• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Archaeology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Catherine Frieman
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2015
    See Future Offerings

This elective course will serve as an introduction to the prehistory of Europe from the first farming communities to the Roman era from the Balkans to Britain, and Norway to the Iberian Peninsula. It fits alongside Arch2002 (British Prehistory) and expands on the many regional and prehistoric archaeology electives available to students.

Learning Outcomes

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

By the end of this course students will be expected to:

  1. Analyse the key concepts, themes and narratives used to explain prehistoric European societies;
  2. Recognise important sites and material culture and discuss them within larger technological, social and culture-historical contexts;
  3. Have acquired a solid grounding in relevant archaeological methodologies, and an understanding of how these may be utilised in order to analyse archaeological materials;
  4. Think, write and argue with these key concepts, themes and theories using supporting evidence from the archaeological record;
  5. Reflect on and discuss their own learning as it relates to European prehistory;
  6. Evaluate and compare key archaeological data and present them visually and orally.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Research essay 4000 words 60% [LO 1 - 4]
  2. Annotated bibliography prepared for research essay 2-3 pages 10% [LO 1 - 5]
  3. Poster discussing key prehistoric European site 20% [LO 1 - 6]
  4. 10 minute Poster Presentation + class discussion 10% [LO 4 - 6]

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.


Contact hours: 3 hours per week comprising 2 hours lecture and 1 hour tutorial

Private study: It is expected that students will undertake 7 hours per week per unit of study (including lectures and tutorials) toward the completion of assignments, class and essay preparation etc

Requisite and Incompatibility

6 Units in ARCH

Prescribed Texts

Indicative Readings:

Cunliffe, B.W. 2008. Europe between the oceans : themes and variations: 9000 BC to AD 1000. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Milisauskas, S. ed. 2002. European prehistory: a survey. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.


Other indicative texts (*chapters/papers in):

Ammerman, A.J. and Cavalli-Sforza, L.L. 1971. Measuring the rate of spread of early farming in Europe. Man 6: 674-688.

*Bailey, D.W. 2000. Balkan Prehistory. London: Routledge.

*Bailey, G.N. & Spikins, P. eds. 2008. Mesolithic Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

*Bellwood, P.S. 2005. First farmers: the origins of agricultural societies. Oxford: Blackwell.

Bogaard, A. 2005. ‘Garden agriculture’ and the nature of early farming in Europe and the Near East. World Archaeology 37: 177-196.

*Bogucki, P.I. & Crabtree, P.J. eds. 2004. Ancient Europe 8000 B.C.-A.D. 1000: Encyclopedia of the Barbarian world. London: Charles Scribner's & Sons.

*Bradley, R. 1998. The Significance of Monuments. London: Routledge.

*Brumfiel, E.M. & Earle, T.K. eds. 1987. Specialization, exchange, and complex societies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

 *Carr, G. & Stoddart, S. 2002. Celts from antiquity. Cambridge: Antiquity Publications.

Collis, J. 2003. The Celts: origins, myths and inventions. Stroud: Tempus.

*Creighton, J. 2000. Coins and power in late Iron Age Britain. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

*Cunliffe, B.W. ed. 1994. The Oxford illustrated prehistory of Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

*Cunliffe, B.W. 2001. Facing the ocean: the Atlantic and its peoples, 8000 BC-AD 1500. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

*Demakopoulou, K., Eluère, C., Jensen, J., Jockenhövel, A. & Mohen, J.-P. eds. 1999. Gods and heroes of the Bronze Age: Europe at the time of Ulysses. London: Thames and Hudson.

*Edmonds, M.R. & Richards, C. eds. 1998. Understanding the Neolithic of north-western Europe. Glasgow: Cruithne Press.

Gilman, A. 1981 The development of social stratification in Bronze Age Europe. Current Anthropology 22: 1-8.

Harding, A.F. 2000. European societies in the Bronze Age. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

*Haselgrove, C. & Moore, T. 2007. The later Iron Age in Britain and beyond. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

*Haselgrove, C. & Pope, R. 2007. The earlier Iron Age in Britain and the near continent. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Henderson, J.C. 2007. The Atlantic Iron Age: settlement and identity in the first millennium BC. London: Routledge.

Hodder, I. 1990. The Domestication of Europe. Oxford: Blackwell.

*James, S. 1999. The Atlantic Celts: ancient people or modern invention? London: British Museum Press.

Johansen, K. L., Laursen, S. T., and Holst, M. K. 2004. Spatial patterns of social organisation in the Early Bronze Age of South Scandinavia. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 23: 33-55.

*Mattingly, D.J. 2006. An imperial possession: Britain in the Roman Empire, 54 BC-AD 409. London: Allen Lane.

*Milner, N. & Woodman, P.C. eds. 2005. Mesolithic studies at the beginning of the 21st century. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Moscati, S., Arslan, E.A., Vitali, D., Palazzo, G. & Kruta, V. 1999. The Celts. New York: Rizzoli.

Needham, S. 2005. Transforming Beaker culture in North West Europe: processes of fission and fusion. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 71: 171-217.

*Perlès C. 2001 The Early Neolithic in Greece. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

*Price, T.D. ed. 2000. Europe's first farmers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Richards, M.P., R.J. Schulting, and R.E.M. Hedges. 2003. Sharp shift in diet at onset of Neolithic. Nature 425: 366.

Robb J. 2007. The early Mediterranean village: Agency, material culture and social change in Neolithic Italy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Roberts, B.W. 2008. Creating traditions and shaping technologies: understanding the earliest metal objects and metal production in Western Europe. World Archaeology, 40 (3): 354-72.

Roberts, B.W. 2009. Metallurgical Networks and Technological Choice: Understanding early metal in Western Europe. Journal of World Prehistory, 22: 461-81.

Roberts, B.W., Thornton, C. & Piggott, V.C. 2009. Development of metallurgy in Eurasia. Antiquity, 83: 1012-22.

Rowley-Conwy, P. 1995. Making First Farmers Younger: The West European Evidence Current Anthropology, 36 (2): 346-53.

Rowley-Conwy, P. 2004. How the west was lost. A reconsideration of agricultural origins in Britain, Ireland and Southern Scandinavia. Current Anthropology, 45 (supplement): 83-113.

Scarre, C. 2002. A pattern of islands: the Neolithic monuments of north-west Brittany. European Journal of Archaeology 5: 24-41.

Shennan, S. J. 1986. Central Europe in the third millennium BC: an evolutionary trajectory for         the beginning of the European Bronze Age. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 5: 115-146.

*Sherratt, A. ed. 1997. Economy and society in prehistoric Europe: changing perspectives. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Skeates, R. 2000. The social dynamics of enclosure in the Neolithic of the Tavoliere, South-east Italy.  Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 13: 155-188.

Sørensen, M. L. S. 1997 Reading dress: the construction of social categories and identities in Bronze Age Europe Journal of European Archaeology 5(1): 93-114.

Treherne, J. 1995 The warrior’s beauty: the masculine body and self-identity in Bronze Age Europe. Journal of European Archaeology 3(1): 105-145.

Vander Linden, M. 2007a. What linked the Bell Beakers in third millennium BC Europe? Antiquity 81 (312): 343-52.

Vander Linden, M. 2007b. For equalities are plural: Reassessing the social in Europe during the third millennium BC. World Archaeology 39(2):177-193

Vandkilde, H. 2007. Culture and change in Central European prehistory: 6th to 1st millenium BC. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press.

*Wells, P.S. 2001. Beyond Celts, Germans and Scythians: archaeology and identity in Iron Age Europe. London: Duckworth.

Whittle, A.W.R. 1996. Europe in the Neolithic: the creation of new worlds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

*Whittle, A.W.R. & Cummings, V. 2007. Going over: the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in north-west Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press for the British Academy.

Zapata, L. et al. 2004. Early Neolithic agriculture in the Iberian Peninsula. Journal of World Prehistory 18: 283-325.

Zvelebil, M. 2006. Mobility, contact, and exchange in the Baltic Sea basin 6000–2000 BC. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 25: 178-192.




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First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3271 16 Feb 2015 06 Mar 2015 31 Mar 2015 29 May 2015 In Person N/A

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