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From Concepts of the Past to Practical Strategies: The Teaching of Archaeological Field Techniques

Although several manuals on fieldwork techniques exist, and although most definitions of archaeology would specify excavation and fieldwork as the core of archaeological enquiry, From Concepts of the Past to Practical Strategies: The Teaching of Archaeological Field Techniques, Peter Ucko, Qin Ling and Jane Hubert, eds, is the first to undertake a comparative assessment of how such techniques are taught to university students in many different parts of the world. Buy this book

The book is the result of a three-day international conference held by the International Centre for Chinese Heritage and Archaeology (ICCHA) in Beijing in 2006. The contributors, who come from many parts of the world – Africa, Australia, India, Southeast Asia, South and North America and Europe –  present strong arguments on the core theme, concepts of the past, and describe fieldwork practices and teaching in their own countries.  This is a ground-breaking work both in its theoretical breadth and range of practical information.  It will be invaluable to students and teachers of archaeology and heritage management, educationalists and historians.

Contributors: J  O  Aleru, Brigitte Cech, Sarah Colley, Rafael Cruz Antillón, Caleb Adebayo Folorunso, Dorian Q Fuller, Luan Fengshi, Marta Luciani, Arkadiusz Marciniak, Timothy D Maxwell, Gustav Milne, Surapol Natapintu, Mike Parker Pearson, Dominic Perring, Innocent Pikirayi, Qin Ling, Stephen Shennan, B J Tubosun, Peter Ucko, Wang Tao, Gamini Wijesuriya, Seonbok Yi, Zhang Chi, Zhao Hui,  and Zhao Zhijun

Peter Ucko was Professor of Comparative Archaeology and Director of the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, until 2005. He continued his work until his death in June 2007.

Qin Ling is Lecturer in the School of Archaeology and Museology, Peking University.

Jane Hubert is Senior Research Fellow and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology at St George’s, University of London.


  • Contributors    9
  • Foreword | Zhao Hui and Stephen Shennan    11
  • Preface | Peter Ucko, Qin Ling and Jane Hubert    13
  • Colour Plates | 15-32

Part 1 • Background and Theory    33-86

  • Chapter 1    From Concept to Practice in Field Archaeology    | Stephen Shennan    35
  • Chapter 2    Early Archaeological Fieldwork Practice and Syllabuses in China and England | Wang Tao and Peter Ucko    45
  • Chapter 3    Field Archaeology Training at Peking University | Zhao Hui    77

Part 2 • Teaching of Fieldwork Methods    87-164

  • Chapter 4    Field Archaeology Training in China Set within a Global Context | Qin Ling and Peter Ucko    89
  • Chapter 5    Some Issues in the Training and Practice of Field Archaeology | Luan Fengshi    109
  • Chapter 6    Fieldwork and Training Methods in Field Archaeology  at the Site of Baligang | Zhang Chi    117
  • Chapter 7    The Challenges to Archeological Fieldwork Training  at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria         | C A Folorunso, J  O Aleru and  B J Tubosun    129
  • Chapter 8    Teaching Field Archaeology in Korea: Issues for the 21st Century | Seonbok Yi    143
  • Chapter 9    Archeological Field Training for a Variety of Different Types of Sites: From the Near Eastern Tell to the Prehistoric Settlement Camp | Marta Luciani    149

Part 3 | Assessment of Student Fieldwork    165-206

  • Chapter 10    Evaluating Student Fieldwork Training: A Review of Current Approaches within the UK         | Dominic Perring    167
  • Chapter 11    Assessment of Archaeological Skills: Implications for Theory and Practice | Sarah Colley    183
  • Chapter 12    University Strategies in Teaching Fieldwork Techniques – a View from an Independent Practitioner | Brigitte Cech    193

Part 4 | Increasing the Content 0f Fieldwork Training     207-254

  • Chapter 13    Archaeological Science in Field Training | Dorian Q Fuller     209
  • Chapter 14    Flotation Techniques and their Application in Chinese Archaeology | Zhao Zhijun    233
  • Chapter 15    Archive Awareness in Fieldwork Training         | Gustav Milne    239
  • Chapter 16    Conservation Awareness in Archaeological Training     | Gamini Wijesuriya    245

Part 5 | Archaeology as a World Affair     255-302

  • Chapter 17    Excavation Training in a Variety of Socio-Cultural Situations | Mike Parker Pearson    257
  • Chapter 18    Concepts of the Past and International Collaboration: An Example from Mexico | Timothy D Maxwell and Rafael Cruz Antillón    267
  • Chapter 19    Digging a Site, Nation beside Nation. The Case of Çatalhöyük, Anatolia, Turkey  | Arkadiusz Marciniak    281

Part 6 | The Public and Archaeology    303-328

  • Chapter 20    Public Involvement in Archaeological Excavations in Southern Africa | Innocent Pikirayi    305
  • 21    Recent Community Involvement in an Archaeological Site in Central Thailand | Surapol Natapintu     321

Appendix: Conference Programme    329

  • Index of Sites    333
  • General Index    337 | Buy this book


Author: Editor

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