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The University of Southampton

HUMA2018 Landscapes of Conflict

Module Overview

This module examines the history of conflict in the UK and overseas between the 16th century BC and the 21st century with specific focus on battles and battlefields. In particular, it compares traditional historical narratives of individual battles on land and at sea with non-textual sources, including the physical landscapes of battlefields and the material remains that have been recovered on them. Areas to be considered include: • the complementary and/or contradictory nature of interdisciplinary source material (including historical and literary accounts of conflicts; archaeological surveys and excavations including retrieved artefacts and human remains) for specific conflict events and the challenges that this poses to scholarship; • the location of battlefields and the nature of specific conflict events as evidenced by historical accounts and landscape remains; • environmental changes to conflict landscapes between the date of the conflict to the present day, and the implications of this for our understanding of events; • the impact of battles on both combatants and non-combatants, and the involvement of non-combatants in the physical alteration of a battlefield after the event.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

1. to introduce you to diverse sources of evidence for the specific events of individual battles; 2. to facilitate critical abilities in the face of diverse and sometimes contradictory sources of evidence; 3. to encourage you to think both textually and spatially about past conflict events; 4. to familiarise you with the events of specific conflict events and their social and political contexts.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • the sources available within multiple disciplines (including History, Archaeology, Literature) for the study of battles and battlefields, and their complex and often contradictory nature;
  • how an interdisciplinary approach, including textual, spatial and material approaches, can aid our understanding of battles;
  • the importance of the landscape in understanding military strategy, and success or failure;
  • scholarly understanding of a number of specific battles and battlefields, and how this has changed through time and with different disciplinary approaches.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • locate and synthesise diverse sources of evidence for past battles and battlefields;
  • critique the available evidence to achieve a more complete picture of past conflict events.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • independently research a specific subject area, make arguments and draw conclusions based on highly diverse datasets.


This module is taught by means of sessions examining the primary methodological challenges connected to interdisciplinary battlefield studies. These issues are examined by means of a series of case studies analysing individual 16th- to 21st-century battles, including conflicts located both in the UK and abroad; this will include a small number of site visits to engage with specific 'landscapes of conflict'.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures will introduce the methodological challenges and approaches, principal sources of data and the individual case studies. Seminars will allow you to engage with the challenges of understanding specific conflict events by means of guided discussion. Site visits will facilitate your experience of one or more specific battlefields, to encourage engagement with both textual and spatial aspects of the evidence available to you for past events.

Wider reading or practice48
Preparation for scheduled sessions18
Assessment tasks50
Follow-up work10
External visits6
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Glenn Foard, Anne Curry (2013). Bosworth 1485: A Battlefield Rediscovered. 

Journal of Conflict Archaeology. 

Glenn Foard, Richard Morris (2012). The Archaeology of English Battlefields: Conflict in the Pre-industrial Landscape. 

Douglas Scott, Lawrence Babits, Charles Haecker (2007). Fields of Conflict: Battlefield Archaeology from the Roman Empire to the Korean War. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Case Study Analysis  (2500 words) 65%
Desk-based assessment  (1250 words) 35%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

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:

Field Trips

The main cost of field trips (e.g., transport) will be covered, but you will be required to provide any appropriate protective clothing, such as waterproofs, good boots, sun hats, sunscreen, and so on.

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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