• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Archaeology
  • Areas of interest Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Classics and Ancient History, Forensic Anthropology, Arts

This course will provide students with a practical introduction to the laboratory methods associated with the analysis of archaeological materials, along with the interpretation and reporting of results. Students will acquire skills in record keeping, the correct procedures around sorting and accessioning artefacts, as well as the very specific analyses associated with materials such as lithics, shell and pottery as well as the sedimentary fabric of the excavation. In addition students will learn how to process historical period artefacts. Similar in concept to “ARCH2061 - Archaeological Field Methods” students in this course will work with archaeological materials that replicate a real world situation, covering both the prehistoric and historic time periods, from the initial arrival of excavated materials in the lab to final report.

The course will have imbedded throughout it the importance of record keeping as well as basic quantitative methods/analysis and the final and most significant piece of assessment will follow the format of a consulting report.

The course is group taught drawing on the expertise of ANU staff in archaeological practice.

Learning Outcomes

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

On satisfying the requirements of this course students will have the knowledge and skills to:
1. Operate independently as well as part of a team in a laboratory setting.
2. Implement the procedures associated with the curation and analysis of archaeological materials.
3. Integrate multiple lines of analysis and relate this to archaeological practice.
4. Plan and produce output consistent with industry practices in archaeology.

Indicative Assessment

1. Laboratory Workbook - students will develop written responses to a laboratory workbook that guides them through the record keeping aspect of the course as well as short answer reflective questions. (30%) LO 1,2,3
2. Class tests - three class tests (10% each) will assess skills acquired by students during the course. LO 2 3
3. Report - students will submit a finished 'consultancy report' that describes the all the analyses and findings of their research. Maximum 2000 words (40%) LO 2,3, 4

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.


Contact hours: 3 hours a week delivered in one block and involving a combination of lectures and practical tasks.
Private study: It is expected that students will undertake 7 hours per teaching week toward the completion of assignments, as well as preparation for quizzes and discussion.
(Total workload 130 hours over the semester).

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course, you must have successfully completed either ARCH1111, ARCH1112 or ASIA2301.

Prescribed Texts

Recommended text: Archaeological Laboratory Methods: an introduction (2014) Mark Sutton and Brooke Arkush.

Preliminary Reading

Students will be given appropriate reading from current texts and journals as appropriate throughout the semester.

Assumed Knowledge

It is expected that students will take this course subsequent to taking ARCH 2061 - Archaeological Field Methods or have equivalent experience.




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
2019 $3000
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $4560
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
4217 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 In Person View

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