Archeaological Conundrums

Ref: C2227057

Due to face to face teaching being suspended unfortunately this course is not currently available for enrolment.

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The course seeks to analyse some of the recent discoveries in archaeology which have presented archaeology with 'conundrums' and a re-assessment of evidence and how it is interpreted - Stonehenge is a prime example, but there are others too, such as when and why did Britons start farming, what happened in the Dark Ages when the Romans had left, and what were castles really for? We shall look at the way that science and technology have changed perceptions of what happened in the past, most recently DNA analysis of pre-historic skeletons. Drones have enabled archaeologists to explore sites which were previously inaccessible, e.g. marshlands and coastal sites. Government legislation requiring archaeologists to examine all large building developments and the increase in metal detectorists have meant that many more sites have been discovered- there's plenty going on in archaeology - come and join us and find out more.

Additional information about this course

Half term TBC

Course aim

Archaeologists find, and record, sites and artefacts - then begins the 'difficult bit' - interpreting the site. This will involve questions such as 'how can we identify ritual sites?', what was this tool for? We'll look at some conundrums.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • Everyone is welcome and sharing experiences of sites visited with other students is to be encouraged.

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

  • list the criteria used by archaeologists to identify ritual and sacred sites.
  • assess the importance of science and technology in dating sites and artefacts, and tracing the origins of materials in locating trade routes
  • Analyse recent debates on when, and why, Britons first started farming (Neolithic period) and its subsequent impact on settlement patterns and lifestyles.
  • Describe the processes, especially following recent archaeological investigations, in explaining what took place at Stonehenge.
  • Assess the impact of Roman rule on Britain - and analyse what happened when the Romans left.

How will I be taught?

  • Most of your learning will take place in your class, but one or two sessions will be online using WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas, working by yourself or engaging with other students. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit:
  • 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
  • The tutor will provide handouts of sites being studied and students will be expected to read these and possibly do some individual research.

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
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided
  • The tutor will bring in books and journals relevant to the course and students will be able to borrow these.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • The course is suitable for absolute beginners as well as students who have more knowledge of archaeology - everyone is welcome.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Students may wish to undertake further study at college or via the internet. Many students go on to attending archaeology talks and visiting sites.

Download full course information sheet

Archeaological Conundrums

Is this course right for me? Request more information

Due to face to face teaching being suspended unfortunately this course is not currently available for enrolment.

We are launching a range of online courses shortly that may be of interest to you so sign up here to hear more.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • 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 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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