ARCY1002 Archaeology A, B and 14C

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 core unit in the Archaeology major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Society and Culture
  • Category A broadening unit for Bachelor of Arts students where relevant according to the broadening requirements for each student
  • Level 1 elective
This unit is both practical and thematic. In the practical component students are trained to use traditional methods to make an artefact selected from any human society in any time period. Hands-on tutorials teach students about the properties of stone, wood, clay, fibre and other materials that people have used to make artefacts through the ages. These artefacts embody how past people met challenges such as climate change, social unrest and used innovation to shape the world around them. These innovations led to human society today being what it is today. In the thematic component the unit looks at the ways in which archaeologists go about their work, and students examine 'big issues' in archaeology and society today, such as identity and what DNA analysis of ancient materials can tell us about who we are and where we have been. Other themes include gender, cross-cultural contact, climate change and human adaptations, human use of symbols, technology and contemporary issues such as how archaeology helps us understand homelessness, and how war affects the world's cultural heritage treasures. Unit content is also used to train students in global cultural awareness and appropriate ethical conduct when engaging in cross-cultural research.
Students are able to (1) identify the main materials of archaeology and how they are preserved; (2) describe the main recording, dating and analysis techniques used in archaeological investigations; (3) demonstrate an understanding of the methods that are currently used by archaeologists to reconstruct past human behaviour from material remains as well as demonstrate an awareness of appropriate ethical procedures when conducting cross-cultural research; (4) describe the most important themes and topics that currently guide archaeological research with an emphasis on appropriate legal, OHS and ethical compliances; (5) write according to scientific conventions and be familiar with different forms of archaeological description; (6) develop communication skills in group discussions; and (7) demonstrate critical reading skills and source criticism.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) quizzes; (2) artefact assignment; and (3) tutorial assignments. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Sven Ouzman
Unit rules
ARCY1102 Archaeology of Tribes and Empires
Contact hours
lectures: 2 x 45 minutes; Practical Classes: 1 x 45 minutes per week
Unit Outline
Semester 2 [SEM-2 ]
Note that the weekly 90-minute lectures include hands-on, practical activities.

Renfrew, C. and Bahn, P. Archaeology: theories, method and practice, 7th edn: Thames & Hudson 2016

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.