The first year and a half of my course has gone so quickly, and I can’t believe I’m already having to think about dissertation topics. Because of the need to take a 2nd year dissertation preparation module this semester in order to do a history dissertation, I’ve decided to write mine in archaeology because I couldn’t fit in the appropriate modules with the others that I wanted to take.
However, beyond that I have very little idea of what I want to study, and I’ve been trying to figure out just exactly what I’m interested in enough to spend months of research on:
- What time period? I’m interested in anything from the Mesolithic to Iron Age, which unfortunately doesn’t really narrow things down much.
- What places? My main interest is in North-West Europe, particularly in monuments and hill-forts.
- What themes? Weaponry and Warfare, and Death and Burial are the most interesting topics to me, although I also enjoy learning about Mobility and Settlement.
- What methods? I enjoy fieldwork and particularly Experimental Archaeology, and I also enjoy reading so long as it doesn’t include too many complicated statistics. That said, I think topics such as stable isotope analysis are fascinating for what they can tell us about people’s lives.
- What resources are there? This has been my main issue so far, and something I need to talk to my personal tutor about, particularly in terms of resources for Experimental Archaeology.
Hopefully I can clear up some of these issues when I talk to my tutors, because I have enough essays lined up for the semester already that I am going to be very busy once again!