20 Credits SPRING

Aims/Description: This module provides students with a theoretical and practical knowledge of experimental reconstruction and the diverse role it fulfils within wider archaeological practice. Major trends and developments in the study of craft, architecture and site formation are discussed with a focus on the historical role of experimental reconstruction. The module critically reviews current practice and explores possibilities for future practice. The module has a high practical content and students can be expected to engage in team projects. This unit aims to: - provide students with a theoretical knowledge of experimental archaeology and how it is has developed. - provide students with the practical skills and knowledge necessary to undertake a campaign of experimental archaeology; - show how experimental reconstruction relates to wider archaeological practice; - critically evaluate the historical development of experimental archaeology; - foster an appreciation of the central importance of experimental techniques in archaeology. - provide a framework for how experimental archaeology can be united with contemporary theoretical concerns so as to influence emerging syntheses within archaeology. By the end of the unit, a candidate will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of experimental archaeology in the following ways: 1. an understanding of the key issues surrounding the use of experimental archaeology; 2. an appreciation of the appropriate methods for making experimental observations; 3. how to use theoretical knowledge in the design of experimental simulations and reconstructions; 4. critical awareness with regards to the possibilities and limitations of experimental archaeology; 5. an understanding of how to assess and marshal evidence from experimental work. By the end of the unit, a candidate will be able to demonstrate skills in the following areas: 6. the practical skills associated with handling experimental materials; 7. the practical skills associated with conducting experimental reconstruction; 8. identifying key types of archaeological material.

Staff Contact: Roger Doonan
Teaching Methods: Lectures, Laboratory work, Independent Study
Assessment: Course work

Information on the department responsible for this unit (Archaeology):

Departmental Home Page
Teaching timetable


The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

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Teaching methods and assessment displayed on this page are indicative for 2021-22. Students will be informed by the academic department of any changes made necessary by the ongoing pandemic.

Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK