Get an introduction to studying archaeology, exploring exciting discoveries in the Vale of Pewsey, near to Stonehenge and Avebury. Join us at the University of Reading as we chart the progress of an archaeological excavation from dig to lab and beyond on this free online course.
Take a virtual field trip to the Vale of Pewsey
We’ll be showing you around our field school – a month-long excavation at the Vale of Pewsey, which is a relatively untouched site compared to its world-famous neighbours, Stonehenge and Avebury.
The Vale of Pewsey is an archaeological treasure chest and the jewel of its crown is Marden. Built around 2,400 BC, Marden is the largest henge in the country and one of Britain’s most important but least understood prehistoric monuments.
Every object has a tale to tell and we’ll investigate how archaeologists paint a vivid picture of what life was like in Neolithic times through the astounding assortment of discoveries made in this beautiful part of England.
Explore every aspect of archaeology
An archaeological excavation isn’t just turning up with a trowel to dig. Drawing on case studies from our field school, you’ll find out about every aspect of archaeology, from deciding where to dig to the collection, recording and storage of artefacts.
We’ll investigate excavation techniques such as topographic surveying and scientific coring. And through distinctive discoveries at the Vale of Pewsey, we’ll take a closer look at what you can do with an artefact once you’ve found it.
Learn how archaeology can study the dead
One of the most intriguing and eye-opening finds of all is a burial site or grave, which provides fascinating insights into the past. In Week 2, we’ll examine the archaeological methods employed in the study of the dead. What can skeletal remains tell us about where someone lived, their occupation and their health?
No prior experience of archaeology is needed. This course is designed for anyone interested in studying an archaeology degree at university. However, anyone with an enthusiastic interest in archaeology is very welcome to join us too.
Archaeology has as its objective the recovery and revival of humankind past, and as its aim the rescue and preservation of cultural heritage. Archaeology is, among human sciences, the discipline with the strongest importance for the rediscovery, but also for the preservation and protection of cultural heritage, as Humankind’s universal patrimony. You will be introduced to the way we ourselves reflect on and are engaged with the study of human past: from the practical and material recovery of ancient traces in the field to the study and interpretation. On the other hand, the discovery of human past implies the correct conservation and presentation for both experts and general public: the study and protection of the past we share every day prevent from any possible destruction, misuse, abuse and thus cancellation of human memory.
The objective of this course is to provide an overview of the culture of ancient Rome beginning about 1000 BCE and ending with the so-called "Fall of Rome". We will look at some of the key people who played a role in Rome, from the time of the kings through the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire.
Which are the deepest roots of that mix of cultures that we use to call ‘Mediterranean Civilization’? Which are comminglings and exchanges which produced its most complete fruit, i.e. the city, a place for landscape-modelling communities? And which elements did contribute to build up that baulk of customs, ideas, and innovations which compelled to confrontation and hybridizations different peoples for millennia? What did it made, from pottery to metallurgy, from gastronomy to architecture, from art to religion, of a sea a cradle of civilization? Archaeology may help in disentangling such questions, seeking unexpected answers , by tinkering what ancient Mediterranean peoples left buried in the ground
Studying ancient - as well as medieval or modern - cities basically means telling local urban stories based on the reconstruction of changing landscapes through the centuries. Given the fragmentary nature of archaeological evidence, it is necessary to create new images that would give back the physical aspect of the urban landscape and that would bring it to life again. We are not just content with analyzing the many elements still visible of the ancient city. The connections between objects and architectures, visible and non visible buildings, which have been broken through time have to be rejoined, to acknowledge the elements that compose the urban landscape.
The course aims to offer a wide view of the history of art in Greece and ancient Italy between IX century B.C. and the Severian period, with specific attention to architecture, sculpture, painting and other arts and crafts of the Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic Greece and their reflection in Italy.
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