Church Archaeology

Course summary

  • Tue 18 Apr 2017 to Tue 20 Jun 2017
  • 7:00-9:00pm 10 meetings
  • Ewert House, Ewert Place, Oxford, OX2 7DD
  • From £195.00
  • 10 CATS points
  • Course code O16P652AHW
  • ppweekly@conted.ox.ac.uk
  • +44 (0)1865 280892
  • In progress - closed to new applications

Church Archaeology



Overview

This course will consider various contextualised themes related to the archaeology of the Church in Britain, c. AD 500-1550, including ecclesiastical architecture, sculpture, artefacts, landscape placement and burial evidence.

Though a common feature dotting the English landscape, as beacons for their communities which serve a special sense of place, churches still hold a certain mystique, with much of their history little known and buried underneath the surfaces. Yet, the more we understand the archaeology of a church - its churchyard, the surrounding environment, and of course the architecture itself - the greater our appreciation becomes of why a particular site is unique.

We will investigate various themes related to the archaeology of the Church in Britain, c. AD 500-1550, from the onset of the first missions, eg Columba, Augustine, etc. to the time of the Dissolution, including church architecture and layout, liturgical arrangements, ecclesiastical artefacts, churches in the landscape, monumental sculpture and burials.

Programme details

Term Starts:   18th April  

Week 1:          Intro/Archaeology of religion

Week 2:          Church architecture

Week 3:          Liturgical studies

Week 4:          Church fittings and artefacts

Week 5:          Churches in the landscape

Week 6:          Monastic landscapes

Week 7:          Cemeteries and burial

Week 8:          Ecclesiastical sculpture

Week 9:          Funerary monuments

Week 10:        Changing dynamics – conversion, consolidation and conquest

 

Background Reading List

Hadley, D., Death in Medieval England: An Archaeology

Aston, M., Monasteries in the Landscape

Gittos, H., Liturgy, Architecture, and Sacred Places in Anglo-Saxon England

Gilchrist, R., Gender and Material Culture. The Archaeology of Religious Women

Morris, R., Churches, Cathedrals and Chapels

McNeill, T., Faith, Pride and Works: Medieval Church Building 

Recommended reading

All weekly class students may become borrowing members of the Rewley House Continuing Education Library for the duration of their course. Prospective students whose courses have not yet started are welcome to use the Library for reference. More information can be found on the Library website.

There is a Guide for Weekly Class students which will give you further information. 

Availability of titles on the reading list (below) can be checked on SOLO, the library catalogue.

Recommended Reading List

Certification

To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee for each course you enrol on. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online. If you do not register when you enrol, you have up until the course start date to do so.

Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework, but only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.

Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS)

Fees

Course Fee: £195.00
Take this course for CATS points: £10.00

Funding

If you are in receipt of a state benefit you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

If you do not qualify for the concessionary fee but are experiencing financial hardship, you may still be eligible for financial assistance.

Concessionary fees for short courses

Tutors

Dr Anne Sassin

Tutor

Anne is currently Honorary Research Fellow at Canterbury Christ Church University and actively involved with research in the south-east, with a focus on monumentality in the landscape, ritual performance and sensory engagement with visual culture

Course aims

This course will equip students with an in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of major themes surrounding the church archaeology in Britain c. 500-1550, helping them to develop an appreciation of the techniques and methods adopted by archaeologists, evaluating and analyzing material culture and documentary evidence.

Course Objectives

1) Assess the various social, cultural and political processes behind the shaping of ecclesiastical landscapes

2) Analyze how settlement patterns, trade links and environmental conditions can affect the sites and monuments, creating a range of forms and regional variety

3) Appreciate the ways in which archaeologists combine the material evidence, historical sources and relevant methodologies to interpret the evidence

Teaching methods

A range of teaching methods and approaches will be used, including lectures based on powerpoint slides, handouts, group-led seminars and field-trips. Students will be encouraged to read designated material in preparation for each session and participate in class discussion, as well as to pursue individual interests with more specialised reading. Guidance will be given to assist students with preparation for seminars and the writing of coursework. A field visit will be taken to sites which will allow an insight into the monuments and archaeological landscape of local churches, via a long day-trip to sites around Oxford and Oxfordshire (a Saturday or Sunday date to be decided). 

Teaching outcomes

By the end of the course students will be expected to:

1) Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the different theories, practices and material evidence which comprises church archaeology in Britain

2) Evaluate different approaches to archaeological interpretation of church archaeology

3) Analyze a range of data, including monuments, sculpture, burials, artefacts, and sacred landscapes

 

Assessment methods

At the first session of the course, students will be provided with a coursework booklet which will lay out the assessment options. 

Option A, there will be a series of exercise options based on sites or artefacts covered in class, of which students will be required to choose six and prepare a written answer of approximately 250 words for each. 

Option B, students will select from a choice of assignments for which a written answer of approximately 1500 words is required.

Students must submit a completed Declaration of Authorship form with any piece of work that is part of the assessment criteria. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form.

Level and demands

Most of the Department's weekly classes have 10 or 20 CATS points assigned to them. 10 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of ten 2-hour sessions. 20 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of twenty 2-hour sessions. It is expected that, for every 2 hours of tuition you are given, you will engage in eight hours of private study.

Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS)