More Archaeological Conundrums

Ref: C2224491

We shall look at the evidence which indicates the Egyptian's ability to harness the Nile and its subsequent importance in the development of an advanced civilisation, 3,000BC to 50BC; this will include agriculture, mineral exploitation, an advanced administrative system, and complex religious/ritual practices. The course will also analyse some aspects of archaeology in Britain - this will focus on industrial archaeology - why sites were chosen, how they can tell us about the technology of the time, and also the effect of industrialisation on society and the envrironment. We shall also look at evidence for what people ate and how food was processed, much of this being dependent on modern science and technology.

Course aim

The course aims to analyse different approaches used by archaeologists to interpret the past. Issues will include a study of ancient Egypt 3,000BC-50BC, factors which determine where industry was sited, and how we can find out what people ate.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • The course is suitable for everyone who has an interest in archaeology and history.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • List the factors which archaeologists identify as being crucial to the development of ancient Egypt as one of the earliest civilisations.
  • Analyse evidence for the interpretation of specific sites (such as Saqqara step pyramid, or the Tomb of Tuthankhamun) as being places of focus for belief systems.
  • Use archaeological evidence to assess technological developments at industrial sites such as Iron Age smelting or Devon tin mines.
  • Discuss the ways that archaeologists use evidence such as soil sampling or DNA to determine what people ate, and how they processed food.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • Students will be expected to read round the subject to expand the class learning; also to share this with other members of the class during class discussions.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • All materials will be provided
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • The tutor will bring handouts relevant to the topic under discussion, as well as books and articles for students to borrow.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • The tutor will explain archaeological techniques as the course progresses.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information
  • Students may wish to join archaeology clubs and societies, and possibly join a dig.

Download full Course information sheet

More Archaeological Conundrums


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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