Archaeological Conundrums Part 2

Ref: C2225507

Orkney is perhaps the premier Neolithic landscape in Britain - we'll look at recent developments and new interpretations. Cambridge arose as an academic town, but it is at a crucial geographic point in the Midlands/East Anglia - what impact has this had? Gardens are very 'British' but how did they develop from Roman times? This is a growing area of interest for archaeologists because of the wider impact of garden plants on the environment, of herbal gardens for medicinal use (including monastic gardens) and for the re-creation of historic gardens - even climate change is affecting garden archaeology!

Course aim

The course will analyse different approaches used by archaeologists to interpret the past. Science is crucial for Orkney, the geographic position/academia influenced Cambridge and environmental archaeology defines gardens.

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:

  • identify new archaeological discoveries on the islands of Orkney and discuss their impact on changing ideas of Neolithic settlements
  • identify potential problems that the increased visitor interest might have on island sites and tourism.
  • describe the impact of education and academia on the development of Cambridge as a Market town, and hub town for the Midlands and East Anglia.
  • describe the methods used by archaeologists use to identify gardens in the archaeological record.
  • discuss the impact of imported plants on the environment, agriculture and economy of 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 are encouraged to undertake private reading and visit sites of interest during 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?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • The tutor will bring handouts giving an outline of the topic under discussion with maps, pictures of sites and artefacts. There will also be books and Current Archaeology magazines which students may borrow.

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
  • Students may wish to join an archaeology group, visit sites of interest or even go on digs.

Download full course information sheet

Archaeological Conundrums Part 2


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  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
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  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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