ARK2130 – From the Bronze Age to the Vikings and Beyond. Archaeological Analysis of Past Technology

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course provides a general understanding of metal and ceramic technology and seeks to relate manufacture and use of artefacts to their relevant social contexts in the Bronze Age, the Iron Age and the Medieval Period in the Nordic region.

Combined with insights from ethnography and ethnoarchaeology in various parts of the world, you will learn how items of bronze, iron and clay were manufactured and used, and gain insight into the artefacts’ find context on sites from the Bronze Age, the Iron Age and the Medieval Period.

The course has a prominent practical component where the theory form the lectures will be put into practice. In the laboratories prepared bags of selected materials and accompanying work sheets will be distributed. These weekly meetings are informal and a lively discussion of the selected material, the technology and its social links is encouraged.

Learning outcome

In this course you will:

  • Learn the most important aspects of metal and ceramic technology. Through the use of the chaîne opératoire approach and seeing objects as having biographies, you will be able to recognize main stages of production and to identify types of raw material used in the manufacture of artefacts.
  • Learn how to relate the use of objects to their social context. You will develop a thorough understanding of the various stages in metal and ceramic technology and the specific technology’s place within the wider society.
  • Obtain the relevant skills to scientifically study museum collections of bronze, iron and clay objects from the Bronze Age, the Iron Age and the Medieval Period in the Nordic region.
  • Be able to draw valid conclusions about production and the wider social aspects of manufacture and use of objects.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

The course is available to all students accepted to Arkeologi og konservering (bachelor).

There are 30 spots in the course.


Recommended previous knowledge

ARK1000 and ARK1030, or other introductory level courses in archaeology is recommended before taking this course. 


There will be 9 lectures and 5 practical laboratory assignments (based on 5 of the lectures).

It is compulsory to attend all the weekly labs and at least 5 of the general lectures. Any absence from compulsory activity must be documented and applied for. This is how you apply for a valid absence from compulsory activities/compulsory attendance: Absence from compulsory Activity/attendance


The students have to submit 6 practical assignments during the course. Each assignment shall be subject to the approval of the subject teacher and needs to be approved before the students submit their final essay.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


Each student writes an independent essay on a related topic, 5 pages of 2300 characters (space not included).

It is recommended to use as much of the syllabus as possible in the essay.

Hand-in procedures: The essay is only to be uploaded in Inspera, no printed version is needed. The file must be in pdf-format. The candidate number should be on every page as top text. You will find the candidate number in Studentweb.

The students are responsible for their upload. Unreadable or unfinished documents will be graded thereafter.

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit assignments in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English.You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

For explanations, fill in the form for this.

The deadline for asking for explanations is one week after the grade have been registered. Explanations are normally sent out within Three weeks after the grades have been registered, but over Christmas or summer it can take longer.

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language