• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Archaeology
  • Areas of interest Archaeology

Human communities are dependant on and shaped by the environments in which they live, but are also a major factor in environmental change.  We are increasingly aware of how human activity affects the contemporary environment: sustainability, greenhouse effect, acid rain, deforestation have all become commonly used terms.  Environmental archaeology provides a way of tracing the long-term history and prehistory of such human-environment interactions.  This course examines its theory, techniques and practices, the latter via a series of case studies showing how artefactual, biological, climatic and geomorphological evidence are drawn together to illuminate the long-term dynamics of humans and the environments in which they are an intrinsic part.  Case studies will be drawn from Europe, the Americas, Asia, Australia and the Indo-Pacific region, focusing on the evidence for humans as agents of broad ecological change, especially extinctions, and the effects of environments and environmental change on the course of culture change.  The increasingly important and controversial role of these studies in the contemporary world will also be discussed.  The course is an introduction to the subject and requires no previous scientific background.

Indicative Assessment

Annotated bibliography (25%), essay(50%), debate contribution (15%) and laboratory/field notebook (10%).

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Normally offered in alternate years
2 hours of lectures and one hour of laboratories/tutorial per week

Requisite and Incompatibility

One first year course to the value of 6 units in Archaeology (ARCH or PREH) or permission of the lecturer. Incompatible with PREH2041

Preliminary Reading

Diamond, J. Guns, Germs and Steel: A Short History of Everybody for the Last 13,000 Years, Vintage 1997.
Evans, J. and O'Connor, T. Environmental Archaeology: Principles and Methods, Sutton Publishing 1999.
Flannery, T. The Future Eaters: An Ecological History of the Australasian Lands and People, Reed Books, 1994.
Wilkinson, K. and Stevens, C. Environmental Archaeology: Approaches, Techniques and Applications, Tempus, 2003.




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. Tuition fees are indexed annually. 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
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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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
9730 18 Jul 2016 29 Jul 2016 31 Aug 2016 28 Oct 2016 In Person N/A

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