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MSc in Archaeological Science


Archaeology and Science (6 ECTS)

1st Semester

This module is about the basic principles, the theoretical background and the scientific methods applied for the analysis of the environment and the material culture of the past. It consistd of two broad units.

The first deals with environmental studies and focus on the reconstruction of past environments through the study of archaeobotanical, zooarchaeological and other bioindicators. Traditional approaches are critically presented and discussed and the notion of anthropogenic environment is introduced, as the result of the complex relations between humans and their environment in the past. The study of the environmental palimpsest contributes to the better understanding of the way humans perceived the world that surrounded them and the way they interacted with their environment.

The second unit concerns archaeomaterials, and deals with issues of material culture, such as the exploitation of raw materials, the chaîne opératoire (operational chain), the technology of manufacture, the life circle and the consumption of material culture, with special emphasis on objects made of clay, metal, stone and vitreous materials.

Both units discuss the research questions that concerns archaeologists, and the contribution of science in answering those questions.