Archaeology BSc/MA/MA(SocSci)

Experimental Archaeology ARCH4064

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • 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

Short Description

Experimental archaeology is a key method in archaeology, covering the full aspect of materials, technology, landscape and sensory aspects of life in the past. It is way of moving from the known to the unknown, and of generating and testing hypotheses through controlled, documented experiments. This course adopts an enquiry-based approach to experimental archaeology through student engagement with planning, carrying out and evaluating a specific experiment.


1x2hr class per week over 10 weeks, as scheduled in MyCampus, consisting of 6 lectures, 6 seminars and 8 practical sessions. This is one of the Honours options in Archaeology and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Excluded Courses





Essay (2,500 words) - 35%

Structured experiment plan (2,200 words) - 30%

Poster (A3/max 500 words with images) - 35%

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

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 aims to: 

■ Appraise key approaches, history and methodological issues in experimental archaeology

■ Practice identifying relevant research questions and creating strategies to answer them

■ Plan, carry out, document and evaluate an archaeological research experiment

■ Participate in a team project informed by practice-led teaching

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Critically evaluate the opportunities and problems offered by using experimental archaeology as a method of research 

■ Develop skills in project design and management

■ Communicate research outcomes in a clear, structured and logical manner

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.


The practical experiment will only run during the allocated sessions. Students must attend sufficient of these sessions to enable them to complete their poster assessment.