ARCY2005 Rock Art Field Unit

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the Archaeology major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Society and Culture
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 2 elective
This unit gives students the opportunity to gain academic credit through a supervised rock art recording and archaeological excavation project being run by the Centre for Rock Art Research and Management and Rio Tinto's Cultural Heritage team. The field school represents one of Rio Tinto's contributions under their Conservation Agreement for the National Heritage Listing of the Burrup Peninsula. The unit provides students with an opportunity to apply, enhance and develop skills and knowledge associated with Indigenous archaeology and rock art research and field work. Students work alongside traditional owners and rangers from the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation, as well as archaeologists and heritage managers.
Students are able to (1) undertake rock art recording—identify and classify motifs, accurately document motifs on specialised rock art recording forms, use digital photography, sketching and tracing to record single and superimposed motifs; (2) conduct archaeological processing—use sieves, conduct primary on-site sorting of archaeological material; (3) use a variety of recording forms (level, feature recording, artefact sorting, cataloguing, stratigraphic); (4) undertake survey and mapping—know the basic principles of archaeological survey, set a dumpy, use a dumpy, record excavation heights and points, and use a compass and map for survey and recording; (5) understand basic ethical considerations involved in the archaeological study of rock art and working with groups of stakeholders; and (6) successfully work in a team in field conditions in a safe and efficient manner.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) participation; (2) practical and in-field exercises
; and (3) final report. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Jo McDonald
Unit rules
ARCY2004 Archaeology of Rock Art; enrolment is subject to quota
HUMA2298 Arts Practicum Rock Art Field Unit
Approved quota: 12—preference is given to students who have successfully completed ARCY2004 Archaeology of Rock Art. Enrolment is also based on academic merit of Archaeology and related subjects.
Contact hours
10-14-day residential field school on the Burrup Peninsula, Western Australia
Students need to be physically fit to participate in this field school.

Optional but recommended:

McDonald, J. & Veth, P. A Companion to Rock Art: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.

Mulvaney, K. Murujuga Marni: The Rock Art of the Macropod Hunters and the Mollusc Harvesters: UWA Press, 2015.

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