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 an introduction to archaeology in the public sphere. The two main themes are (1) the presentation of archaeology to the public and the public's perception of archaeology; and (2) archaeology as heritage including the reasons for protecting archaeological remains, the mechanisms for doing this within the existing legislative framework and the problems that arise in the execution of this work. Topics include the ownership of archaeological heritage, repatriation, archaeology and identity, presenting archaeology, determining archaeological significance, and the relationship between archaeology and government, consultants, developers and the community.

6 points
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) have some general knowledge of the role of archaeologists in the management of archaeological heritage; (2) have detailed knowledge of the major themes discussed in the unit and how the archaeological evidence has been used to construct arguments about the significance of archaeological sites; (3) understand, evaluate and apply the broad principles of cultural heritage management which are outlined in the Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter (1999); (4) critically analyse and apply competing theories of the interpretation of archaeological evidence; (5) critically evaluate archaeological principles and methods, and apply them to archaeological questions; (6) demonstrate a critical and reflective understanding of ethical issues relevant to archaeological practice; (7) demonstrate a critical judgement of archaeological practices and research traditions; and (8) independently and critically undertake research through the collection and interpretation of archaeological information and report on this process both orally and through written expression.


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

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

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Jane Balme
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)
ARCY2271 Heritage Archaeology
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.