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

From ancient Greece to 20th century Australia, there has been a desire to understand our ancestors. This course explores major developments that have shaped archaeology as a discipline around the world. We will travel from the time of 'Antiquarians' in 16th century England, through discovery of ancient human bones in Africa and ruins of famous sites and vanished civilisations in America, Australia and Europe. This course will also explore tipping points in archaeological theory and assess how these have influenced current perspectives on the past. Tutorials will focus on the contribution of individuals to the practice and interpretation of archaeology.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1.  Evaluate individual contributions towards our current understanding of the past.
  2. Critically assess the relationship between archaeological practice and archaeological thought.
  3. Understand principal themes, issues and debates in archaeology.
  4. Assess the theoretical underpinnings of archaeology and reflect on your own placement within these.

Indicative Assessment

10-15 minute small group oral presentation (10%, Learning outcome 1) (supplemented by a 400 word plan outlining group members contribution).

10-15 minute individual oral presentation 10% Learning outcome 1)(supplemented by a 400 word summary).

1500 word essay (20%; Learning outcome 1-2).

2500 word essay (60%; Learning outcome 3-4)

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.


Normally offered in alternate years.

2 hours of lectures and one hour of tutorial per week for 13 weeks. Students are expected to undertake a further 7 hours per week of independent study over the semester (total 130 hours).

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ARCH2006.

Preliminary Reading

Trigger, B. 2006. A History of Archaeological Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Johnson, M. Archaeological Theory: An Introduction. 2nd Edition. Chichister: Wiley-Blackwell Publishers.



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

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.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4331 15 Feb 2016 26 Feb 2016 31 Mar 2016 27 May 2016 In Person N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions