- Code ARCH6041
- Unit Value 6 units
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 that emerged with the amalgamation of people in towns and villages.
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:
- Critically discuss the different approaches, methodologies and research objectives of environmental archaeology from an international perspective;
- Examine the methodologies used to model past human interactions with environments, assess the limits of the evidence used, and contextualize the debates surrounding past human impacts on ecosystems and local ecology;
- Evaluate the significance of environmental archaeology to theories of past extinctions and culture change; and
- Apply different techniques and skills in the laboratory to environmental archaeology research.
Indicative AssessmentArgumentative Essay, 4000 words (50%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3]
Wattle quizzes x 2 (20%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3]
Laboratory/field portfolio, 2000 words (30%) [Learning Outcomes 2, 4]
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 18 hours of lecture and 18 hours of tutorials; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Prescribed TextsLowe, 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
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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