Archaeology is the study of past human societies through the investigation of material remains – from the tiniest fragment of a pot found in a ploughed-up field, to a fresco painted on a wall of a villa in Pompeii, to the mightiest of monuments such as Stonehenge or the Colosseum in Rome.
For the AS, students will study two units. Unit 1 is ‘The Archaeology of Religion and Ritual’, a unit which introduces students to the subject through the study of one of its most important and interesting themes. Students study a number of specified objects and sites from across Prehistoric Europe.
In the second AS unit, students are introduced to the basic skills andmethods of the practising archaeologist. They are taken through the various stages of site investigation, from the formation of sites, through discovery, recording, excavation and dating, to interpretation. They are also introduced to the language of practical archaeology and to site reports.
In the second year students produce a personal study on a site or museum collection of interest to them which is worth 40% of the mark. Students will also study World Archaeology which not only covers themes in archaeology across various time periods, but also current issues in archaeology such as repatriation of artifacts and community archaeology. This is examined in the June of the second year and is worth 60% of the grade.
Subjects that link particularly well with this course are classical civilization (ancient history), history, politics, science, art, technology, geography, sociology and religious studies. To be successful in this course students should feel relatively confident in their
ability to read, assimilate new information, and complete extended pieces of writing.
As part of a wider programme the course provides an excellent basis for progression to a wide range of careers and/or university courses.