The course will examine the social, cultural and economic factors that have influenced consumption in the human past via a wide range of archaeological evidence from around the world. Dates: Monday 4 June – 2 July 2018 Times: 10.00 am – 12.00 pm Number of weeks: 5 Venue: Newarke Houses Museum, The Newarke, Leicester LE2 7BY Tutor: Stephanie Vann Price: £38.50 […]
Absolute dating, also sometimes called chronometric dating, is the process of determining an age on a specified chronology in archaeology and geology. Absolute dating provides a numerical age or range in contrast with relative dating which places events in order without any measure of the age between events.
In The Future of the Past: Dating archaeology using radiocarbon and particle accelerators Tom Higham of the University of Oxford examines some of the projects the Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit has been involved with over the last few years; from dating the Neanderthal extinction, to identifying the bones of Richard III and Alfred the Great.
Whilst in Carbon Dating: The Science of When Things Happen he discusses the way in which scientists establish the age of ancient and prehistoric artefacts.
Relative dating is the science of determining the relative order of past events (i.e., the age of an object in comparison to another), without necessarily determining their absolute age.
Various approaches can be taken to do this including (amongst others) seriation, typology, and the vole clock. This Time Team episode (season 7 episode 6) from Elveden in Suffolk includes an explanation of the latter.
Whilst it is not essential to do any background reading before the course begins, you may find it useful to do so. The reading list below contains books that you can read. You don’t have to read all of these and we don’t specify any that you must read. Instead, these are readings you can use to gain a preliminary understanding of topics, as well as to study in more depth those parts of the course you are particularly interested in. You may also want to take a look at magazines such as British Archaeology, World Archaeology and Current Archaeology.
Further suggestions about ways you can extend your understanding of topics through books, television etc may also be posted as appropriate here on the tutor’s personal blog.
Aitken, M. 1990. Science-based Dating in Archaeology. Longman. (Introduces several different science-based dating techniques used by archaeologists)
Bahn, P. 2012. Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. (Latest edition of popular, concise introduction to archaeology)
Drewett, P. 2011. Field Archaeology: An Introduction. (2nd edition). London: Routledge. (Leading text introducing principles of field archaeology)
Gamble, C. 2015. Archaeology: the basics (revised 3nd edition). London: Routledge.(A good general introduction to a lot of concepts)
Gater, J & Gaffney, C. 2003. Revealing the Buried Past: Geophysics for Archaeologists. The History Press Ltd. (A good introduction to archaeological geophysics by the Time Team ‘geofizz’ guys)
Greene, K. & Moore, T. 2010. Archaeology: An Introduction (5th edn). London: Routledge. (A good general introduction. You may also wish to check out the associated online resources: http://cw.routledge.com/textbooks/greene/).
Renfrew, C & Bahn, P (eds). 2004. Archaeology: The Key Concepts. Routledge Key Guides. (Collection of different chapters written by experts in their field)
Renfrew, C. & Bahn, P. 2016. Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice (7th edn). London: Thames and Hudson. (Aimed at 1st year undergraduates, but still very accessible to read and covers a lot of topics)
A new film produced by the University of Leicester showcases how archaeologists successfully lifted and conserved a Roman mosaic found in Leicester. During the winter of 2016/17, archaeologists from University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) excavated a large site in Leicester, on the corner of Highcross Street and Vaughan Way next to the John Lewis car […]
Seen archaeological excavations in the news? Want to know more about how archaeology works? This course is for you. We will look at how archaeologists know where to dig, what methods they use, how they know how old something is, and more. Everyone welcome; no previous knowledge assumed. Dates: Monday 29 January – 19 March 2018 Times: […]
Dig will run from 2 – 27 September at Castle Hill Country Park In September, University of Leicester archaeologists working with Leicester City Council and members of the public, will return to Castle Hill Country Park at Beaumont Leys to continue exploring a large scheduled ancient monument, Castle Hill, believed to be the remains of […]
Excavation open to the public on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 May. University of Leicester Archaeological Services are currently excavating the site of the former Stibbe factory, between Great Central Street and Highcross Street in central Leicester. The land is owned by Charles Street Buildings group, which has made the site available and financially supported […]
The Neolithic, or New Stone Age, was a period of cultural change when hunter-gatherers turned to farming and when many famous prehistoric monuments were built. In this course we will examine sites such as Stonehenge, Skara Brae and Newgrange to investigate what they can tell us about the people who built them, and compare them […]
LEICESTER BRANCH OPEN DAY at WEA 101 Hinckley Road, Leicester LE3 0TD Thursday 8th September 2016 10am – 4pm Come and find out what’s on offer and try some free sample sessions which will include: My Bard 10.00am-12.00pm Mandarin 10.00am-12.00pm Family History 10.00am-12.00pm Arts and Craft 1.00pm-3.00pm Richard III 1.00pm-3.00pm Using Social Media 1.00pm-3.00pm Tutors […]