Archaeological Science and Practice Seminar A: Life Sciences

larko2241  2022-2023  Louvain-la-Neuve

Archaeological Science and Practice Seminar A: Life Sciences
5.00 credits
22.5 h

This biannual learning unit is being organized in 2022-2023
Main themes
This biannual seminar introduces to the concepts and methods relating to the application of life sciences in archaeology. Each year, a choice will be made among the disciplines of archaeobotany and archaeozoology, biological anthropology and archaeothanathalogy. Ethnoarchaeology, its aims, methods, use in contemporary archaeological practice and criticisms of it may also be discussed.
Learning outcomes

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

At the end of these seminars, and depending on the choices made, the student will have received introductory training in the management, integration and analysis of palaeobotanical and archaeozoological data, on the one hand, and of human remains, on the other, useful for the complete interpretation of an archaeological site. This introduction will enable the students to solicit the necessary expertise and to collaborate with the experts within the framework of his/her professional career. The student might also have been made aware of the concept of Middle-Range Theory, a research strategy that uses ethnoarchaeology to enrich or challenge the interpretation of material remains found in excavations, by analogy with living traditions and customs.
Introduction to the disciplines of archaeobotany and archaeozoology, focusing on their their complementarity. Introduction to the modes of exploitation of animal and plant resources (indices of domestication, cultivation and breeding practices, consumption profiles). The sampling, recording and description methods, the study and interpretation of plant remains (seeds, fruits, wood, pollens, etc.), animal bones and invertebrate remains (arthropods, molluscs, etc.) will be presented through a theoretical approach and case studies. The archaeometrical research that can be carried out on these biorests will also be discussed.
Methods of conservation, biological anthropological description and measurement of the bone remains will be discussed through a theoretical approach and case studies. Theoretical and thematic questions related to the history of funerary archaeology may also be addressed, in order to introduce students to the problematic of interpreting funerary data. Some notions may be explored transversally, such as secondary burials, collective tombs, or ethics in funerary archaeology.
Theoretical benchmarks and case studies in ethnoarchaeology will be presented and discussed by guest speakers, inviting students to position themselves to the chosen themes.
Teaching methods
The seminar is divided into joint sessions (general introduction to the seminar, sessions in the form of lectures by one or more guest expert(s) who address(es) at least two different themes/disciplinary fields, selected annually) and individual/group work by the students. Some sessions take the form of a general introduction (concepts, methods of analysis, research questions), others focus on the in-depth presentation of specific case studies. Sessions can be prepared by preliminary readings and questions addressed by the students. Some sessions may, if necessary, take the form of a visit to a laboratory, workshop or museum. The course will also include practical work in small groups, in connection with the subject areas studied.
Laboratory methods may be trained during the internship LARKE2710, of which at least 5 working days are devoted to the management and enhancement of archaeological or natural science collections, the study of archaeological objects or materials, the processing and dissemination of results (exhibition, portfolio or educational project, etc.).
Evaluation methods
The evaluation of the annual seminar is based on an original essay. The theme of the work is directly related to the disciplines and fields of study that have been presented and discussed in the sessions proposed by experts. In the form of individual or group work, the student or group of students analyses an article or a pair of articles submitted to them and writes a critical report. It will be the subject of a detailed oral presentation by the students to their peers (individually or in groups), and followed by a discussion. If necessary, written support for the oral presentation must be submitted. Depending on the themes selected during the seminar, the evaluation may also involve the production of video clips, and/or the organisation of an exhibition.
Related to LARKO2710, 5 days of internship completes the training of the seminars LARKO2241 and LARKO2242. Its assessment is an integral part of LARKO2710.
Online resources
Dedicated Moodle space including documentary files and useful supports according to the activities organized.
Une bibliographie est proposée, en fonction des thèmes abordés.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Master [120] in History of Art and Archaeology : General

Master [60] in History of Art and Archaeology : General