In year three you will choose to take a dissertation project in either Archaeology or Geography under the supervision of a member of staff. This is an opportunity for you to develop an original project based around a subject which you are passionate about, and it represents the culmination of the range of core practical and interpretative skills acquired during the first two years of the course.
For the rest of the year you select modules from the wide range of topics and periods offered within the Department of Archaeology and School of Geography, allowing you to develop advanced knowledge and skills across both disciplines.
Geographies of Money and Finance
This module explores the economic geographies of money and of contemporary processes of financialisation. Competing theories of money, and the changing landscapes of finance and the financial services industry are explored at a variety of spatial scales.
Spaces examined include the global financial system, the UK retail financial market, the City of London and the emergence of local currency systems. More specifically, the following core topics are covered:
- Financial crisis
- The history and theory of money
- Financial services and financial intermediation
- Globalisation and the international financial system
- The City of London as international financial centre
- Landscapes of retail financial services
- Alternative and imagined landscapes of money
The Cultural Geography of English Landscape
This module addresses issues of landscape and culture in England from the 18th century to the present day. Key themes throughout include landscape and national identity and relations of city and country.
The module utilises sources including archives, literature, paintings, prints, poetry, maps, film and photography.
The first semester focuses on issues of landscape and Englishness since 1880. Topics covered include tradition and modernism; competing notions of heritage; the cultural politics of land; and questions of citizenship and the body. The second semester focuses on landscapes of Georgian England. Topics covered include parks and gardens; colonial landscapes; agriculture; industry and science; towns; and transport and travel.
Throughout the module the focus on landscape allows the exploration of key areas of cultural history. A one-day field trip to Derwent Valley is arranged, full costs will be provided nearer the time of the trip.
This module considers the quaternary evolution, environmental and settlement history of the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, building explicitly on material covered in Environmental Change. The focus of the course will be evolution of the present climate and environment of the lowland tropics and the interaction between the natural environment and human societies.
The module is based on a 10 day residential field trip to the Yucatan and project work associated with this. Full costs of the field trip will be advised nearer the time of the visit. The main elements are:
- an overview of climate dynamics in the tropics, with particular emphasis on changes in the monsoon, the impact of sea level change and drivers of change from mid-latitudes
- critical review of methods of environmental reconstruction, dating techniques and sampling methods (waters, soils, sediments)
- archives of change relevant to the study area, primarily lakes and cave systems
- quaternary history of the Yucatan
- mesoamerican archaeology and cultural change in the Yucatan
- exploration of the possible role of climate in driving societal change
Global Climate Change
The module covers the following:
- A review of modern climate systems and forcings
- Climate modelling, projections of future climate change and their uncertainty
- Controversies around climate change, the argument between believers and sceptics and the ways in which climate change is communicated to and perceived by the public
- The impact of climate change on the world's physical and built environments, water and food resources, and human health
- Mitigation and adaptation to future climate change including the role played by policy markers and NGOs
From Petra to Palmyra: Art and Culture in the Roman Near East
This module focuses on the variety of local cults and cultures in the Near East (modern Syria, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, Jordan) under Roman rule. We will zoom in on a number of localities in order to look at social, cultural and religious interactions between Greeks, Romans, Jews, Arabs and various other local cultures through literary, epigraphic, visual and archaeological evidence. In the great urban centres such as Palmyra, Tyre, Damascus, we will observe the adoption of the trappings of Graeco-Roman urbanism and public life (from peristyle temples to honorific statues) and their significance within the Second Sophistic.
On the other hand, we will explore alternative “pockets” of non-Hellenisation such as the lava lands of southern Syria with their distinct style of art and architecture in black basalt. ‘Oriental’ gods feature prominently in this module: We will explore their great sanctuaries (Temple of Jupiter at Heliopolis-Baalbek, Temple of Bel at Palmyra, Temple of Zeus at Damascus) in terms of architecture and ritual, and investigate their iconographies (Jupiter Heliopolitanus, Bel, Baalshamin, Atargatis of Hierapolis and myriads of other local gods). In contrast to Judaism and Christianity, there is a colossal lack of literary sources for these gods, and as a consequence, our understanding of their function and character hinges on how their worshippers depicted them in reliefs, statues, figurines and paintings.
The Origins and Rise of Aegean Civilisation
In the early 20th century, British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans’s excavations at the site of Knossos on the island of Crete uncovered the remains of the earliest palatial civilisation in Europe. Knossos, the home of the mythical king Minos and the monstrous Minotaur, became the landmark of a new culture termed as ‘Minoan’.
Based on a combination of lectures and workshops, this module introduces students to the origins of the Aegean complex societies from the late 4th millennium BC and to the rise, apogee and fall of the Minoan palatial, state-level societies of the 3rd and early 2nd millennia BC.
The Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon England
This module considers the archaeology of England from the end of the Roman occupation until the Norman conquest. You will explore the question of the Romano-British survival and the formation of new Anglo-Saxon societies, evidence of pagan beliefs and the conversion to Christianity; on the development of town and rural settlement patterns, on the role of the church in society and on the Viking incursions and Danish impact on England.
Themes in Near Eastern Prehistory
You will critically examine themes in Near Eastern Prehistory. The themes take you from the development of agriculture, pastoralism and sedentism to the appearance of the first cities, states and writing. Drawing directly from current research, you will use case studies to examine these themes. You will use archaeological evidence to understand how these developments are reflected in social, religious, economic and political organisations of the prehistoric Near East. You will attend weekly lectures and seminars. After appropriate guidance, you will take part in learning activities includes:
- setting readings
- running classroom discussions.
You will receive feedback on these participatory activities. You will write an essay for your formal assessment.
Britain in the Later Roman Empire (c. 250-450)
This module examines Britain in the later-Roman Empire. It is a fascinating period of prosperity, integration, and sophistication. Yet it is also marked by rebellion, civil war, and the sundering of the links that had bound Britain to the continent so deeply for so long.
We will cover from the crisis that marked the middle years of the 3rd century, to the disappearance of Roman power in the early 5th, and the rapid economic collapse and social transformation that followed.
You will take an interdisciplinary approach, combining archaeological and historical evidence, and will be expected to familiarise yourself with a wide range of evidence.
We will examine:
- the political framework of the later-Roman Empire
- the textual and archaeological evidence for Britain’s society and economy
- the barbarian peoples who threatened and interacted with it
- the question of how it ended up leaving the Roman Empire
You will also consider the integration of different types of source material, thinking about Britain’s place in the wider world in a broader context.
This module is worth 20 credits.
The Silk Road: Cultural Interactions and Perceptions
This is a discipline-bridging cross-campus module, involving colleagues from across the School of Humanities.
The Silk Road will be presented as a range of archaeological, historical and scientific themes. Broad cultural themes will be balanced with the presentation of specific case studies, such as:
- The definitions of the Silk Roads
- Byzantine, Islamic and later medieval Silk Roads
- Luxury production
- Trade and exchange from the Roman and later periods
- Ming Dynasty links with the West
Scientific techniques for the analysis of materials, and their role in the interpretation of trade and exchange along the Silk Roads, will also be considered. This could be between, for example, China, central Asia, Scandinavia and the Middle East.
This module is worth 20 credits.