1 x 2-hour lecture weekly
1 x 1-hour tutorial weekly
Enrolment not permitted
1 of ARCH2101, ARCH2109 has been successfully completed
Assignment(s):essays; Examination(s) 40%.
Topic description
This topic provides an introduction to cultural theory and its application to anthropological and archaeological studies of human behaviour variability. Relations between culture and material objects employed within human societies will be emphasised to address the important links between symbolic behaviour and the material world. Film will be employed as the primary medium to immerse students within the various cultural realms common to all societies. Key subject areas will include age, gender, class, race, ethnicity, religion, culture contact and complex societies. Case studies are employed so that students can develop a sound understanding of the relationships between culture, material objects and human behaviour. All archaeological interpretation is guided and underpinned by specific theoretical positions and cultural theory is a dominant paradigm of the contemporary behavioural sciences.
Educational aims
This topic aims to:

  • provide students with a basic understanding of cultural theory

  • provide students with an appreciation of cultural diversity

  • address the relationships between culture, material objects, and human behaviour within various social contexts

  • examine the variety of social contexts in which culture provides a significant influence on human behaviour

  • develop critical thinking and written presentation skills
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic students will be able to:

  • recognise the relevance of cultural theory to various areas of archaeological research

  • critically evaluate the limitations of the use of cultural theory in the reconstruction of human behaviour in various temporal contexts

  • demonstrate an ability to address the impact of culture on human behaviour in the context of an essay addressing a particular case study