• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Biological Anthropology
  • Areas of interest Biological Anthropology, Health, Medicine and the Body, Forensic Anthropology

This course is a survey of medicine, surgery and medical theory and practices from prehistoric times through to the early medieval period. The focus of enquiry is the evolution and development of a suite of medical traditions over time as informed by their respective cultural milieus. Regionally Europe (the Greek and Roman empires and Medieval Europe specifically), North Africa (Egyptian), the Near East (Mesopotamia), the Indian subcontinent, East Asia, especially China, are explored in detail. Sources for this survey include both received and discovered texts as well as a range of archaeological and osteological evidence.

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:-

  1. Meet the course aims as outlined in the Course Description.
  2. Become familiar and comfortable with a broad sample of scholarship on the archaeology, prehistory and history of medicine and surgery
  3. Augment (to a standard commensurate with second year undergraduate studies) their ability to think critically about basic assumptions and conceptual frameworks in analysing medical issues, past and present
  4. Develop skills in oral presentations and debate and in writing about ancient medical issues

Indicative Assessment

Major Essay 3,000 words maximum (50%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 3, 4]

Tutorial Tasks equivalent to 2,000 words (50%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 4]

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.


Two hours of lectures, one hour of tutorials, and seven hours of private study per week.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 48 units in program

Prescribed Texts

It is unlikely that I will settle on a single main text due to a lack of any current texts that have the temporal and geographic depth and breadth of this course. Nonetheless, I am reviewing a number of potentially useful introductory texts.




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
1994-2003 $1542
2004 $1926
2005 $2178
2006 $2178
2007 $2178
2008 $2178
2009 $2178
2010 $2358
2011 $2424
2012 $2472
2013 $2472
2014 $2478
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $2574
2004 $2916
2005 $3090
2006 $3090
2007 $3090
2008 $3090
2009 $3090
2010 $3240
2011 $3240
2012 $3240
2013 $3240
2014 $3246
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
6006 28 Jul 2014 01 Aug 2014 31 Aug 2014 07 Nov 2014 In Person N/A

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