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This programme explores experimental archaeology's potential as a powerful research method, an effective educational tool and an excellent medium for public outreach.

You will receive a sound practical and theoretical grounding in scientific use of experiments in archaeological research. The programme will give you practical experience of experiments related to archaeological and taphonomic processes and the production of a range of material culture types including ceramics, stone tools, metals and a range of organic materials.

The role of experiments and ‘reconstructions’ in education and public outreach is investigated through classes, practical activities, and field visits. Links with professionals, such as museums and independent establishments, provide opportunities for practical work based on a sound appreciation of theory.

The University has established an outdoor centre on its Streatham Campus to provide a location for both short and long-term experimental archaeology research. The programme involves practical work and fieldtrips and offers the opportunity for some modules to be studied online.

Programme Structure

Students on the MSc Experimental Archaeology study 180 credits in total. This includes a mixture of compulsory modules, optional modules and a dissertation.

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules can include:

  • Research Design in Archaeology
  • Experimental Archaeology
  • Material Culture
  • Dissertation

Optional modules

You can choose from a variety of modules on offer, some examples of these are:

  • Advanced Project
  • Field Study
  • Landscape Archaeology
  • Understanding the historic environment
  • Advanced Human Osteology
  • Zooarchaeology
  • Funerary Osteoarchaeology

The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Learning and teaching

This programme involves a high degree of learning through practice and experiments. Most of the formal classes that you attend will be based on a mixture of lectures, seminars, and workshops. The precise mix will vary between modules.

All members of staff are actively engaged in research, both in Britain and abroad, and regularly attend conferences, symposia and workshops. It is through this active engagement in the discipline that we are able to supply top quality teaching by experts in their field and as a result we have a 24/24 grading for our teaching from the Quality Assurance Agency.

We have excellent facilities for experimental archaeology including:

• experimental archaeology lab - this flexible laboratory space is the epicentre of our students' experimental activity and is a hard- wearing practical space in which we can carry out the unusual projects that only experimental archaeologists can dream up!

• material stocks - including sinew, feathers, hides, bones, antlers, wood, different stone types and plant materials

• pottery and kiln room, where students can work with clay, equipped with a potter's wheel and a large programmable electric kiln that can reach 1300 degrees Celsius

• workshop equipped with all the tools necessary to prepare materials for experiments

• knapping area - an outdoor space reserved for flintknapping and other activities best done in the fresh air

• experimental land - a substantial area of land on campus for long-term outdoor experiments.

Visit the MSc Experimental Archaeology page on the University of Exeter website for more details!





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