General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Archaeology and Media
Language English
Module lecturer Prof. UAM dr hab. Iwona Sobkowiak-Tabaka
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position professor
Faculty Faculty of Archeology
Semester 2024/2025 (summer)
Duration 30


Module aim (aims)

Archaeologists delve into the depths of history, employing both scientific techniques and theoretical frameworks to interpret cultural remnants. While media may sometimes simplify or sensationalize archaeological findings, the field itself is a dynamic blend of scientific inquiry and historical exploration, enriching our understanding of human civilization.

During this course, different ways that archaeology is presented in various media (movies, cartoons, TV series, journals, newspapers, literature, books, social media, etc.) are analyzed. The history of media representation of archaeology is discussed, along with the development of dominant stereotypes of archaeologists and their emergence in the aforementioned media formats. The evolution of archaeological methods is also explored with the development of archaeology and its portrayal in media.

By the end of this course, students will be able to recognize different stereotypes of archaeologists and the various ways archaeology is represented in media, enabling them to reflect critically on the position of archaeology in modern mass media.


Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)


  1. Introduction
  2. Archaeology and Archeology in the media in the period of 'antiquity seekers'
  3. Archaeology and Archeology in the media in “Science Times”
  4. Archaeology and pop culture – part I
  5. Archaeology and pop culture – part II
  6. Stone Age in movies– part I
  7. Stone Age in movies – part II
  8. Roman and Greek Civilisation in movies
  9. Medieval Age and Modern Times archaeology in movies
  10. Archaeology in mass media (movies, cartoons, TV series, reality shows, books, newspapers, comics, etc.)
  11. Archaeogaming
  12. Archaeology and science fiction, Pseudorchaeology
  13. Archaeological festivals and reenactment groups
  14. Archaeology and social media (e.g., web, computer applications, blogs, FB, Instagram).
  15. Digital archaeology (e.g., virtual archaeology, 3D models, reconstructions)

Reading list

Bahn P. 2012. Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Brittain M., Timothy Clack T. 2007. Introduction. Archaeology and the Media. In. Archaeology and the Media, Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, CA, 1-65.

Caspari G. 2022. Instagram as a tool for archaeological science communication. Digital Aplications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage 24, e00219,

Cusack C.M. 2012. Charmed Circle: Stonehenge, Contemporary Paganism, and Alternative Archaeology. Numen 59 (2/3), Alternative Archaeology, 138-155.

Fagan B. 2019. Little History of Archaeology. New Haven -London: Yale University Press..

Feder K., 2013. Epistemology. How You Know What You Know. In. Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology 8th Edition, McGraw-Hill Education, 18-46.

Harding A. 2007. Communication in archaeology. European Journal of Archaeology 10(2-3), 119-133. doi:10.1177/1461957108095980

Hiscock P. 2012. Cinema, Supernatural Archaeology, and the Hidden Human Past. Numen 59 (2/3), Alternative Archaeology, 156-177.

Humes C.A. Hindutva, Mythistory, and Pseudoarchaeology. Numen 59 (2/3), Alternative Archaeology, 178-201.

Kelpšienė I., Dallas C. 2023. Battle or ballet? Metaphors archaeological Facebook administrators live by. Journal of Community Archaeology & Heritage 10(2), 107-127.

Reinhard A. 2015. Excavating Atari: Where the Media was the Archaeology. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology 2.1, 86-93.

Renfrew C., Bahn P. 2012. Whose Past. Archaeology and the Public. In. Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice. New York: Thames & Hudson Ltd., 535-548.