• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Specialist
  • Course subject Archaeology
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Timothy Denham
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Spring Session 2014
    See Future Offerings

How much of the soil of the Earth carries traces of past human activity? Is much of our planet surface one huge archaeological site? How is it in 2010 we can find a new "second Stonehenge" at Stonehenge? How do I know if I have an archaeological site in a paddock, my backyard or in the footprint of a housing development? How can I most reliably find out ?

The 20th century saw a huge increase in the scale, complexity and effectiveness of procedures used by archaeologists to search for "unseen" archaeological sites and buried landscapes. Methods range from remote sensing from satellites and aircraft; through LIDAR and Radar, to ground-based remote sensing and geophysical methods (Time Team's "geofizz") to large scale archaeological investigations and testing of landscapes (often ahead of development) through excavation by machine, by hand and by drilling and coring.

This course provides a Masters level foundation for understanding the applications and limits of the scientific "tool-box" now available for detecting evidence of past human actions across the Earth's surface (as archaeological sites). It focuses on methods available for detecting archaeological sites; issues of assessing data quality and ethical considerations of how to deliberate and decide what to preserve and conserve, where and when, from a global comparative perspective driven by the need for affordable and sustainable outcomes. Case studies are used to illustrate successes, failures and consequences of subsurface evaluation processes and developments engaging sites "unseen".

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Students will develop core skills in conceptualizing, planning and assessing research results from the process of archaeological site detection in landscape/soil contexts. The course provides a professional level foundation in critical thinking applied to assessing results from archaeological surface survey and subsurface investigations at a global comparative scale.

Indicative Assessment

Critical annotated briefing notes for a selected site detection technique as merits/demerits/limitations (module 10 (20%); development of a research design proposal for investigating subsurface archaeological site occurrence in a selected geographic area, based on terrain categorisation as a desk-top study, as a 3,000 word scoping proposal (50%); individual plan for a group gaming simulation for a mapped areas (20%) and contributions to group role playing (10%)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


 The workload will comprise 36 contact hours taught intensively in 3 blocks of 12 hours (each block of 12 hours spread over 2 days) with the expectation of a further 80 hours of independent study and preparation ahead of the intensive class teaching/workshops/practical simulation games.


Prescribed Texts

David, B. and Thomas, J. (eds) 2008 Handbook of Landscape Archaeology. Left Coast Press:Walnut Creek. 

Spoerry, P (ed.) 1992 Geoprospection in the Archaeological Landscape. Oxbow Monograph 18. Oxbow books:Oxford.

Wiseman, J. and El-Baz, F. (eds) 2007 Remote Sensing in Archaeology. Springer: New York.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1542
2014 $2478
2013 $2472
2012 $2472
2011 $2424
2010 $2358
2009 $2286
2008 $2286
2007 $2286
2006 $2286
2005 $2286
2004 $1926
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $3618
2014 $3762
2013 $3756
2012 $3756
2011 $3756
2010 $3750
2009 $3618
2008 $3618
2007 $3618
2006 $3618
2005 $3618
2004 $3618
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Spring Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8581 01 Oct 2014 24 Oct 2014 24 Oct 2014 31 Dec 2014 In Person N/A

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