93162 - Archaeological Theory and Practice: Key Concepts (LM)

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Archaeology and Cultures of the Ancient World (cod. 8855)

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will show acquaintance with the main trends of archaeological thought, from the earliest days to recent times. They will be familiar with important theoretical areas of contemporary archaeology, including processual and post-processual archaeology, the archaeology of identity and gender, and the relationships between archaeology, history and politics. They will know about central themes such as the evolution of strategies and methods of field research (excavation and survey), the representation and communication of archaeological data. The skills acquired will enable students to study different types of archaeological contexts starting from solid theoretical and methodological bases, equipping them to address the planning of field research and interpretation of collected data. Students will also be able to conceive different forms of presentation and communication of archaeological data, based on an in-depth knowledge of the many options existing in this field.

Course contents

This module, part of the course “Archaeological Theory and Practice”, will explore the main practical and theoretical issues in the field of archaeology.

The course will start by the outline of a brief history of the discipline, followed by the analysis of some of the most relevant fieldwork case studies (i.e. excavations, surveys and other kinds of archaeological investigations).

By the end of the course, students will be able to tackle archaeological data from a critical point of view, as much as to understand the theoretical bases which lay behind other scholars' fieldwork.


M. Carver, Making Archaeology Happen. Design versus Dogma, Walnut Creek 2011.

B. Fagan, N. Durrani, Bigger than History: Why Archaeology Matters, London 2019.

Teaching methods


Assessment methods

Details to follow

Teaching tools

The course will be organized in lectures held by the teacher himself. The teacher will make use of an overhead-projector, computer presentations and photocopies of the texts. All these tools will be available on-line on the web-page of the course, at the end of it.

Office hours

See the website of Andrea Augenti


Quality education Gender equality Sustainable cities Climate Action

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.