An Introduction to Archaeology

Overview

The Oxford Experience is a residential summer programme providing one-week courses in a variety of subjects aimed at non-specialists. It offers a choice of seminars each week over a period of six weeks.

Archaeology is defined as the systematic study of past human life and culture by the examination of remaining material evidence, such as graves, buildings, tools, and pottery.

This course looks at the progression from antiquarian interest to the establishment of archaeology as an academic discipline. 

It then considers the methodology of archaeology: what happens before an excavation begins?  What happens during an excavation? And what happens after an excavation is finished?

The second part of the course presents a brief introduction to the archaeology of Britain from the earliest prehistory to the end of the medieval period.  Finally, we look at a few case studies from archaeological sites. 

There will also be visits to several archaeological sites in the area.

Programme details

Seminars meet each weekday morning, 09.15-10.45 and 11.15-12.45, with afternoons free for course-related field trips, individual study or exploring the many beautiful places in and around the city.

Monday
From Antiquarian to Archaeologist: the development of archaeology as an academic discipline.

Why are you digging there?  Pre-excavation methodology and how sites are located.  Landscape archaeology.

Tuesday
Have you found anything?  Excavation techniques and on-site practice.

What happens now?  Post excavation techniques; scientific dating; paleopathology; statistics and computers in archaeology.

Wednesday
British archaeology from Prehistory to the Norman Conquest.

Thursday
Field trip to: Asthall Anglo-Saxon Barrow; Belas Knap Long Barrow; Rollright Stones; Deddington Castle; North Leigh Roman Villa.

Friday
British archaeology – the medieval period.

Case studies – examples from archaeological sites.

 

Field Trip

Destination:    Asthall Anglo-Saxon Barrow; Belas Knap Long Barrow; Rollright Stones; Deddington Castle; & North Leigh Roman Villa

Excursion Rating: Demanding
More than two hours' walk on even ground or up to two hours' walk on rough and/or steep ground or up lots of stairs and steps.

Fees

Description Costs
Programme fee (no accom–incl. field trip, lunch and dinner) £1130.00
Programme fee (with single en-suite accom, field trip and meals) £1625.00
Programme fee (with single standard accom, field trip and meals) £1440.00

Tutor

Mr David Beard

Tutor

David Beard is a freelance archaeologist and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland specializing in medieval archaeology, especially the Anglo-Saxon and Viking periods. He has been involved in continuing education for many years having taught for the Universities of Oxford, London, Essex and Ulster.

Assessment methods

There are no assessments for this course.

Application

Online registration closes on Friday, 1 May 2020 but please note that this course may be fully booked very quickly so early registration is recommended.

Accommodation

During your course, you will stay in typical Oxford student accommodation at Christ Church in buildings which range from the 18th to the 20th century.

The fee stated includes a bedroom with private bathroom facilities (shower, washbasin and toilet). Most are single but a few twins are available*.

There is also a limited number of standard rooms available, which all have their own washbasin and shaver point but shared bath and toilet facilities. Most standard rooms are single but there are a few ‘twin sets’ (two single rooms opening off a sitting room)*.

*If you wish to book a twin en-suite room or a standard twin set room each person should complete an application form and email it to us at oxfordexperience@conted.ox.ac.uk as these rooms cannot be booked online. (Forms may also be posted to us at: The Oxford Experience, OUDCE, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JA, UK)

Please indicate your accommodation preferences (either online or on your application form) together with a note of any mobility problems. Students should note that bedrooms are modestly-furnished, do not have air-conditioning and are arranged on a staircase of four or five floors.

We regret that we are unable to offer you accommodation at Christ Church prior to or following your course. Additionally, family or friends who are not enrolled in the programme cannot be accommodated in college.

Non-residential

If accommodation is unavailable in a particular week, we also offer places on a non-residential basis whereby participants can take classes and have meals at the college, having arranged their own accommodation elsewhere.

If you wish to enrol on a non-residential basis please complete an application form and email it to us at oxfordexperience@conted.ox.ac.uk as this option cannot be booked online. (Forms may also be posted to us at: The Oxford Experience, OUDCE, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JA, UK)