Describing courses

I emphasise again that the use of the Thesaurus for courses should be for descriptive reasons only, not to dictate content. There are limits to what can be included in any course (and we might want to make an upper limit for the number of 'points' that can be scored for an individual course), choices have to be made, and this should be up to the individual teacher and the department rather than some national body. We might also wish to have different types of course, e.g. a course in the European Iron Age, which would be judged in terms of general themes, as against specialist courses on the Iron Age archaeology of an individual country; our different categories can be allowed to overlap. This might be made up of a hierarchy of fields, from the general to the detailed.

As an example from my own area of speciality, here are my thoughts on the British Iron Age (the maximum I could claim for any aspect of the course would be level two, as this is a 3rd year undergraduate course):

Geographical coverage: Southeast England, Wessex, Southwest, Midlands, Welsh Marches, Midlands, East Anglia, Yorkshire, southern Wales, northern Wales, Lowland Scotland, Highland Scotland, Scottish Islands. For my course I would only claim Southeast England, Wessex and Yorkshire which I deal with in detail as examples, but individual students might claim another area if they write their essay on it.

General topics: history of research, chronology, trade, industrial production, continental relationships, social organisation, hill-forts, rural settlements, ceramics, metalwork, coinage, La Tène art, agricultural systems, environment. I would claim the first eight of these, but not the last six which I merely touch upon.

Artefact identification: ceramics, metalwork, coinage. I would claim none of these as I do not deal with artefact identification other than in passing.


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Last updated: Mon Jul 29 2002