Methodology of the archaeological research (i) (2018/2019)

Course code
Name of lecturers
Patrizia Basso, Diana Sergeeva Dobreva, Fabio Saggioro
Patrizia Basso
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 2A dal Feb 18, 2019 al Mar 30, 2019.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

The course on Methodology of Archaeological Research aims to direct the students into the set of problems relevant to the archaeological research in order to obtain theoretical knowledge of the methodological and technical fundamentals of Archaeology, to be improved additionally by practical exercises during field work and laboratory practises.

1. To be familiar with interdisciplinary methods and approaches in Archaeology in order to read and understand the material culture data correctly.
2. To be aware of particular archaeological terminology of the field.
1. To understand the principal techniques and strategies in stratigraphy of the archaeological diggings.
2. To use correctly particular archaeological terminology.
3. To learn the variety of archaeometrical approaches that are usually used in the archaeological research (as durng the investigation of material culture evidence, landscapes, sites and so on).


The course aims to illustrate methods and approaches usually used during the field research and during the elaboration and historical interpretation of the archaeological data. In particular, the course will be structured into three separate parts, 12 hours each, teach by three different lecturers.

In the first part (by Fabio Saggioro) will be addressed questions related to the landscape archaeology and investigations on architectural remains:
- From remote sensing to survey;
- Stratigraphic analyses of the superstructures;
- Preventive archaeology;

In the second part (by Patrizia Basso) will be addressed the following themes:
- Technical aspects and operational models in field and in lab (stratigraphic excavations and surveys).
- The contribution of the scientific disciplines (geomorphology, paleo botanic, achaeozoology, dendrochronology, archaeometry and so on) to the archaeological studies.
- Methods of documentation (graphic and photographic) used during the archaeological excavations.

The third part (by Diana Dobreva) will be dedicated to the management of the archaeological finds recovered during the archaeological excavations and surveys. The course will deal with:
- Methods of collecting, quantification and documentation of the archaeological finds;
- Notes on preliminary classification: parameters of classification and analytical study of the pottery finds recovered during archaeological investigations;
- Typological analyses and context data management of the archaeological materials;
- The use of the archaeolological finds during the interpretation of the site: the problem of the residuality.

The meetings will be established as taught classes using Powerpoint presentations that will be get available to the students through the e-learning platform.
To the students attending the course will be offered the possibility to participate to the archaeological excavations organised by the lecturers during the summer.

Reference list of titles
Notes of the lectures and of the illustrations made available through the e-learning platform (Powerpoint presentations from the lesions). Furthermore, it’s expected the study of:

R. FRANCOVICH, D. MANACORDA (a cura di), Dizionario di archeologia, Roma-Bari 2000 (items Archeobotanica; Archeometria; Archeozoologia; Architettura, archeologia della; Ceramica; Classificazione e tipologia; Comunicazione archeologica; Contesto; Datazione, metodi di; Diagnostica archeologica; Disegno ricostruttivo; Geoarcheologia; Post-processuale, archeologia; Processi formativi; Quantitativa, archeologia; Residuo; Scavo archeologico; Scavo, pratica e documentazione).

The students who are not able to attend the course are expected to integrate their own competences also by selecting one of the following titles:
F. CAMBI, Archeologia dei paesaggi antichi: fonti e diagnostica, Roma 2003.
D. MANACORDA, Lezioni di archeologia, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2008.
A. CARANDINI, Storie dalla terra, Einaudi, Torino ed. 2010.
A. GABUCCI, L’archeologia come mestiere. Dallo scavo al magazzino. I materiali, EUT, Trieste 2013 (it’s free avalilable on

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
F. Cambi Archeologia dei paesaggi antichi: fonti e diagnostica Carocci 2003
A. Gabucci L’archeologia come mestiere. Dallo scavo al magazzino. I materiali EUT 2013
D. Manacorda Lezioni di archeologia Laterza 2008
A. Carandini Storie dalla terra Einaudi 2010

Assessment methods and criteria

The aim of the exam consists in testing the expected results of learning previously listed.
The exam will provide written examination that will include a test of 10 open questions, that in one hand, for the students that have participated to the taught classes one of these 10 questions will concern the academic events that will be organised in the framework of the course. On the other hand, for the non-attendance students this question will be based on the cited handbook.