• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Archaeology
  • Areas of interest Archaeology

This course introduces students to the methods archaeologists use to interpret environments and environmental change. We will discuss the principles of ecological and environmental function, the multifarious processes that influence the preservation and spatial and temporal distribution of environmental evidence in the archaeological record. We will investigate how various aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates and vertebrates provide frameworks for interpreting local and regional ecological change and how people have variously impacted on and modified environments, with a particular focus on those plants and animals that have adapted to the special environmental conditions and emerged with the amalgamation of people in towns and villages.

Learning Outcomes

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:
  1. understand the methodologies and research objectives of environmental archaeology;
  2. assess the limits of the evidence used and assess past human impacts on ecosystems; and
  3. develop basic laboratory skills and understanding of the different techniques and methodologies employed in environmental archaeology research.

Indicative Assessment

Argumentative Essay, 3000 words (50%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2]
Wattle quizzes x 2 (20%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2]
Laboratory/field portfolio, 1500 words (30%) [Learning Outcomes 2, 3]

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: 18 hours of lectures and 18 hours of tutorials and tutorial-like activities; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading, and writing.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 6 units of 1000 level Archaeology (ARCH or PREH) courses, or with permission of the convenor. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ARCH6041.

Prescribed Texts

Lowe, J.J. & Walker, M.J.C. 1997 (2nd Ed.). Reconstructing Quaternary environments, Edinburgh: Wesley Longman Ltd.
Evans, J. & O'Connor, T.P. 1999. Environmental archaeology: Principles and methods, Stroud: Sutton Publishing Ltd.
Turney, C., Canti, M., Branch, N. 2005. Environmental archaeology: Theoretical and practical approaches, London: Routledge.
Reitz, E.J., and Shackley, M., 2012. Environmental Archaeology. Springer

Preliminary Reading

Diamond, J. Guns, Germs and Steel: A Short History of Everybody for the Last 13,000 Years, Vintage 1997.
Evans, J. and O'Connor, T. Environmental Archaeology: Principles and Methods, Sutton Publishing 1999.
Flannery, T. The Future Eaters: An Ecological History of the Australasian Lands and People, Reed Books, 1994.
Wilkinson, K. and Stevens, C. Environmental Archaeology: Approaches, Techniques and Applications, Tempus, 2003.




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

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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
6645 26 Jul 2021 02 Aug 2021 14 Sep 2021 29 Oct 2021 In Person View

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