The first archaeology (A251) mark is back already!

This is a course that certainly doesn’t hang around to let you admire the view. With a cut-off date of December 3rd, it was marked on the 6th.

Considering that it was my first history course since way before the A-levels I’m quite pleased with the mark. Actually, I’d have been moderately pleased with it even if I’d been doing history classes all along so definitely a decent start to the course.

At the moment, I’m in the midst of doing the TT280 ECA which requires a major change in style from the archaeology. There’s a major difference in the time I’ve been taking to do it too. So far, in the second day of working on it I’ve almost half of it complete vs somewhat longer to so the archaeology TMA.

The plan is that I complete TT280 over the next week or so, closely followed by the final question for SK185 and then it’s on to the second A251 TMA which is on the factors affecting the emergence of cities. It’s more explicit on this one that Internet references are required (which probably lost me getting on for 10% on the first one as I only added one at the last minute). The 1500 words isn’t split into two parts this time though you still need to consider old and new world sites which makes it quite a tight word limit.

Although I’m over half way through the reading for the course I’m still not sure whether I like it or not. The massive amount of reading makes for a feeling of not seeing the wood for the trees a lot of the time and in some sections it felt very much like sites were being listed just for the sake of listing them rather than furthering the argument. That reading volume also means that it’s very hard to keep a handle on the big picture and to keep in mind the sequence of events happening over the course of thousands of years and in any one of a half dozen or so separate regions. On the other hand, it’s been a fascinating journey ranging from the earliest farming in Mesopotamia around 12,000 BC through to, so far, Chinese empires in the first millennium AD.

I suspect that in practice this really needs to be a full credit course as it often feels like you’re just skating over the surface. That seems particularly to be the case with the Chinese empires which are into the historical period and for which there is oodles of documented history. For example, Confucius was only given a page when there have been entire books written on his works.

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