Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Directed Reading & Research!

In conversation with one of my sisters on the weekend, I found out about a free online course offered by Newcastle University via Future Learn. The course, Hadrian's Wall, tugged at my lifelong but unrequited interest in archaeology and I quickly followed the link my sister sent me and signed up! It is a six week course (starting last week, but it was easy enough for me to catch up) completely online, using written, visual and video aids to discuss all aspects of Hadrian's Wall -- it's architecture, social aspects, history, warfare, politics, etc.


Essentially the course is directed reading where the course participants can choose their own level of commitment -- you have the opportunity to interact with other students via a chat feed, take quizzes, do further reading (in each section there is further recommended reading). A visit to Hadrian's Wall has always been on my wish list and now I feel like I am getting closer to it.


While I was on the Future Learn website, I also signed up for two additional courses! "Shipwrecks and Submerged Worlds: Maritime Archaeology" is a four week course, starting next week, which is offered by the University of Southampton.


My visit to the archaeology museum in Antibes last year piqued my interest in maritime archaeology. Antibes was historically an Ancient Greek harbour and nearly everything at the beautiful little museum was found in the sea nearby from sunken ships. I loved this corner of the museum with all the barnacled storage vessels.


The third course I signed up for does not begin till Jan 2015 and is also a six week course: "The Archaeology of Portus: Exploring the Lost Harbour of Ancient Rome". Again, it is offered through the University of Southampton. I know there is some madness to my methods (it's not like I am lacking in things to do!) but these courses are giving me some directed reading and who knows how it will eventually manifest itself in my other work. It's all very exciting to me!