- Code BIAN3010
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
- ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
- Course subject Biological Anthropology
- Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences, Anthropology, Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Forensic Anthropology More...
This course provides an overview of the principle dating techniques used within archaeology and, more generally, the Quaternary. Starting with fundamental principles such as stratigraphy and relatively simple methods such as dendrochronology (tree-ring dating), the course will progress to examine some of the main scientifically based methods, such as radiocarbon, U-series, potassium/argon, luminescence and electron spin resonance dating. Students will learn to design dating strategies, evaluate published datasets and build chronological models to interrogate archaeological and palaeoenvironmental hypotheses. Where possible, the course will include visits to the respective laboratories.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Explain the basic principles underlying the dating techniques applied to archaeological and quaternary palaeoenvironmental questions.
- Identify which techniques can be used in a variety of archaeological and palaeoenvironmental contexts.
- Use examples to illustrate the advantages and limitations of the methods.
- Evaluate whether a published chronological dataset is able to answer an archaeological or palaeoenvironmental question
- Construct a chronological model to test an archaeological or palaeoenvironmental hypothesis.
Indicative AssessmentEssay, 2000 (50%) LO 3-5
Two hour short answer test (25%) LO 1-2
OxCal exercise - Construction and evaluation of a Bayesian chronological model with a 500 word report (25%) LO5
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of seminars; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Bayliss, A., 2009. Rolling out revolution: Using radiocarbon dating in archaeology Radiocarbon 51 (1), 123-147.
Bayliss, A., 2015. Quality in Bayesian chronological models in archaeology World Archaeology 47 (4), 677-700.
Bronk Ramsey, C., 2008. Radiocarbon dating: Revolutions in understanding Archaeometry 50 (2), 249-275.
Grün, R., 2006. Direct dating of human fossils American Journal of Physical Anthropology 131 (SUPPL. 43), 2-48.
Grün, R., Eggins, S., Kinsley, L., Moseley, H. and Sambridge, M., 2014. Laser ablation U-series analysis of fossil bones and teeth Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 416, 150-167.
Hellstrom, J. and Pickering, R., 2015. Recent advances and future prospects of the U-Th and U-Pb chronometers applicable to archaeology Journal of Archaeological Science 56, 32-40.
Lane, C.S., Cullen, V.L., White, D., Bramham-Law, C.W.F. and Smith, V.C., 2014. Cryptotephra as a dating and correlation tool in archaeology Journal of Archaeological Science 42 (1), 42-50.
Penkman, K., 2010. Amino acid geochronology: Its impact on our understanding of the Quaternary stratigraphy of the British Isles Journal of Quaternary Science 25 (4), 501-514.
Rhodes, E., 2011. Optically stimulated luminescence dating of sediments over the past 200,000 years. Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 2011. 39:461–88
Roberts, R.G., Jacobs, Z., Li, B., Jankowski, N.R., Cunningham, A.C. and Rosenfeld, A.B., 2015. Optical dating in archaeology: Thirty years in retrospect and grand challenges for the future Journal of Archaeological Science 56, 41-60.
Wood, R., 2015. From revolution to convention: The past, present and future ofradiocarbon dating Journal of Archaeological Science 56, 61-72.
Areas of Interest
- Earth and Marine Sciences
- Biological Anthropology
- Forensic Anthropology
- Asia Pacific Studies
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- 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.
Offerings and Dates
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery||Class Summary|
|7173||23 Jul 2018||30 Jul 2018||31 Aug 2018||26 Oct 2018||In Person||N/A|