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 provides an overview of artefact analysis with particular relevance to Australian archaeology. Students explore the different aspects of analysis of the key types of artefacts encountered in archaeology, from materials common to Indigenous sites to colonial and more recent contexts. A specific area of focus is stone artefacts as a very common form of archaeological material. Students consider the decisions made during the process of description and analysis in field and post-field settings. Students also develop some knowledge of the theories and methodologies that exist in areas of artefact analysis, especially for stone artefacts as well as for historical materials.

6 points

Students are able to (1) familiarise themselves with key aspects of the recording, description and analysis of archaeological materials with particular relevance to Australian contexts; (2) be aware of the methodological choices for artefacts recording and analysis and their implications; and (3) understand the ways that artefacts are described in qualitative and quantitative ways. Students know the basic choices that need to be made when analysing the key types of archaeological material, particularly stone artefacts.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) practical exercises and (2) a three-hour examination. 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 Tom Whitley
Unit rules
Approved quota: 30—determined on a case-by-case basis with weight given to past academic results; Indigenous students are particularly encouraged to enrol
Contact hours
6–8 weeks from January to April
  • 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.