• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Specialist
  • Course subject Archaeology
  • Academic career Postgraduate
  • Mode of delivery In Person
Managing, Mapping and Detecting Archaeological Sites (ARCH8034)

How much of the soil of the Earth carries traces of past human activity? Is much of our planet surface one huge archaeological site? How is it in 2010 we can find a new "second Stonehenge" at Stonehenge? How do I know if I have an archaeological site in a paddock, my backyard or in the footprint of a housing development? How can I most reliably find out ?

The 20th century saw a huge increase in the scale, complexity and effectiveness of procedures used by archaeologists to search for "unseen" archaeological sites and buried landscapes. Methods range from remote sensing from satellites and aircraft; through LIDAR and Radar, to ground-based remote sensing and geophysical methods (Time Team's "geofizz") to large scale archaeological investigations and testing of landscapes (often ahead of development) through excavation by machine, by hand and by drilling and coring.

This course provides a Masters level foundation for understanding the applications and limits of the scientific "tool-box" now available for detecting evidence of past human actions across the Earth's surface (as archaeological sites). It focuses on methods available for detecting archaeological sites; issues of assessing data quality and ethical considerations of how to deliberate and decide what to preserve and conserve, where and when, from a global comparative perspective driven by the need for affordable and sustainable outcomes. Case studies are used to illustrate successes, failures and consequences of subsurface evaluation processes and developments engaging sites "unseen".

Learning Outcomes

Students will develop core skills in conceptualizing, planning and assessing research results from the process of archaeological site detection in landscape/soil contexts. The course provides a professional level foundation in critical thinking applied to assessing results from archaeological surface survey and subsurface investigations at a global comparative scale.

Indicative Assessment

Critical annotated briefing notes for a selected site detection technique as merits/demerits/limitations (module 10 (20%); development of a research design proposal for investigating subsurface archaeological site occurrence in a selected geographic area, based on terrain categorisation as a desk-top study, as a 3,000 word scoping proposal (50%); individual plan for a group gaming simulation for a mapped areas (20%) and contributions to group role playing (10%)

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.

Workload

130 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 36 hours of contact taught intensively in 3 blocks of 12 hours (over 2 days); and b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Prescribed Texts

David, B. and Thomas, J. (eds) 2008 Handbook of Landscape Archaeology. Left Coast Press:Walnut Creek. 

Spoerry, P (ed.) 1992 Geoprospection in the Archaeological Landscape. Oxbow Monograph 18. Oxbow books:Oxford.

Wiseman, J. and El-Baz, F. (eds) 2007 Remote Sensing in Archaeology. Springer: New York.

Fees

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:
Band 1
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.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $3180
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $4860
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

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