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The University of Southampton
Courses

ARCH3045 The Archaeology and Anthropology of Adornment

Module Overview

The impulse to adorn the body is as old as human history. This module explores the extraordinary variety of ways in which people have adorned their bodies in a range of archaeological and anthropological contexts, from body painting and tattooing, to the elaborate Yemenite costume and silver jewellery of the Arabian Peninsula. Teaching and learning will draw on a series of case studies from across the globe in order to explore key themes in the archaeology and anthropology of adornment including the role of the body in display, the social role of ornamentation and dress, and technologies and materials of transformation and adornment. In addition, students will participate in a museum field trip and practical sessions during which they will plan and design an object to ornament a body. These activities will facilitate students’ theoretical and practical understandings of the relationship between the body and the material culture of adornment.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Assimilate and evaluate different theoretical perspectives
  • Deploy independent research skills
  • Learn and apply new practical and theoretical skills
Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • A grounding in social theory appropriate to understanding the archaeology and anthropology of the body
  • An understanding of the ways that the body can act as a surface for display and the relationship between the body and material culture
  • An appreciation of the social role of adornment, particularly in relation to the construction and communication of social categories, including age (life-stage), gender, ethnicity, and status
  • Engage with different cultural contexts
  • Implement data research/collection to plan and design to a brief
  • A broad knowledge of technologies and equipment associated with bodily transformation and adornment
  • An awareness of the range of materials and forms of material culture used to adorn the body in different cultural contexts

Syllabus

The module will be delivered through a combination of weekly lectures, seminars, object design practicals, and a fieldtrip. The topics typically covered are as follows: - A range of social theory approaches used to understand the archaeology and anthropology of the body - The role of the body as a surface for display and ways in which the relationship between the body and material culture may be played out - The social role of adornment, particularly in relation to the construction and communication of social categories, including age (life-stage), gender, ethnicity, and status - Technologies and equipment associated with bodily transformation and adornment - The range of materials, techniques, and forms of material culture used to adorn the body in different cultural contexts

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures Seminars Practical design sessions Fieldtrip

TypeHours
Preparation for scheduled sessions30
Follow-up work25
Completion of assessment task15
Lecture14
External visits6
Wider reading or practice50
Seminar6
Practical classes and workshops4
Total study time150

Assessment

Formative

Practical

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Design  (2000 words) 50%
Essay  (2000 words) 50%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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