Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit is both practical and thematic. In the practical component students are trained to use traditional methods to make an artefact selected from a past human culture. Hands-on tutorials teach students about the properties of stone, wood, clay, fibre and other materials that people have used to make artefacts. These artefacts show how people met challenges such as climate change and social unrest by using innovation to shape the world around them. In the thematic component we look at how archaeologists go about their work, examining 'big issues' such as identity and DNA, gender, cross-cultural contact, climate change, human use of symbols, technology and contemporary issues such as homelessness, graffiti and how war affects the world's cultural heritage treasures. We train students in global cultural awareness and appropriate ethical conduct when engaging in cross-cultural research.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 core unit in the Archaeology major sequence
  • Level 1 elective

Students are able to (1) understand how archaeologists conduct their research with an emphasis on practical skills such as making stone tools, working with wood, clay, and other methods of making artefacts.; (2) evaluate how the main recording, dating and analysis techniques are used in archaeological investigations.; (3) understand the archaeological research process with an emphasis on appropriate legal, occupational health and safety, and ethical compliances.; (4) apply their acquired knowledge in writing within scientific conventions and demonstrate critical reading skills and source criticism.; (5) understand how traditional artefacts were made based on relevant archaeological information and literature.; and (6) apply knowledge about ancient artefact tool manufacture in a practical and experimental way and communicate this appropriately in written form..


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) quizzes; (2) artefact assignment; and (3) tutorial assignments and participation (must attend 80% or more tutorials). Further information is available in the unit outline.

To pass this unit, a student must: (a) achieve an overall mark of 50 per cent or higher for the unit; and (b) achieve the requisite requirements(s) or a mark of 50 per cent or greater, whichever is higher and specified in the unit outline, for the tutorial assignments and participation (must attend 80% or more tutorials) component.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Ingrid Ward
Unit rules
ARCY1102 Archaeology of Tribes and Empires
Incidental fees
Incidental student fees and charges are costs incurred by students as part of their studies at UWA that are in addition to their tuition fees (further information is available here).
Participation in this unit will incur the following incidental fee(s):
Field Trips within or outside the metro area, travel and food only. (estimated cost - $20).
Contact hours
3 hours per week - 1 x 1 hour Lecture + 1 x 2 Hour Tutorial/Practical
This unit teaches skills and content that are recognised and can be recorded as Group A and/or Group B Skills according to the Australian Archaeology Skills Passport of the Australian Archaeological Association:

To deliver the individual and group learning outcomes of this unit, participation in all learning experiences and assessment tasks is essential. Non-participation will result in some, or all vital content being missed, marks not earned, and/or penalties being applied.

Note that the weekly seminars include hands-on, practical activities that are not captured by the Echo360 lecture capture system.
  • 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.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.