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.

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Unit Overview


This unit explores the archaeology of colonisation and contacts using examples from different geographic regions including Africa, the Americas, Australasia, Eurasia, the Pacific Rim and the Arctic Circle. These case studies cover the last million years with a particular focus on the last 2000 years. The unit explores the archaeological evidence for initial human colonisation of regions, as well as the contacts that occurred resulting from human migrations. The unit looks at the interplay of biological as well as cultural factors in colonisation and migration processes. Students will become familiar with methods of dating, models for colonisation and contacts, and the ways that humans interacted with other people, environments and ecologies. Lectures communicate the topic including specialist research experiences. Tutorials encourage debates and critical analysis of issues, data, and interpretation. Students are encouraged to think critically and explore alternative approaches.

6 points
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) develop an understanding of the ways humans colonised parts of the globe and came into contacts with others; (2) understand the ways archaeologists construct models to understand how colonisation and contact occurred, with a focus on acculturation, resistance, ethnogenesis, and creolisation and the material evidence for these; (3) demonstrate an understanding of the ethical issues relevant to archaeological practice; (4) develop an understanding of the ways that colonising populations impact on environments and how this is recognised in archaeology; (5) comprehend archaeological literature, specialised terminology and data, and communicate this in an appropriate manner both orally and through written expression; (6) be aware of various theoretical frameworks used in archaeological studies of colonisation and contact develop an appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of much archaeological research; (7) be aware of the ethical context involved in colonisation and contact studies; (8) understand and evaluate how evidence is used in archaeological research; (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.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tutorial assignments; (2) test; and (3) essay. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Sven Ouzman
Unit rules
any Level 1 Archaeology unit
Contact hours
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.
  • 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.