ARCY1001 Great Discoveries in Global Archaeology

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (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 an essential first step in learning how to think like an archaeologist and teaches core practical and conceptual skills. Students learn how archaeologists identify, date, analyse, interpret and manage artefacts and sites. These skills are taught using over 40 examples of 'great discoveries' from around the world such as: 3.3 million year-old stone tools from Africa, the site of Homer's Troy at Hissarlik in Turkey, ancient DNA from Indigenous Australians, and even how war affects the world's cultural heritage. This unit provides students with a global cultural context in which to understand both past human life and contemporary ethics in relation to cultural heritage. It is a unit that is worthwhile - and fun!
Students are able to (1) explain how archaeologists reconstruct past human behaviour from material remains; (2) write according to scientific conventions and be familiar with different forms of archaeological description; (3) demonstrate their awareness of the ethical context in which archaeology is practiced

; and (4) synthesise archaeological literature in order to understand how knowledge of the past is constructed, and transmit this information to others.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) quizzes; (2) tutorial assignments; and (3) essay. 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)
Associate Professor Martin Porr
Unit rules
ARCY1101 Digging up the Past
Contact hours
Seminars: 2 x 1 hour per week
Tutorials: 1 x 1 hour per week
Note that the weekly 2 hour Seminar involves in-class practical activities that are fun and that develop student's archaeological skills. Participation is highly desirable. The Lecture Capture System does not record these hands-on activities.

Renfrew, Colin and Paul Bahn. 2016. Archaeology: theories, method and practice, 7th edn: London: Thames & Hudson. Available from Booktopia and Reid Library.

  • 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 via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.