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Prospectus

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Artefact Studies

Course
2010-2011

Compulsory attendance

Yes.

Prerequisites and restrictions

Having passed the course Materiaalkunde 1 and Materiaalkunde 2 or possessing basic knowledge of artefacts like raw material properties and manufacturing techniques.

Description

How do we study our artefacts in order to arrive at meaningful statements about past behaviour? Emphasis will lie on the relationship between empirical observations about the artefacts and the research questions that can be addressed. The focus will be the reconstruction of the life cycle of objects: what kind of raw material was selected, how was the object made, what was the investment of skills and knowledge, can we tell anything about its use, and is there any evidence for a special treatment of the artefact? To what extent do taphonomical processes play a role? There will also be considerable emphasis on the experimental approach of pottery technology and lithic studies. Lastly, attention will be paid to the role of experimental archaeology in public presentations like museums and open air centres. To this end an excursion to Archeon is included. The course is focused on ceramics (blok 1) and lithic materials (blok 3).

Learning outcomes

  • To deepen the knowledge about how objects are made and used, in order to recognise the empirical basis for the reconstruction of their life-history;

  • To gain knowledge of the relationship between the research questions and the empirical observations necessary to address these questions (what attributes do we need to study and why?);

  • To gain knowledge of and insight in the experimental and analytical methods with which to derive information from artefacts, as pertaining to ceramics and lithic materials;

  • To be able to critically review the role of experimental archaeology in public presentations like museums and open air centres.

Mode of delivery

  • Lectures;

  • Excursion;

  • Practical assignments.

Assessment

Written assignments.

Reading list

To be announced.

Time schedule

Course schedule details can be found in the bachelor 2 time schedule.