UWA Handbook 2017

Unit details

ARCY2004 Archaeology of Rock Art

Credit 6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the Archaeology major sequence
  • Category A broadening unit for Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Design and Bachelor of Science students
  • Category A broadening unit for Bachelor of Arts students where relevant according to the broadening requirements for each student
  • Level 2 elective
Content This unit addresses rock art as a global but culturally diverse phenomenon of the last 40,000 years that provides insight to what it means to be human. The unit cross-cuts historical periods, disciplinary boundaries and discrete geographies and aims to provide students with the skill to understand visual communication cross-culturally and the ethics of such interactions, as well as providing an informed evaluation of a cultural heritage that defines what it means to be a ‘modern' human.

Topics include rock art dating, pigment analysis, interpretation of rock art, Indigenous perspectives, the role of rock art in symbolic behaviour and making us 'human', conservation and management, and intellectual property issues.
Outcomes Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of rock art, the antiquity of rock art, and its cultural heritage value in a global context; (2) Understand the ways archaeologists identify and record rock art in a culturally appropriate manner, as well as recognise the emerging role of digital technology in this procesu; (3) describe ethical considerations and behaviour involved in the archaeological study of rock art; (4) identify and critically analyse the range of methods used to date rock art; (5) develop an awareness of the various techniques archaeologists use to analyse and interpret rock art assemblages; (6) describe, compare and contrast the various theoretical frameworks used to interpret rock art; (7) understand current conservation practices used in the management of rock art and their implications for archaeology; (8) comprehend archaeological literature, specialised terminology and data, and communicate this in an appropriate manner both orally and through written expression; (9) demonstrate presentation skills by preparing a tutorial presentation and concomitant group communication skills in discussing the presentation; and (10) demonstrate critical reading skills and source criticism.
Assessment Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) essay; (2) test; 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) Professor Benjamin Smith
Unit rules
Prerequisites: any Level 1 Archaeology unit or VISA1001 Art Technology and Society or VISA1000 Great Moments in Art or ANTH1001 Being Human: Culture, Identity and Society or ANTH1002 Global Change, Local Responses
Contact hours 2 hours per week.
Unit Outlinehttp://www.unitoutlines.arts.uwa.edu.au/Units/ARCY2004/SEM-1/2017

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
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  • 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.