Archaeological Conundrums

Ref: C2224558

Scientific and technological advances enable archaeologists to revise theories and re-interpret the past. We shall look at some debates - and 'conundrums' - in current archaeology: when, and why, did Britons first start farming and why did it have such a huge impact on settlement patterns? How can we even begin to know the meaning of ancient sacred - or ritual - sites? We know a lot about Roman Britain from surviving buildings but what about 'un-Roman Britain'? What did the Romans actually do for us? Every year someone, somewhere, discovers a hoard of treasure which makes the news. Were these hidden in times of trouble or ritual deposits?

Course aim

The course aims to examine how archaeologists re-interpret sites in the light of new evidence provided by scientific developments.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

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

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

  • Describe the changes that occurred in Neolithic Britain which led to a 'farming revolution' and the evidence that supports this.
  • List methods used by archaeologists to identify sacred sites in the archaeological record.
  • Discuss various theories used by archaeologists to identify what the Romans did for us.
  • Discuss arguments that suggest the lasting effects of Roman rule in western Britain enabled them to resist Anglo Saxon invaders..
  • To analyse sites where hoards of treasure have been found and discuss theories about whether these constitute unclaimed treasure buried in times of trouble, or ritual deposits.

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 study the handouts given out in class and to read books and journals to supplement the course.

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?

  • Students will be expected to bring paper, pens etc. to make notes.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

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 http://pearl.open.ac.uk/
  • Students could join an archaeological group and possibly undertake archaeological investigations.

Download full course outline

Archaeological Conundrums Course Outline

Enrolment Conditions

You can enrol online 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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