Recovery and Interpretation of Archaeological Data ARCH4011

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

The course has four elements: 1. A brief introduction to the organisation of archaeology in Britain and its legislative basis; 2. A consideration of the application and processes of interpretation involved in the main modes of site discovery and non-invasive investigation; 3. An examination of the excavation process, with a particular focus on techniques of recording and stratigraphic analysis; 4. The recovery, recording and analysis of artefacts and ecofacts.


Two hours per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into Archaeology, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes.

Excluded Courses





Coursework: one 1500 word excavation critique (25%); one Formal report (25%) 

Examination: one two-hour examination (50%) 

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ provide a basic understanding of the methodology and practice of field archaeology, in order to foster awareness of both the strengths and limitations of field data; and

■ to provide an understanding of the variety of ways of analysing and interpreting that data.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course students be able to:

■ demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the organisation of archaeology in Britain and the various legislative & research frameworks which govern it;

■ select appropriate means of discovery and identification of archaeological sites within their landscape context from the range available;

■ evaluate and understand the application of various approaches to the excavation, recording and analysis of archaeological sites;

■ apply appropriate approaches to the interpretation and analysis of artefacts and ecofacts from the range available.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.