact sheet).
You will build an understanding of themes central to island archaeology, including colonisation, insularity, adaptation and material evolution, climate resilience and collapse of island cultures, of practical aspects of archaeological evidence in the field, e.g. artefacts, monuments and buildings in their landscape settings, and of the relevance to current society of studying islands and of how heritage Is presented as part of contemporary island identities. You will also gain critical observation skills in the interpretation of monuments, architecture, building materials and artefacts.