ARCH10010 Exploring Archaeology

Academic Year 2024/2025

Archaeology explores how people in the past created and inhabited worlds that were often very different to our own. Archaeologists gain unique insights into the human condition by investigating the material remains from past societies, enabling new understandings of what it is to be a person in many different contexts. This module will give you a general introduction to this exciting and engaging subject, enabling you to understand basic archaeological principles, methods and techniques. We will explore how archaeologists reveal the past – investigating how people lived, how they created and used objects, what they ate, what they looked like, and what happened at the end of their lives. It will also provide an overview on why Archaeology is relevant to our modern world. The module is taught by lively and well-illustrated lectures, small-group tutorials, a visit to a museum and a fieldtrip to an archaeological landscape, all providing you with practical opportunities to investigate ancient landscapes, objects and materials yourself. Exploring Archaeology is a useful module for students from across all subjects in the university, in particular social sciences, arts and humanities, earth and life sciences, medicine, veterinary studies, engineering and architecture.

Field trip date (to be confirmed) Saturday 21/10/2023. The field trip will require suitable outdoor clothing (hiking boots or similar, waterproof, etc.)

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of how archaeologists recover different types of evidence.
2. Review the variety of methods used in archaeological investigation.
3. Visit an archaeological site or museum exhibition and be able to adopt an archaeological perspective on what they experience.
4. Construct an essay on a topic in archaeology.

Indicative Module Content:

Introduction: what is archaeology?
What materials survive from the past and how do Archaeologists study them?
How do we find and investigate archaeological landscapes?
How were societies organised?
What happened at the end of their lives?
What did people look like?
What foods did they eat?
A case study
Using the past to understand the present.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Field Trip/External Visits


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures that include active/task-based learning.
Tutorials that include peer and group work, including a museum visit during one tutorial.
Critical writing skills developed through final assessment (essay).
Field trip to put new learning into practice. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:


Learning Exclusions:


Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Additional Information:
Archaeology PhD students (DRHSC001 Z117, DRHSC001 Z118) may audit only

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade

Not yet recorded.

Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Fortnightly Multiple Choice Quiz: feedback on completion of each quiz. Week 6 Project: written feedback within 4 weeks after submission deadline. Week 12 Essay: written feedback within 4 weeks after submission deadline.

CORE: Renfrew, C. and Bahn, P. 2020. Archaeology: theories, methods and practice (8th edition). London: Thames and Hudson.
UCD Library Ebook.

Greene, K. and Moore, T. 2010. Archaeology: an introduction (5th edition). Abingdon: Routledge. UCD Library Ebook. Hard copy also available in James Joyce, Short Loan Collection, 930.1 GRE.

Grant, J., Gorin, S. and Fleming, N. 2008 The archaeology coursebook: an introduction to themes, sites, methods and skills. London: Routledge. UCD Library Ebook. Hard copy also available at James Joyce, Short Loan Collection, 930.1028 GRA.

Scarre, C. (ed.) 2018. The human past: world prehistory and the development of human societies (4th edition). London: Thames and Hudson. UCD Library Ebook. Hard copy also available at James Joyce, Short Loan Collection, 930.1 SCA.

Carver, M. 2009. Archaeological investigation. London: Routledge. Hard copy available in James Joyce, Short Loan Collection, 930.1 CAR.
Name Role
Dr Jess Beck Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Joanna Bruck Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Helen Lewis Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Ms Cara McDonnell Tutor
Grace Rinehart Tutor