Rituals, Romans, Ruffians

Ref: C2224561

People are fascinated by Stonehenge and other prehistoric monuments - how can we find out what they were for? We'll look at some interpretations and try to make sense of these sites thought to have ritual significance. Roman Britain has been well documented because they left durable buildings - but what about 'un-Roman' Britain? Their culture was far more durable and even managed to prevent incursions by Saxons in post Roman Britain. Was poverty and sickness a sympton of moral malaise or poor government? How were the poor and sick treated by society and how can archaeologists find evidence of lower class setlements?

Course aim

This course introduces students to three different types of archaeological investigation: prehistoric ritual/sacred sites, the impact of Roman rule, and how were 'ruffians' (the poor and sick) treated.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • List the main features which would identify a site as 'ritual'.
  • Discuss ways in which ritual/religious sites can be expressions of wider cultural contexts.
  • Describe the differences between Roman and 'un-Roman' settlements.
  • Identify the evidence used by archaeologists to suggest patterns of Roman rule lasted long after the legions had left Britain.
  • Discuss reasons why it is so difficult for archaeologists to identify 'peasant' housing in medieval and post medieval Britain.

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 given handouts to support their learning but will be expected to read round the subject during the week.

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
  • Students will need to bring paper and pens etc. if they wish 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 may wish to undertake further study at a college or university. There may be opportunities to join archaeology clubs, go on digs etc.

Download full course outline

Rituals, Romans, Ruffians Course Outline


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
Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing