• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asian Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Geoffrey Clark
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2017
    See Future Offerings

Most of the past is outside of history, either occurring before people began writing things down or happening in the nooks and crannies of culture that are rarely written about. To understand this past we must turn to its material culture—the remains of everyday life preserved in the archaeological and natural record. In this course we will discuss what we've learned about the human past in eastern Asia and in the Pacific and how we have learned it, with emphasis on key developments such as the first arrival of people in uninhabited lands, the development of agriculture and the resilience of foraging, the development of complex ranked societies, and the interactions of people with local environments. The student will gain an understanding of past cultures in Asia and the Pacific and be prepared for advanced study of the ancient past using archaeological and palaeoenvironmental approaches.

Learning Outcomes

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

On successful completion of this course, student will be able to:
1) Describe how archaeologists have approached the early history of Asia and the Pacific.
2) Critically use concepts and tools from the discipline of archaeology to develop, review, analyse and synthesise knowledge about Asia and the Pacific.
3) Demonstrate an understanding of the prehistoric origins of the Asia-Pacific.
4) Communicate arguments and findings effectively, both orally and in writing.

Indicative Assessment

Short map quiz on the bio-geographic and cultural-political divisions of the Asia-Pacific (10%), [LO 1, 2].
In-class Assessment 1: Migration. Short presentation by each student of 10-15 minutes and leading of class discussion (30%), [LO 1, 2, 3, 4].Critically review the evidence  (archaeological/historical/environmental) for a major human expansion in the Asia-Pacific that we have discussed in class (e.g. migrations by archaic humans, early farmers, Austronesians, Lapita culture, Polynesia). 
In-class Assessment 2: States and Empires. Short Group presentation (2-3 students) of 10-15 minutes and class discussion (30%), [LO 1, 2, 3, 4]. Identify and outline the critical factors that led to the development of complex societies in the  Asia-Pacific that we have discussed in class (e.g. Qin Empire, Khmer Empire, Mongol Empire, Tongan Empire
Long essay (2000 words) (30%) [LO 1, 2, 3, 4] 

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Student workload is estimated at 10 hr/week, 130 hours in total over the semester including independent study and in-class time. 

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed 36 units of courses.

Prescribed Texts

Specific readings will be assigned for each class based on the lecture topic. The general text is: 2016.  Archaeology: Theories Methods and Practice. 7th Ed. Thames and Hudson, London.

Assumed Knowledge

Student are encourage to have enrolled in ASIA1025 Asia and the Pacific: Power, Diversity and Change, and ASIA1030 Asia and the Pacific in Motion. 




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
2017 $2856
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4080
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
9840 24 Jul 2017 31 Jul 2017 31 Aug 2017 27 Oct 2017 In Person N/A

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