• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Archaeology
  • Areas of interest Archaeology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course

Between 5000 BC and the onset of Roman rule in 43 AD, society in Britain was transformed from dispersed gatherer-hunters, leaving few cultural remains, to centralised tribal chiefdoms with complex material culture and region-wide connections. In this course we trace the prehistoric development of pre-Roman British society through critical evaluation of the archaeological record. Core archaeological debates will be covered, including those about the rate, importance and mechanism of agricultural spread in Britain and the Atlantic fringe; the genesis, role and meaning of causewayed enclosure, henge and burial monuments in the Neolithic and Bronze Age; the pace and direction of human-induced environmental change in Britain and the clearance of the great forests; the role and importance of evolving metal technologies; the emergence of urbanism and regional connections in the Iron Age. We will also discuss how identity and ideology were created in the past and how they have been incorporated into modern beliefs and political debate. Though focused on Britain, the course will compare and contrast its prehistory with that of adjacent European countries, especially Ireland and the Atlantic fringe.

Indicative Assessment

3,000 word essay (50%), tutorial presentation (15%), debate contribution (10%) and annotated bibliography (25%).

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Normally offered in alternate years
2 hours lectures and one hour 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 PREH2002

Prescribed Texts

Hunter, J and Ralston, I (eds). The archaeology of Britain: An Introduction, Routledge, 1999.
Darvill, T.  Prehistoric Britain, Batsford, 1987.
Darvill, T, Stamper, P and Timby, J.  England: an Oxford archaeological guide to sites from earliest times to AD 1600, Oxford University Press, 2002.
Pryor, F.  BritainBC: Life in Britain and Ireland Before the Romans, Harper Collins, 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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There are no current offerings for this course.

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