ARCY2006 The Archaeology of Death
- 6 points
|Semester 1||UWA (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
- Level 2 elective
- This unit explores 'death' in literal and metaphoric senses across all human cultures over the past 3 million years. Death is a powerful moment in the human and social life cycle and is especially informative in terms of how different cultures deal with death. Indeed, it is how we treat 'death' that is one of the defining characteristics of being human. Death can also be studied in a wider frame to include 'objects' held to be living in certain Indigenous knowledge systems, as well as the 'deaths' of civilisations such as the Maya. Archaeologists need to be trained in how to deal with this important aspect of the archaeological record. Their skills need to include an awareness of the ethics, legislation, occupational health and safety and culturally-appropriate protocols in studying death. Technical expertise in identifying, recording and interpreting mortuary contexts, grave goods, DNA, is an essential outcome of this unit. Topical questions such as whether Neanderthals buried their dead are also addressed. This unit does not address archaeological forensics, which is dealt with in FNSC2200 Mysteries of Forensic Science.
- Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of the appropriate theory and method used in studying the archaeology of death; (2) demonstrate a critical and reflexive understanding and knowledge of and sensitivity to the ethical, legislative and occupational health and safety requirements involved in the study of the archaeology of death; (3) explain how archaeologists identify, record and interpret death in multiple archaeological contexts; (4) comprehend archaeological literature, specialised terminology and data, and communicate this in an appropriate manner both orally and through written expression; (5) demonstrate presentation skills by preparing a tutorial presentation and concomitant group communication skills in discussing the presentation; (6) demonstrate critical reading skills and source criticism; (7) develop the skills required to link theory to specific archaeological case studies, using appropriate methods; and (8) demonstrate an understanding of the cross-disciplinary linkages an archaeology of death has with, among other things, anatomy, anthropology, ethics, and Indigenous studies.
- Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) essay; (2) tutorial assignments; and (3) quizzes. 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 and Professor Daniel Franklin
- Unit rules
- Advisable prior study:
- a background in biological
- Contact hours
- lectures and Practical Classes: 2 hours per week
- 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.