valkyrie-grey
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Hey! So I went to the visitor day at Birmingham today for ancient history and it really made me think. I'm not sure whether to do just ancient history or archaeology and Ancient history and was wondering if anyone had any advice to give?
I would like to be an archaeologist or researcher but was hoping that ancient history on its own would allow me to get a good depth for my knowledge on history first.

I would eventually like to do a masters in a different uni studying archaeology and the heritage of Asia so if anyone has any advice or comments, it would be greatly appreciated :confused:
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TheEmperor
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Do you want to study History or Pre-history? If it's history then do a history course but if you are interested in pre-history then archaeology is the course to study.

Just be aware, they are different disciplines - while with history all the facts are there and the evidence is also in literature and language sources as well as other sources, in archaeology you are essentially working from scratch and are trying to paint the picture of human prehistory, it is a lot more science based and there are usually no literary sources because the time frames you work with have dead languages or no evidence that those humans even spoke etc.
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valkyrie-grey
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(Original post by TheEmperor)
Do you want to study History or Pre-history? If it's history then do a history course but if you are interested in pre-history then archaeology is the course to study.

Just be aware, they are different disciplines - while with history all the facts are there and the evidence is also in literature and language sources as well as other sources, in archaeology you are essentially working from scratch and are trying to paint the picture of human prehistory, it is a lot more science based and there are usually no literary sources because the time frames you work with have dead languages or no evidence that those humans even spoke etc.
Thank you for your response! I've always been interested in seeing how humans have developed and why we're at the stage we are. I've never had the chance to study archaeology and through illness made the wrong decision as to what course I wanted to do.
Do you think it's worth doing archaeology as well as ancient history? Because I have an unconditional for the latter and I don't particularly want to lose that.
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flywithemma
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(Original post by TheEmperor)
Do you want to study History or Pre-history? If it's history then do a history course but if you are interested in pre-history then archaeology is the course to study.

Just be aware, they are different disciplines - while with history all the facts are there and the evidence is also in literature and language sources as well as other sources, in archaeology you are essentially working from scratch and are trying to paint the picture of human prehistory, it is a lot more science based and there are usually no literary sources because the time frames you work with have dead languages or no evidence that those humans even spoke etc.
Not necessarily - I'm currently doing a masters in archaeology and don't look at anything from before the year 400AD. Historical archaeology is a big thing, and with fields like material culture studies that also exist, you can taken the subject of archaeology/study of objects up to as recent as the 20th century and thus use other sources alongside them. This will also likely be the case in many instances in Classical Archaeology (which I assume would be what you'd be pairing with ancient history at least in part as they go really well together), as there are sources you can use to frame your discussions of certain parts of the material record. OP - I'd look in to the course/module descriptions for the archaeology options at Birmingham to decide exactly what sort of archaeology you'd do, and how scientific/historical/anthropological the modules are.


(Original post by valkyrie-grey)
Hey! So I went to the visitor day at Birmingham today for ancient history and it really made me think. I'm not sure whether to do just ancient history or archaeology and Ancient history and was wondering if anyone had any advice to give?
I would like to be an archaeologist or researcher but was hoping that ancient history on its own would allow me to get a good depth for my knowledge on history first.

I would eventually like to do a masters in a different uni studying archaeology and the heritage of Asia so if anyone has any advice or comments, it would be greatly appreciated :confused:
I guess I'd say have a look into the modules that are available on the archaeology course at Birmingham - are they things you're interested in? I'm not sure about the Birmingham Ancient history course, but is there much scope for the heritage of Asia aspect that you're interested in? This might be something that features more in their archaeology course (although again I'm not sure!). Also consider if you can take outside modules within your ancient history degree, as this might give you scope to involve some archaeology/the possibility of swapping to a joint degree after your first year.

I did a straight history degree and am now doing a masters in (medieval) archaeology, and have found that for the period of archaeology I'm interested in, having the historical background has been invaluable. I also was able to incorporate quite a bit of archaeology/object study into my history degree through dissertation choice and options I took, and I'd imagine even if you DO stick with just ancient history, the modules will have scope within them to look at the archaeology as an additional source alongside the documentary and artistic sources if you're interested in them/they're relevant to the things you're studying - it'd be silly, for example, to study life in ancient Rome without looking at the surviving material record.
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valkyrie-grey
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(Original post by flywithemma)
Not necessarily - I'm currently doing a masters in archaeology and don't look at anything from before the year 400AD. Historical archaeology is a big thing, and with fields like material culture studies that also exist, you can taken the subject of archaeology/study of objects up to as recent as the 20th century and thus use other sources alongside them. This will also likely be the case in many instances in Classical Archaeology (which I assume would be what you'd be pairing with ancient history at least in part as they go really well together), as there are sources you can use to frame your discussions of certain parts of the material record. OP - I'd look in to the course/module descriptions for the archaeology options at Birmingham to decide exactly what sort of archaeology you'd do, and how scientific/historical/anthropological the modules are.




I guess I'd say have a look into the modules that are available on the archaeology course at Birmingham - are they things you're interested in? I'm not sure about the Birmingham Ancient history course, but is there much scope for the heritage of Asia aspect that you're interested in? This might be something that features more in their archaeology course (although again I'm not sure!). Also consider if you can take outside modules within your ancient history degree, as this might give you scope to involve some archaeology/the possibility of swapping to a joint degree after your first year.

I did a straight history degree and am now doing a masters in (medieval) archaeology, and have found that for the period of archaeology I'm interested in, having the historical background has been invaluable. I also was able to incorporate quite a bit of archaeology/object study into my history degree through dissertation choice and options I took, and I'd imagine even if you DO stick with just ancient history, the modules will have scope within them to look at the archaeology as an additional source alongside the documentary and artistic sources if you're interested in them/they're relevant to the things you're studying - it'd be silly, for example, to study life in ancient Rome without looking at the surviving material record.
Hey thanks for the response. I ended up choosing to do Archaeology with Ancient History because I felt it was the best suited course for me. I'm really happy with my decision so yeah, sorry for wasting your time but what you have said is very valuable. Good luck with the masters
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Luffy_San
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As a current Anc History and Archaeology student, I had exactly the same dilemma as you before applying. Fortunately, I haven't regreted at all my choice! I took into consideration that if I were to do only History, then after a while I would probably get bored, reading all the time books (yes I get easily bored). Archaeology gives you many chances to do new stuff. You can do both theory and practice in the field. I read some replies and they are right as well...
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valkyrie-grey
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(Original post by Luffy_San)
As a current Anc History and Archaeology student, I had exactly the same dilemma as you before applying. Fortunately, I haven't regreted at all my choice! I took into consideration that if I were to do only History, then after a while I would probably get bored, reading all the time books (yes I get easily bored). Archaeology gives you many chances to do new stuff. You can do both theory and practice in the field. I read some replies and they are right as well...
Hey, thank you! I felt the same and that's why I chose to change. I love history but I think sitting down and reading all the time would have just ended up draining my motivation. Like you said, getting out there and doing things are going to be beneficial
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A5ko
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Indiana Jones said it best:

"If you want to be a good archaeologist, you gotta get out of the library!"
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