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Demonstration Module

The following material has been provided to offer a practical example of the IBL approach. The following 'module' is part of one of the modules that form the IBL assessment for ANTH 110 'Global Archaeology'. For ease, content has been extracted from the IBL Canvas site and posted below. In the actual assessment comprising of six modules in total, this module is more extensive and has additional material available for student synthesis. Each module has been designed to follow content presented and discussed within face to face lectures.  For the grading rubric and answers to this module, click on the link at the bottom of the page.

Image Source: Jones, M (Ed.) 2008 Geophysical Survey in Archaeological Evaluation.

Stage One (Survey)


Using the information in this module, the Council for Archaeological Research would like you to respond to the following questions:


The Council for Archaeological Research has awarded you $20,000 for your excavation, of which, you have allocated $7500-8000 for the initial survey and report. This report should identify both the probable limits of the site and the most suitable location for excavation.


Q1) What methods are you going to use for this survey and why?


Q2) In addition, please provide a breakdown of costs for this survey.  If possible, try to include the costs of de-turfing of your chosen excavation area within this allocation of the budget.


The following support material is located within this module and is intended to help guide you in this research. 


Support material (located in CE6):


1. Jones, M (Ed.) 2008 Geophysical Survey in Archaeological Evaluation. English Heritage/Wynndehams. Product Code 51430. (see pages 13 and 14 specifically)


2. A 2012 list of fees associated with hiring  survey equipment and necessary specialists.


3. A video summary of past excavations at the nearby site of Source de l’Yonne. This will give you a better idea of the nature of the archaeology in the area (click here). Please note; the Source de l'Yonne site is in an area that is currently wooded, but your area for investigation is an open field currently used for grazing.


4. A transcript of a conversation between you and one of your field archaeologists, discussing the nature of probable archaeology within the area.


Please e mail The Council for Archaeological Research with your response.  If your response is satisfactory, the Council for Archaeological Research will e-mail you with instructions for stage 2.  If the Council requires clarifications to your response, they will offer further advice and tips.


Bob: “So, what kind of site do we have here?”


You: "We think it’s an Iron Age/Roman transition site based on the Amphora that has been collected on the surface.  A Bronze Age coin was also found nearby, so there is a good chance that there is some earlier prehistoric activity going on also – it could be long-lived".


Bob: “Is that usual for this region?”


You: "Yes – we know about the main Bibracte site of course, from Caesar’s ‘Gallic Wars’ – but the whole region is dotted with Bronze Age and Iron Age sites, reflecting the peoples that lived here prior to the Roman expansion in to the area. It’s these transition sites that tell us about the process of Romanization: the cultural transition that occurred when the local communities were integrated in to the Roman Empire.  That was quite a different "discrepant" experience for each person involved; it could be favorable, and not so favorable!"


Bob: “So, what did these earlier pre-Roman sites look like?”


You: "Well, they are mainly comprised of enclosures, created by earthen banks and ditches, some up to a meter deep, and structures built from posts – so we see postholes, around 25-30 cm deep if the surface is as it was back then and has not been truncated and damaged by subsequent land use. The local geology is sedimentary with alluvial (river placed) deposits, so any of the large stones you see have been brought in from elsewhere.  We see sites with pits, filled with ‘rubbish’ (particularly animal bone) and fired pottery that may no longer have been useful, such as amphorae is often broken up and used for surface areas – which give out really nice signals for some non-invasive survey methods".


Bob: “Wow, you would never have thought that all of that was once here, in this quiet and peaceful field full of cows!”


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