ARCY2006 Archaeology of Death

Credit
6 points
Offering
(see Timetable)

If this unit does not have an online alternative, then students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.

AvailabilityLocationMode
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Online timetabled 100% Online Unit. NO campus face-to-face attendance is required to complete this unit. All study requirements are online only. Unit includes some synchronous components, with a requirement for students to participate online at specific times.
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the Archaeology major sequence
  • Level 2 elective
Content
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.
Outcomes
Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of the appropriate theory and method used in studying the archaeology of death; (2) demonstrate a critical and reflexive understanding and knowledge of and sensitivity to the ethical, legislative and occupational health and safety requirements involved in the study of the archaeology of death; (3) demonstrate an understanding of the cross-disciplinary linkages an archaeology of death has with, among other things, anatomy, anthropology, ethics, and Indigenous studies; (4) demonstrate comprehension of archaeological literature, specialised terminology and data; and (5) demonstrate appropriate oral and written communication skills..
Assessment
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) essay; (2) tutorial assignments; and (3) quizzes. 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:
12 points of Level 1 study
Advisable prior study:
a background in biological or social sciences
Contact hours
2 hours per week
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]
Note
This Unit is a useful introduction to FNSC2200 Mysteries of Forensic Science, which is a practice and lab-based Unit.
  • 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. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. 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. Copies of textbooks and other readings will be made available for students to access from the Library, online wherever possible as well as in print.