THE MASTER OF ARTS IN ARCHAEOLOGY DEGREE (MARC)

Overview

1. PREAMBLE

1.1 These regulations shall be read in conjunction with the Faculty of Arts Regulations and the General Academic Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, hereinafter referred to as the General Regulations.

1.2 The Master of Arts in Archaeology Degree is a four semester block release programme aimed at widening the students’ knowledge base in the field of Archaeology and equipping them with the requisite skills.

2. OBJECTIVES

The general objectives are to:

2.1 promote high conceptual and inquisitive skills in archaeological issues.

2.2 develop competencies within specialist archaeological areas.

2.3 generate interest for research in archaeology.

 

3. CAREER PROSPECTS

3.1 Master of Arts in Archaeology degree programme is designed to enhance the competencies of graduates in the fields of human culture research, museum curation, cultural organisation management, environmental management, heritage consultancy, parks and wildlife management and university lectureship.

Entry Requirements

4. ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

4.1. To be eligible for the programme, an applicant must have a good first degree in any of the following:

(1) Archaeology, Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies

(2) History and Culture

(3) Anthropology, Ethnography, African Languages and Culture

(4) Visual or Fine Arts, Art History, Art Curatorship or approved equivalent from any recognised university

5. GENERAL PROVISIONS

5.1 The degree programme shall be four semesters with residential contact time each semester.

5.2 The programme consists of core modules, electives and a dissertation.

5.3 Students will study a total of twelve 4 credit modules plus a dissertation worth 12 credits.

To pass, a student is required to accumulate a minimum of 60 credits.

 

Assessment

6. ASSESSMENT

6.1 Continuous Assessment

Continuous assessment shall comprise of at least two assignments and shall constitute 40% of the final mark.

6.2 Examinations.

Candidates will be required to sit for a four hour examination in each module. The examination mark shall constitute 60% of the final mark.

6.3 In order to pass, a candidate should obtain at least 50% of continuous assessment and examination combined.

6.4 Dissertation

Refer to Section 8.0 of the General Academic Regulations.

7. FAILURE TO SATISFY EXAMINERS

Refer to section 9 of the General Academic Regulations.

8. PROVISION FOR PROGRESSION

To proceed from one level to another, a candidate should pass at least 75% of the modules in that level.

9. GRADING AND DEGREE CLASSIFICATION

Refer to section 21.2 of the General Academic Regulations.

10. PUBLICATION OF RESULTS

Results shall be published in accordance with the provisions of the General Academic Regulations

 

Programme Structure

11. DEGREE PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

Module CodeDescriptionCredits
Level 1 Semester 1
MARC 701African Archaeology4
MARC 702Interpreting Ceramics4
MARC 703Research Methods and Publications4
MARC 704Human Origins4
Level 1 Semester 2
MARC 706Spatial Analysis in Archaeology4
MARC 707Archaeology of Late Pleistocene and Holocene Hunter-Gatherers4
MARC 709Geographical Information Systems in Archaeology 14
ELECTIVE MODULE, CODES AND TITLES
MARC 705Anthropological Theory and the Philosophy of Rock Art4
MARC 713Theoretical Approaches in World Archaeology4
Level 2 Semester 1
MARC 711Rock Art of Africa4
MARC 712Archaeology and Ethnicity4
MARC 714Archaeometallurgy: Mining and Extractive Technology4
ELECTIVE MODULE, CODES AND TITLES
MARC 708Rock Art Management4
MARC 710Geographical Information Systems in Archaeology II4
Level 2 Semester 2
MARC 820Dissertation12

Other electives may be selected from the module offerings of the Master of Arts in Cultural Heritage Studies or Master of Arts in Museum Studies.

12. MODULE SYNOPSES

MARC 701 African Archaeology

This module seeks to promote a theoretical understanding amongst students which will facilitate new and more appropriate approaches to the archaeology of the African continent. This will ensure that students are equipped with a broad-based theoretical outlook, enabling them to re-evaluate past approaches in African Archaeology, and improving their awareness of the related major themes. Aspects to be analysed include; the archaeology of hominid evolution in Africa; societies and urbanism; the timing and growth of agriculture and socio-economic interaction during the Holocene.

MARC 702 Interpreting Ceramics

This module will examine the development of pottery studies in archaeology, emphasising on the various aspects involved in pottery studies, that is, pottery production, trade and consumption, and group identities. Students will analyse the technology of pottery making, from clay selection up to firing. The module will also examine the practice and purpose of diverse approaches involved in the processing, classification and interpretation of pottery.

MARC 703 Research Methods and Publications

The main aim of the module is to help students acquire the technical and practical skills for research purposes. Students would examine how research methodology is applied to address issues that flow from theory and to appreciate that there are common themes among the various methodological approaches that are utilized in Archaeology, Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies. Among issues that will be

addressed through readings, presentations and discussions are: the nature and scope of archaeological, Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies research, the nature of research questions and the design of research programs to address those questions.

MARC 704 Human Origins

The module seeks to examine the origins of modern humans in Africa as well as the cognitive implications of the new genus of Homo on cultural characteristics. The first dispersal of Homo outside of Eastern Africa will be modelled, that is, the colonization of the rest of the continent and the so-called out of Africa hypothesis. The module also seeks to establish the behavioural characteristics of humans in Africa giving a full description of the sedimentary and litho-stratigraphic record of the Rift Valley and Southern Africa where evidence of modernity has been documented.

MARC 705 Anthropological Theories and the Philosophy of Rock Art

This module seeks to examine theory and method in rock art studies. The module has a global focus, drawing on examples of the history and development of interpretative frameworks for rock art from around the world. It also seeks to examine both informed and formal approaches to rock art interpretation and consider anthropological as well as art historical theories. Issues relating to dating and chronology challenge the application of some of these approaches.

MARC 706 Spatial Analysis in Archaeology

This module provides a working knowledge of the statistical theory and methods used to comprehend spatial patterns, for example, the distribution of settlements across a landscape or densities of artefacts across a site or region. Students learn the fundamental differences between spatial and non-spatial analysis, the design of appropriate sampling strategies for fieldwork, Geo-statistical methods, predictive modelling through logistic regression and more spatially-sensitive versions (e.g. geographically-weighted regression) as well as the multi-scalar analysis of point patterns (e.g. K functions and related methods). More specifically, it addresses issues, techniques and research agendas such as the psychology of spatial representation, space syntax, landscape phenomenology, catchment analysis, Geographic Information Systems, cognitive maps and fractal mathematics.

MARC 707 Archaeology of Late Pleistocene and Holocene Hunter- Gatherers

This module examines key issues in human origins and development from the emergence of modern humans (ca.150,000 BP) until their transition to food production (ca. 12-6,000 BP). It involves a comparative study of the archaeological records from Africa, Western Asia and Europe. It critically examines some of the key issues in human ecology and behavioural evolution from the emergence of “cognitively-modern” humans in the early Upper Pleistocene until the beginnings of food production in the Terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene. The module reviews contemporary debates on issues such as the emergence of biological and behavioural modernity in Africa, the adaptations of hunter-gatherers to the harsh environmental conditions of the last glacial in Europe, the analysis and interpretation of Upper Palaeolithic cave-art, the emergence of food-storing, semi-sedentary hunter-gatherer communities in Africa and the Near East.

MARC 708 Rock Art Management

This module explores the intellectual as well as the practical challenges faced by those who manage rock art. The module, centres on the development and implementation of a management plan for a single rock art site or a group of sites in a given landscape. A section of the module focuses on the more technical aspects to rock art management such as the methods of recording and documenting rock art, the conservation measures that are available to arrest natural destructive processes and the measures that have proven effective in the control of human agents.

MARC 709 Geographical Information Systems in Archaeology I

This module introduces the principles of archaeological GIS, the techniques used to acquire, manage and visualise spatial data, as well as the most frequently used analytical tools. Students should acquire the necessary skills required for a complete GIS workflow from data acquisition up to data analysis thus ensuring cartographic output (map production). Students should be theoretically informed about market-leading GIS software and, and should be able to analyse and interpret spatial information, from the use of advanced spatial statistics, to more agent-centred computational models, to understandings of how humans make use of the spaces around them.

MARC 710 Geographical Information Systems in Archaeology II

This module builds on the prerequisite module Geographic Information Systems in Archaeology so as to provide students with a theoretical grounding and practical experience for GIS in archaeology. There is a strong emphasis on the manipulation of raster data and we consider interpolation techniques, landscape geomorphometry, view-shed analysis, cost surface analysis, hydrology, as well as 2.5D, 3D and temporal modelling. The module will make use of a wide range of both commercial and Open Source software, including ArcGIS, Autodesk Map 3D, GRASS, Idrisi, Landserf and TauDEM. Great emphasis will be placed on comparative analysis of different algorithms and software implementations thus particularly benefiting those who wish to use GIS primarily in an analytical capacity.

MARC 711 Rock Art of Africa

This module considers rock art interpretation as it is applied within Africa. It provides an overview of the principal rock art traditions of the continent examining the San art of southern Africa, the `schematic rock art zone’ of central Africa, the eastern African art in Tanzania, the celebrated art of Tassili and the surrounding area of the Sahara desert. The module uses the rock art of Africa to raise issues of debate that revolve around the recognition of style, sequence, composition, symbols and symbolism, the judging of relationships between figures, the application and relevance of ethnography, the role of gender, the rock surface as a context, shamanism, vision experience, neuropsychology, polysemy, multivocality and art and agency.

MARC 712 Archaeology and Ethnicity

The module seeks to create awareness on the aspect of ethnic identities of the makers of the archaeological records from the past such as stone tools, crude earthenware vessels and stone walled structures. On successful completion of this module a student should have a detailed knowledge of anthropological and archaeological approaches to ethnicity and identity, developing the capacity to critically evaluate

archaeological interpretations that link material culture to ethnic groups. Students should also be familiar with the major social theories relating to ethnicity and group identity using a range of archaeological and anthropological case-studies which explore the expression of ethnic identities in Zimbabwe and other African Countries.

MARC 713 Theoretical Approaches in World Archaeology

The module aims to review the recent history of archaeological ideas and to examine key general themes in current archaeology from a theoretical and comparative perspective. This module will provide a firm methodological foundation for archaeological interpretation, as well as a global perspective on the discipline. Set readings and case-studies will be used to evaluate the analytical processes developed by different schools of archaeological thought, and the range of approaches currently available in studying material culture, social complexity and differentiation, concepts of agency, and long-term cultural change. Students will have an understanding of current theoretical debates across a broad range of archaeology thereby enhancing their ability to formulate their own theories.

MARC 714 Archaeometallurgy: Mining and Extractive Technology

The module gives students a fundamental understanding of the basic chemical and metallurgical processes relevant to the primary production of metal, including ore reduction, slag formation, alloying and refining. On successful completion of this module students should have acquired an in-depth understanding of the fundamental physical principles of metallurgy at a level sufficient to undertake guided research in ancient metallurgy, e.g. for their MA thesis. While copper/bronze and iron/steel take centre stage as the most important metals, less common metals and alloys such as gold and zinc will also be addressed with examples drawn from Zimbabwe and other African countries.

MARC 820 Dissertation

All students are expected to write a dissertation of about 150 pages which is the result of an individual research project undertaken during the course. This can be on any approved topic relevant to the degree and to the taught components selected. Students are assigned a Supervisor to guide the main stages of the work.modular packages to meet specific demands of students and organizations.