The Process of Artefact Studies ARCH5042

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

To provide practical instruction in the principles, methods and application of qualitative and quantitative assessment of archaeological artefacts.


2 hour lecture per week x 10 weeks.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level.

Excluded Courses





2500 word essay at 30%, report critique 30%, artefact assessment exercise 40%

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ To provide practical instruction in the principles, methods and application of qualitative and quantitative assessment of archaeological artefacts.
In particular:

■ To introduce students to the processes of archaeological artefact analysis from excavation through post-excavation studies to final museum curation and display

■ To encourage an appreciation of the role and contribution of the archaeological finds specialist

■ To introduce the principles of and skills in archaeological artefact identification and recording and an awareness of the potential contribution of various analytical techniques

■ To develop an appreciation of the manufacturing processes and their analysis for various artefact classes

■ To develop an appreciation of the contemporary challenges in the conservation, display and presentation of artefacts

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students will be able to:-

- Identify the potential of different types of methodological approaches and their relevance to different classes of archaeological artefacts

- Communicate the salient issues of researching archaeological assemblages and an understanding of the various stages of analysis

- Construct critical understandings of the wider theoretical themes in current archaeological artefact studies

- Communicate the processes of artefact manufacture and their chronological and cultural significance

- Undertake the organisational and interpersonal skills to identify and investigate archaeological assemblages and assess their potential

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.