MAS4300 – Field-School in North- Atlantic Archaeology
Schedule, syllabus and examination date
The field-school will be a hands-on course in which students take active part in archaeological excavations and surveys in on-going projects in Iceland. There will be an 8 hour work day in the field, and in the evenings students will be expected to work on finds-handling, documentation etc. Excursions and evening lectures will be organized.
The course is based on cooperation with archaeological projects in Iceland, and will have to be adapted to the individual sites. The purpose of the course is to give the students basic archaeological excavation training, which first of all is a practical task. The students should acquire ordinary excavation skills, an ability to read simple stratigraphic situations and to distinguish between tephras. The students should learn modern documentation techniques, as well as finds-identification and -handling. A basic understanding of turf-houses, their construction, collapse and excavation is expected. In addition to the practical skills, the students should get a basic overview of current issues in North Atlantic Viking and Medieval Archaeology research. The students should learn to present complex events and historical relationships in an independent, critical and analytical context.
Deadline for applicants will be 13 April 2009. See additional information under Course content.
Formal prerequisite knowledge
Students should also have general basic knowledge in archaeology and/or related disciplines in anthropology or cultural history.
Recommended previous knowledge
This course builds on previous knowledge equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree in Western-European Medieval Studies or another Bachelor’s Degree with a major within a discipline that covers the Viking or Nordic Medieval period. Since this is a course aimed at international recruitment, the educational requirements are not formal or absolute. Students should at least have a basic training (1 year) in archaeology and/or related disciplines in anthropology or cultural history. Students with a research interest in the North Atlantic region, the Viking and Medieval periods will be preferred. Each course will be composed of students from different levels of education, preferably from different universities. Students must be admitted to a master program at the University of Oslo or elsewhere.
The course is not compatible with the old teaching programs.
No non-Norwegian residents will be required to enter Norway; you go directly to Iceland and back. There are two courses, one in Vatnsfjörður near Holmavík, and one at Hólar in Skagafjörður near Sauðarkrókur. They are based with two different archaeological projects: The Vatnsfjörður excavation is run by FSÍ - The Institute of Archaeology - and the teaching language is English. The Hólar excavation is run by Hólarannsóknin - The Hólar Project - and the teaching is in Scandinavian language. Both take Bachelor as well as Master students.
The fieldschool at Hólar takes place from Monday June 15th to Friday July 10th 2009.
The fieldschool in Vatnsfjördur takes place from Monday June 29th to Friday July 24th 2009.
You will have to pay your own fare from your home country to Reykjavík and back, plus accomodation in Reykjavík. The projects will arrange transport from Reykjavík, the cost of that is not yet decided. During the fieldschool, accommodation, food and daily is provided for. You will be expected to put in 8 hours per day in the field, plus post-excavation work, lectures and home-assignments in the evenings and week-ends.
Each student is required to keep a field diary, which should include a documentation of regular and special tasks, assignments and exercises. The field diary will be the basis for the evaluation of each student.
The diary is to be handed in on a CD to the course administration before the departure from the field school.
Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.