ARCH30920 Communicating Archaeology

Academic Year 2022/2023

What is an archaeologist? What do archaeologists do? How do the general public see the archaeological profession and archaeological sites and landscapes?

From Indiana Jones and Lara Croft to 'Time Team' and 'Ancient Aliens', the media is fascinated with archaeology. Iconic sites - Stonehenge, Newgrange, Orkney - are a constant source of media stories. However, in many cases the archaeologists are described as 'baffled' and facts are enhanced rather than giving a fair representation of the research process.

This module will explore public perceptions of archaeology and archaeologists. It will consider how we as a profession communicate with non-archaeologists, how archaeology is used (and abused) by a range of media, from museums to films to video games.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this module students should be able to:

1. Critically appreciate how archaeology is communicated to a range of stakeholders through various media - museum displays, printed media, films, television, AR/VR and video games
2. Identify and critique potential sources of bias within the ways archaeology is communicated
3. Better understand public perceptions of what archaeology is and what archaeologists do, and how we as a profession can manage these perceptions

Indicative Module Content:

Public perceptions of what archaeologists are and what they do; Archaeology in the news; Archaeology in the movies; Decolonising archaeology

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Small Group




Field Trip/External Visits


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Class discussion; Museum trip; Class video viewings/discussions; reflective learning. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Critically review an archaeological news story from a short list provided. Week 11 n/a Graded No


Continuous Assessment: Paper review: short review of one of a selection of three papers/chapters. Week 5 n/a Graded No


Continuous Assessment: What archaeologists do, what the rest of the world think we do? Week 3 n/a Graded No


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
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Online automated feedback

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Dr Anita Radini Lecturer / Co-Lecturer