• 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 Sally May
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2015
    See Future Offerings

This course provides an overview of the major forms of rock art and their geographic and chronological distribution around the world. We critically explore the history of rock art research and the theories that have influenced its development as an area of archaeological and anthropological investigation. At the same time, this course highlights practical innovations in rock art documentation, analysis, dating, interpretation, management, and conservation. We consider how rock art studies help us to document and understand changes in human behaviour, technology, economy, and ideology through time. The social, ethical and political dimensions of rock art research are also integral to this course, as is an understanding of the close disciplinary links between the anthropological and archaeological study of art.

Learning Outcomes

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

On completing this course, students will have acquired knowledge of the major forms of rock art and their geographic and chronological distribution around the world as well as skills in critically analysing and interpreting rock art. This includes an understanding of the ways that rock art can help us to understand changes in human behaviour, technology and ideology over time. Students will also have a basic understanding of rock art management, conservation, dating, and documentation. Students will also have:

  1. skills in written and verbal expression for a variety of relevant academic and / or professional purposes.
  2. skills in interdisciplinary thinking and the ability to apply diverse theoretical and practical ideas to rock art research.
  3. skills to undertake verbal and written presentation of their results at the standard of a undergraduate degree.
  4. an understanding of current best practice in rock art research.
  5. a commitment to ethical practice in regard to rock art research. 

Indicative Assessment

2500 word essay (50%); presentation (20%); A3 digital poster (30%)

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. Two hour lecture plus one hour tutorial each week during semester.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 36 units of courses towards a degree including at least one of ARCH1111 or ARCH1112. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ARCH2130 or HUMN8008.

Prescribed Texts

Domingo Sanz, Ines, Danae Fiore, and Sally K. May (eds), 2008, Archaeologies of Art: time, place and identity. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press.

Chippindale, Christopher and Paul S.C. Tacon (eds). 1998, The Archaeology of Rock-art. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Layton, Robert, 1991, The Anthropology of Art, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.



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
3573 16 Feb 2015 06 Mar 2015 31 Mar 2015 29 May 2015 In Person N/A

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