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 explores 'death' in literal and metaphoric senses across all human cultures over the past 3 million years. Indeed, it is how we treat 'death' that is one of the defining characteristics of being human. Death can also include 'objects' held to be living in certain Indigenous knowledge systems. This unit describes the skills archaeologists and forensic analysts need, such as: awareness of the ethics, legislation, occupational health and safety and culturally-appropriate protocols in studying death. There is also technical expertise in identifying, recording and interpreting mortuary contexts, grave goods, and DNA. 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.

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

Students are able to (1) understand the appropriate theories and methods used in studying the archaeology of death.; (2) understand critically and reflexively the ethical, legislative, and occupational health and safety requirements involved in the study of the archaeology of death.; (3) analyse the cross-disciplinary linkages of the archaeology of death with other disciplines such as anatomy, anthropology, ethics, and Indigenous studies.; (4) understand archaeological literature, specialised terminology, and data that are relevant to the archaeology of death.; (5) apply appropriate oral and written communication skills.; and (6) understand how groups are created and function, and then be able to work effectively within them..


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) essay; (2) tutorial assignments; and (3) quizzes. 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
12 points of Level 1 study
Advisable prior study
a background in biological
or social sciences
Contact hours
2 hours per week (1 x lecture and 1 x tutorial)
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:

This Unit is a useful introduction to FNSC2200 Mysteries of Forensic Science, which is a practice and lab-based Unit.

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.
  • 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.