• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Specialist
  • Course subject Humanities
  • Areas of interest Resource Management and Environmental Science, Anthropology, Archaeology, Cultural Studies, Policy Studies More...
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course

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 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.


Course Structure And ContentThe specific syllabus will be available at the beginning of the semester in which the course is taught. However, an indicative list of modules and components is as follows:

  • Module 1: An introduction to world rock art
  • Module 2: Forms of rock art - pigment, petroglyph etc.
  • Module 3: A history of rock art research
  • Module 4: Documenting rock art
  • Module 5: Analysing rock art
  • Module 6: Theories for interpreting rock art
  • Module 7: Ethnography and rock art
  • Module 8: Innovations in dating rock art
  • Module 9: Management and conservation of rock art sites
  • Module 10: Recent advances in rock art research
  • Module 11: Ethics and culturally appropriate research

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon successful completion of this course, students will 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 required to independently undertake research into rock art in Australia and internationally. This includes data-collection and analysis of results.
  4. skills to undertake verbal and written presentation of their results at the standard of a postgraduate degree.
  5. an understanding of current best practice in rock art research.
  6. a commitment to ethical practice in regard to rock art research. 

Indicative Assessment

3000 word essay or report (50%); presentation (20%); 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.


130 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 tutorials; and b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ARCH 3025

Areas of Interest

  • Resource Management and Environmental Science
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Policy Studies
  • Museums and Collections



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
2018 $3180
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $4860
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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