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 Level 3 unit studies the course of European prehistory from the appearance of recognisable human ancestors to the earliest development of agriculture and early farming communities. It covers the periods in which people in Europe exclusively lived as hunters and gatherers. It looks at variations in adaptive strategies, symbolic practices and relationships with the environment in the Upper Palaeolithic (Old Stone Age) and Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age) periods. Students also learn about problems associated with understanding human evolution in relation to changing environmental and cultural contexts and with reference to Homo erectus, 'pre-sapiens' hominin forms, Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans.

6 points
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) critically analyse and apply competing theories of the interpretation of archaeological evidence; (2) critically evaluate archaeological principles and methods, and apply them to archaeological questions; (3) demonstrate a critical and reflexive understanding of ethical issues relevant to archaeological practice; (4) demonstrate a critical judgement of archaeological practices and research traditions; (5) independently and critically undertake research through the collection and interpretation of archaeological information and to report on this process; (6) demonstrate an understanding of the course of European prehistory from the earliest appearance of human settlement on the continent to the arrival of the earliest agricultural practices; (7) understand the broad spatial and chronological development of material culture items during the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods of Europe; (8) critically understand the relevance of Europe's research history for global prehistory; (9) develop and demonstrate presentation skills by preparing a tutorial presentation; (10) demonstrate critical reading skills; and (11) develop communication skills in group discussions.


This comprises a major essay (40 per cent), an examination (30 per cent), a tutorial presentation (20 per cent) and tutorial attendance and participation (10 per cent).

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

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Martin Porr
Unit rules
(ARCY1001 Discoveries in Archaeology
or ARCY1101 Digging up the Past) and (ARCY1002 Archaeology Today: Principles and Themes
or ARCY1102 Archaeology of Tribes and Empires) and at least one Level 2 Archaeology unit (except ARCY2005 Rock Art Field Unit)
ARCY2222 Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Europe
Contact hours
lectures: 1 hr per week
tutorials: 1 hr 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.