ARCH41330 Hunter-Gatherers 2: producing knowledge

Academic Year 2023/2024

Building on the overview of key themes in our understanding of hunter-gatherers provided in HG Archaeology 1, this module considers the contemporary contexts in which we produce knowledge about hunter-gatherers and the implications this has for our practice. Students will engage with issues around the development of ‘ethical space’ for indigenous archaeology and decolonising perspectives, as well as the varied national contexts for and public engagement with hunter-gatherer archaeology.
We will explore the role of narratives and other forms of representation in presenting the hunter-gatherer past and consider what it means to practice hunter-gatherer archaeology at a time of global crisis. This module requires considerable self-reflection and a willingness to discuss challenging ideas.

This module includes a residential (two night) fieldtrip to Co. Mayo which will take place Fri 8th - Sun 10th March 2024.

Students are advised that the fieldtrip involves a full day walking tour on the Saturday. This covers c 10km in total and will last c 7 hours. Access to toilets and shelter is provided at lunch time. The terrain is open bog land with gentle slopes. Any students with potential health or access concerns should discuss this with the module coordinator as soon as possible - we have always been able to tailor the programme to individual's needs.

Students will need suitable waterproof walking boots, waterproof leggings and coat as well as warm clothes.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students will be able to demonstrate
- A critical understanding of the social context of hunter-gatherer archaeology today
- An in depth perspective on the relationship between archaeological information and other perspectives on the hunter-gatherer past
- reflection on how we present the hunter-gatherer past through narrative and other media.
- produced a substantial reflection on how these themes change your archaeological practice

Indicative Module Content:

Indigenous Archaeology & Decolonising Archaeology
Should we use the phrase "Prehistory"?
Ethnoarchaeology & Analogy
Oral Traditions and HG archaeology
Genetics and Linguistics
Time depth and time perspectivism
Big Pictures and Local Histories
Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology in a time of crisis

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Module is taught through combination of short lectures and extended seminars, with discussion and task based activities providing students with opportunities to explore complex topics in depth

Final review essay in pre-determined publication format with feedback available on drafts.

Group designed output on communicating the hunter-gatherer past. Format of output to be decided by the group. 
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
Essay: 4000 word publication format essay. Students will be provided with guidlines from a journal and required to submit their work in this format. Formative feedback will be available on a draft. Week 12 n/a Graded No


Group Project: The project asks students to develop a way of communicating the HG past to broader publics. The exact format is up to the group: blogs, posters, podcasts, videos. Week 7 n/a Graded No


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

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

- essay: formative feedback available on draft, and discussion/review in developing topic. Verbal & written feedback on final essay - group project: verbal and written feedback: informal formative feedback available in development of project.

Name Role
Dr Jess Beck Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Joanna Bruck Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Martin Moucheron Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Brendan O'Neill Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Tues 12:00 - 13:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Wed 10:00 - 10:50