ARK4130 – 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 Laboratory work.

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

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.
  • Acquire a high level of practical skills in discerning different forms of materials and techniques for making and using particular objects, and be able to convert into writing a report on the practical results of laboratory group work


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.

Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

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 (master - to år).


Se schedule on the page for ARK2130

There will be 7 lectures and 5 practical laboratory assignments (based on 5 of the lectures). It is compulsory to attend at least 5 of the general lectures and all of the weekly labs. Any absence from compulsory Activity must be documented. The students have to submit 5 practical assignments during the course (obligatory). Each assignment shall be subject to the approval of the subject teacher and needs to be approved before the students submit their final essay.

This is how you apply for a valid absence from compulsory activities/compulsory attendance: Absence from compulsory Activity/attendance


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 with a limit of 5 pages of 2300 characters (space not included). The students must also hand in the 6 practical assignments which they have made during the course. The final grade will be based on the essay, but the students performance in the labs, based on their worksheets, will also be taken into account.

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 student is responsible for their own upload. Unreadable or unfinished documents will be graded thereafter.

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

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