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The University of Southampton

ARCH1005 Archaeological Methods for Fieldwork and Analysis

Module Overview

How do archaeologists find sites, gather data and proceed to make sense of archaeological traces? This module provides a detailed introduction to fieldwork methods and analysis, covering site prospection techniques (e.g., aerial photography and geophysical survey), the basics of environmental and maritime archaeology, the study of standing buildings, scientific dating techniques and excavation. The content is delivered through a combination of lectures and weekly practical sessions.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • How archaeological resources may be discovered.
  • Archaeological fieldwork and recording methods.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate archaeological knowledge claims based on fieldwork.
  • Critically evaluate field methods and field-based data described in archaeological reports.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Present diverse work as a portfolio.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand the principles of geophysical survey.
  • Understand the principles of surveying terrestrial and underwater sites and landscapes.
  • Understand principles of radiometric dating.


This module introduces you to the main field and laboratory techniques of practical archaeology. These include regional and site survey methods, the principles of excavation, dating techniques, environmental reconstruction and sampling, and the special requirements of underwater archaeology.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • Lectures • Laboratory sessions (practicals) • Demonstrations Learning activities include: • Self-Study

Practical classes and workshops20
Wider reading or practice15
Completion of assessment task88
Preparation for scheduled sessions15
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Greene, K. (2010). Archaeology: An Introduction. 

Hester, T., Shafer, H.J. and Feder, K.L. (1997). Field Methods in Archaeology. 

Renfrew, C. and Bahn, P. (2016). Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice. 

Drewett, P (2000). Field Archaeology. 

Barker, P. (1993). Techniques of Archaeological Excavation. 


Assessment Strategy

Assessments designed to provide informal, on-module feedback. Discussions during laboratory work, classes and demonstrations.


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (1500 words) 50%
Portfolio assignments  (1500 words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (1500 words) 50%
Portfolio of Learning  (1500 words) 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


There are no specific student costs associated with this module. Students may choose to purchase one or more of the core textbooks for the course, but they are not required to do so. Other equipment will be provided from Archaeology's stores as needed.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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