Module HTA-3123:
Supervising Archaeolog FieldWk

Module Facts

Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Prof Raimund Karl

Overall aims and purpose

This module is an advanced archaeological field school aiming at providing students with practical training in supervisory tasks in field archaeology. Taught mostly in the field during an ongoing research and training excavation run by the School of History, Welsh History and Archaeology in North West Wales, students will be introduced to various supervisor and officer roles on an archaeological excavation. They will learn how to monitor, supervise, direct and advise more junior staff on site in conducting archaeological fieldwork while keeping on top of records keeping and maintaining a safe and healthy environment on site. Under supervision, students will assume for a number of days each various supervisor and officer roles on site, from context officer, drawing officer, photo officer, finds officer, sample officer, surveying officer, health and safety officer, trench supervisor, site visitor guide, environmental sample post-processing officer, finds post-processing officer, plan digitization officer, report writing officer, and up to deputy site director. Another important aim is to train students to take responsibility on site for decision making processes in excavation-, recording-, staff management- and health and safety-related matters. In addition, we will examine relevant excavation-related subjects on a theoretical level, including stratigraphic theory and practice, the use of GIS and CAD applications in archaeology, UK archaeological heritage legislation, and the planning and financing of excavation projects. Field trips to sites of different periods in the area will provide students with an increased understanding of the archaeology of the region and how the site excavated during the field schools fits into that wider archaeological picture.

Course content

Practical skills: Archaeological fieldwork supervision: maintaining records and taking responsibility for decisions as a supervisor or officer on an archaeological field project in the roles of context officer, drawing officer, photo officer, finds officer, sample officer, surveying officer, health and safety officer, trench supervisor, site visitor guide, deputy site director. Archaeological post-excavation supervision: taking responsibility for decisions as a supervisor or officer on an archaeological field project in the roles of environmental sample post-processing officer, finds post-processing officer, plan digitization officer, report writing officer. Theoretical knowledge: Principles of archaeological stratigraphy, GIS and CAD applications in archaeology, UK archaeological heritage legislation; organising and financing an excavation

Assessment Criteria

excellent

An excellent student will have partaken fully in all supervision tasks and produced a full and competently produced set of records, clearly exceeding the minimum quality required by professional standards. S/he will have supervised the completion of a competent health and safety assessment. S/he will also have produced a complete and competent site report, demonstrating an outstanding ability to reflect on supervising archaeological excavation tasks.

threshold

A threshold student will have partaken in all supervision tasks and produced a full, if slightly flawed or incomplete set of records, demonstrating a basic ability to properly supervise archaeological fieldwork, despite not quite reaching the quality required by professional standards. S/he will have supervised a satisfactory health and safety assessment. S/he will also have produced a satisfactory, if slightly flawed or incomplete report, demonstrating a basic ability to reflect on supervising archaeological excavation tasks.

good

A good student will have partaken fully in all supervision tasks and produced a full and competently produced set of records, achieving at least the minimum quality required by professional standards, demonstrating the ability to supervise archaeological fieldwork. S/he will have supervised the completion of a competent health and safety assessment. S/he will also have produced a complete and competent report, demonstrating the ability to reflect on supervising archaeological excavation tasks.

Learning outcomes

  1. Present ongoing archaeology fieldwork to members of the public.

  2. Write archaeological reports describing and analysing the results of an archaeological field research project.

  3. Detailed knowledge of the responsibilities of supervisors and officers in archaeological excavation and surveying projects.

  4. Practical ability to take responsibility for decision-making processes on archaeological sites according to disciplinary standards regarding excavation, recording, staff management and staff and visitor health and safety.

  5. Detailed understanding of the responsibilities of supervisors and officers in archaeological fieldwork practice.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Healtht & Safety form 10
Skills development form 10
Portfolio of records 40
2500 word report 40

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

lectures (provided in the evenings or on weekends during the excavation in a suitable local venue, e.g. village hall; week 1: 2 hours on archaeological stratigraphy; week 2: 2 hours on GIS and CAD applications in archaeology; week 3: 2 hours on UK archaeological heritage legislation; week 4: 2 hours on organising and financing an excavation)

8
Fieldwork

archaeological fieldwork (daily practicals from c. 9-5, 5 days a week, for 4 weeks; training provided in archaeology fieldwork-related supervisor/officer roles: context officer, drawing officer, photo officer, finds officer, sample officer, surveying officer, health and safety officer, trench supervisor, site visitor guide, deputy site director).

152
Private study

private study (report writing)

20
External visit

field trips (Saturday each week, 5 hours each; week 1: early prehistoric sites in NW Wales; week 2: later prehistoric sites in NW Wales; week 3: Roman and early medieval sites in NW Wales; week 4: medieval to modern sites in NW Wales)

20

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • producing logical and structured arguments supported by relevant evidence
  • presenting effective oral presentations for different kinds of audiences, including academic and/or audiences with little knowledge of history
  • preparing effective written communications for different readerships
  • making effective and appropriate forms of visual presentation
  • making effective and appropriate use of relevant information technology
  • collaborating effectively in a team via experience of working in a group
  • appreciating and being sensitive to different cultures and dealing with unfamiliar situations
  • critical evaluation of one's own and others' opinions
  • engaging with relevant aspects of current agendas such as global perspectives, public engagement, employability, enterprise, and creativity

Core fieldwork techniques of identification, surveying, recording, excavation and sampling (archaeology subject benchmark statement 4.2, 2nd bullet point)

Core post-excavation/post-survey techniques such as stratigraphic analysis of field records, phasing and data archiving (archaeology subject benchmark statement 4.2, 3rd bullet point)

Resources

Resource implications for students

There are no resource implications for Bangor students. Since this is also available as a residential summer course for external students, such students have to pay for the module credits (if needed) and for the costs of their stay on the dig (currently calculated at £ 1,100 for British/EU students and £ 1,200 for overseas students for the 4 week course for the 2016 excavation season).

Reading list

Barker, P. 1993. Techniques of Archaeological Excavations. 3. Aufl., London & New York: Routledge.

Collis, J.R. 2001. Digging Up the Past. An Introduction to Archaeological Excavation. Stroud: Sutton Publishing.

Conolly, J. & Lake, M. 2006. Geographical information systems in archaeology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Drewett, P.L. 1999. Field Archaeology. London & New York: Routledge.

Eiteljorg II, H. 2002. The CSA CAD Guide for Archaeologists and Architectural Historians. CSA, Bryn Mawr, see also http://csanet.org/inftech/cadgd/cadgd.html.

Eiteljorg II, H., Fernie, K., Huggett, J. and Robinson, D. 2002. ADS CAD Guide to Good Practice. http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/project/goodguides/cad/ .

Harris, E.C. 1989. Principles of Archaeological Stratigraphy. 2nd ed., London: The Academic Press, see also http://www.harrismatrix.com/.

Harris, E.C. (ed.) 1993. Practices of Archaeological Stratigraphy. London & New York: The Academic Press, see also http://www.harrismatrix.com/.

Karl, R., Möller, K., Waddington, K. 2016. Characterising the Double Ringwork Enclosures of Gwynedd: Meillionydd Excavations, June and July 2015. Interim Report. Bangor Studies in Archaeology, Report No. 14. Bangor: Bangor University School of History, Welsh History and Archaeology, https://www.academia.edu/22700400/Characterising_the_Double_Ringwork_Enclosures_of_Gwynedd_Meillionydd_Excavations_June_and_July_2015._Interim_Report._Bangor_Studies_in_Archaeology_Report_No._14._Bangor_School_of_History_Welsh_History_and_Archaeology_2016.

Hunter, J. and Ralston, I. (Hg.) 1997. Archaeological Resource Management in the UK. An Introduction. Pbk. Ed., Stroud: Sutton Publishing.

Lynch, F. 2001. Gwynedd, Covering Gwynedd, Isle of Anglesey and Western Conwy. 2nd revised ed., Cardiff: CADW.

NPPF. National Planning Policy Framework. London: DCLG 2012.

PPG 16. Planning Policy Guidance 16: Archaeology and Planning. London: DCLG 2000. http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/NR/rdonlyres/4664C64A-DDD6-4E66-AA89-6B4BAA7E3499/0/PlanningPolicyGuidance16Archaeologyandplanning_ id1507144.pdf.

PPS 5. Planning Policy Statement 5: Planning for the Historic Environment. London: The Stationery Office 2010.

Roskams, S. 2001. Excavation. Cambridge: University Press.

Schofield, J., Carman, J. and Belford, P. 2011. Archaeological Practice in Great Britain. A Heritage Handbook. New York: Springer.

Waddington, K. 2013. The Settlements of Northwest Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.

Wheatley, D. & Gillings, M. 2002. Spatial technology and archaeology: a guide to the archaeological applications of GIS. London: Taylor & Francis.

Wilkinson, P. 2007. Archaeology. What it is, where it is, and how to do it. Oxford: Archaeopress.

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: