• Class Number 2013
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 12 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Philip Piper
    • Dr Rachel Wood
    • Rebecca Jones
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

This core course introduces students to the range of archaeological science methods and techniques which one can expect to use in field- and laboratory-based archaeological research and heritage management projects, evaluated within an explicitly archaeological methodology. A background in the history of the field will first be given, and the theoretical debates concerning the role of archaeological science within the wider field of archaeology will be discussed. Various sub-disciplines within archaeological science will be introduced. Field trips and/or practical study will also be an integral aspect of this course.

Where field trips or practical study involves travel outside of Canberra (including to other parts of the ACT), students will only be permitted to undertake this travel upon completion of ANU required documentation and the approval of all documentation by the relevant delegate.

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. Explain and critique the relationships between environmental sciences, archaeology and historical and social disciplines;
  2. Apply basic principles derived from physical sciences in natural systems to archaeological research design and data interpretation;
  3. Understand the research context of key developments in archaeological science as a discipline;
  4. Explain basic field contextual analysis and assessment of archaeological sites within holistic frameworks bridging biological, chemical and physical sciences, and archaeology; and
  5. Plan and design materials from research investigations for public dissemination and/or for conference poster presentation.

Additional Course Costs

Additional costs will be associated with the field intensive, if based at Kioloa, NSW. To be advised.

Useful general reading material would be:

Brothwell, D.R. and Pollard, A.M. (Eds.) 2008. Handbook of Archaeological Sciences, Chicester: Wiley and Sons Ltd.

Evans, J. and O’Connor, T. 1999. Environmental archaeology: Principles and Methods, Stroud: Sutton Publishing Ltd.

Lowe, J.J. and Walker, M.J.C. 1984. Reconstructing Quaternary environments, Edinburgh Gate: Longman Ltd.

Goldberg, P. and Macphail, R.I. 2006. Practical and theoretical geoarchaeology, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Matisoo-Smith, E. and Horsburgh, K.A. 2012. DNA for archaeologists, Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press.

O’Connor, T. 2000. The archaeology of animal bones, Stroud: Sutton Publishing Ltd.

Staff Feedback

The provision of feedback is a key mechanism to help you learn, and we do our best to ensure that you receive enough.

You can obtain formative feedback for this course by making an appointment to see the Course Coordinator in order to discuss approaches to formulating or answering essay questions, specific essay plans or general issues about the course. Please note that, in order to ensure fairness to all students, draft essays will not be looked at.

General feedback will be provided in tutorials after each piece of assessment due during the semester.

You will also be provided with individual feedback on each piece of written assessment. There will be a table with ticks against a number of criteria, as well as detailed comments

on the strengths and weaknesses of your essay, and on ways to improve.

Should you wish to receive further feedback, you are encouraged to make an appointment to see your Course Coordinator and discuss your essay in more detail. Please do not attempt to seek further feedback via email.

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Referencing requirements

Referencing is a vital part of all academic writing. You must reference in the text of your essay ALL information and ideas derived from your reading, not just those parts which are direct quotations. This is an important part of academic professional practice.

In Archaeology, the Harvard system of referencing is followed, not the footnoting system used by some other disciplines. For example:

For many research problems, a small sample will suffice (Seymour 1980).

Alternatively, the author’s surname may be integrated into the text, followed immediately by the year of publication, in brackets. For example:

Seymour (1980) has argued that for many research problems, a small sample will suffice.

When you use a direct quotation, or refer to a specific idea, you need to include the page number(s) in the text reference after a colon. For example:

For many research problems, “a small sample will suffice” (Seymour 1980:22).

If more than one work is cited, they should be referenced as follows:

Schiffer (1987) and Redman (1974) have considered....

Previous authors (Schiffer 1987; Redman 1974) have considered....

In the case of work that has more than three authors, only the surname of the first listed author is used, followed by the expression “et al.” (meaning “and others”). For example, a work by Schiffer, Rathje, Redman and Martin becomes:

Schiffer et al. (2000) have found....

It has been found (Shiffer et al. 2000) that....

If you want to quote a long passage (40 words or more) from another publication, it should be indented with no quotation marks:

It is inevitable that much of the archaeological variability reported within and between regions is a consequence, not of past human behaviour, but of differences in the environmental processes that today influence the archaeologist's ability to find and interpret artefacts and sites (Schiffer 1987:262).

You then list all the books and articles to which you have referred in the text of your essay under the heading “Bibliography” or “Works Cited” or “Reference List” at the end of your essay. These references must be arranged in alphabetical order by first author surname/family name. They should not be numbered or bullet-pointed lists.

The following examples illustrate the preferred format (Harvard style) for dealing with various types of source material in your References. If you look at references in any journal article or book you will see that many specific formats can be used - the essence is to be consistent.

For a book:

Darvill, T. 2010. Prehistoric Britain. 2nd ed, London: Routledge.

For a book by more than one author:

Benson, D. and Whittle, A. 2007. Building memories: the Neolithic Cotswold long barrow at Ascott-Under-Wychwood, Oxfordshire. Oxford: Oxbow.

For an edited volume:

Haselgrove, C. and Moore, T. (eds). 2007. The later Iron Age in Britain and beyond. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

For an article in an edited volume:

Haselgrove, C. 1999: The Iron Age. In J. R. Hunter and I.B.M. Ralston (eds.), The Archaeology of Britain. an introduction from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Industrial Revolution. Routledge, London. 113-134.

For an article in a journal:

Schulting, R.J. & M.P. Richards 2002, The wet, the wild and the domesticated: the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition on the west coast of Scotland. European Journal of Archaeology 5(2): 147-189.

*Note that the journal title, NOT the article title is italicised, and the volume number and issue or part of the volume are indicated before the page number.

For a website:

Parker Pearson, M. 2010. Stonehenge riverside project homepage. University of Sheffield, [last accessed 2 Feb. 2012]. Available from http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/archaeology/research/stonehenge.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Orientation: Master of Archaeological and Evolutionary Science Program and Introduction to Archaeological Science course
2 Introduction to Geoarchaeology 1,
3 Introduction to Zooarchaeology 1, 2
4 Introduction to Bioarchaeology (Dr. Justyna Miszkiewicz) 1
5 Archaeobotany (Microfossils) 1
6 Introduction to Chronometric Dating (Dr. Rachel Wood) 1
7 Human Evolution (Dr. Justyna Miszkiewicz) 1
8 Kioloa Field Trip 1, 4, 5
9 Isotopes in Archaeology (Dr. Rachel Wood) 1
10 Primate Ecology 1
11 Archaeobotany (Macrofossils) 1
12 Archaeomalacology 1, 3

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Powerpoint presentations and leading discussion 20 % 31/05/2019 07/06/2019 3, 4
Short Report and Analysis 20 % 24/03/2019 13/04/2019 2
Essay 30 % 02/06/2019 15/06/2019 1, 2, 3, 4
Field Notebook 10 % 16/05/2019 23/05/2019 4, 5
Field Report and Assessment 20 % 02/06/2019 15/06/2019 3, 4, 5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.



From Week 2 onwards, there will usually be a lecture (1 hour) followed by a seminar (2 hours). In Weeks 2-6 and 9,12-14, the seminars will focus around one or two student pesentations (dependent on student numbers). The convenor will randomly choose from the student list the specific topics for the students to produce a presentation and lead the discussion on.

The seminars will be run as discussions, around a central debate. Each student will be expected to present a 10 - 15 minute Powerpoint for one topic during the course and be expected to lead the subsequent discussion.

Those students who are off-campus will be asked to construct a Powerpoint and send through the talk via email - ideally with timed audio to accompany the Powerpoint (which can be done in new versions of Powerpoint and Keynote for Mac users) - otherwise they can send through a Powerpoint presentation with notes to be read. They will also be asked to prepare a list of up to five questions which can be asked in discussion following their presentation.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 31/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 07/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 3, 4

Powerpoint presentations and leading discussion

Details of task: Consider the design of your Powerpoint slides carefully, with not too much text, at least 24 or 28 point font, clear images, citations for each image used, and a reference slide at the end. Given there is only 10 minutes - you should aim to have 10 slides (excluding title slide and reference slide at the end). I anticipate c. 20 references would be consulted for the talk - including the readings set for that week.

Note: These tasks are sub-divided into assessment of the presentation (10%) and leading the following discussion (10%).

Assessment Criteria: Three main criteria will be assessed: clarity, presentation and critique.

Clarity: The first aspect assessed will be the capacity to expose the topic in a structured way. Beginning with a general introduction of the topic addressed, the audience will be

introduced to specific aspects of the subject through case studies or examples, to finalise with a discussion of the topic covered. Language clarity, pace and vocabulary will be evaluated.

Presentation: It will be evaluated the quality of the presentation (i.e. homogeneous fonts, visible images, referencing of both quotations and images), as well as time management. Presentation will not last more than 15-20 minutes, with 5-10 minutes for questions at the end of the presentation.

Critique: An important aspect of the presentation assessment is the ability of developing a critical and independent thinking, based on the topic proposed and the presentation made. Therefore, it will be highly ranked those presentations which provide a discussion and critical view of the topic, in which students will be able to express their personal opinion about the subject introduced.

Presentation (10%)

Discussion (10%)

Estimated return date: Feedback the week after completion

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 24/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 13/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 2

Short Report and Analysis

Details of task: The outcomes of a considerable amount of zooarchaeological data is illustrated and presented in graphic form. It requires an understanding of the numerical data and how this is best presented and interpreted. The student will be provided with some background information on an archaeological site, and some zooarchaeological data. They will be expected to graphically present the data in an understandable format and provide a basic interpretation (within 500 words) of what the data might be informing about the zooarchaeological record.

Value: 20%

Due Date:

Estimated return date:

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 02/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 15/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4


Details of task: An archaeological and evolutionary science topic that is not covered in detail in the course is archaeochemistry (with the exceptions of isotopes). Archaeochemistry covers a diverse range of topics, any of which you can choose to be the main theme of your essay. Expect c. 15 references, around 3000 words of text - use of figures and tables recommended to augment points.

Value: 30%

Length: 3000 words

Due Date:

Estimated return date:

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 16/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 23/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 4, 5

Field Notebook

Details of task: The student will be expected to produce a notebook detailing the main aspects of discussion and tasks set on a daily basis during the Kioloa field trip. It will be

expected that your daily notes will make an important resource in leading and/or contributing to discussion groups in the evenings.

Value: 10%

Due Date:

Estimated return date:

Assessment Task 5

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 02/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 15/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 3, 4, 5

Field Report and Assessment

Details of task: During the field trip to Kioloa we will discuss numerous techniques in fieldbased assessment, excavation, recording and appropriate sampling strategies. The student task will be to produce a desk-based assessment for one of the sites visited and discussed during the field trip. The assessment will be organised and written as if you had been asked to write a research proposal to undertake a test excavation to determine archaeological potential and site management procedures. The report should include an introduction, a proposed excavation and post-excavation strategies and likely outcomes of the study. It is important within the outcomes to include details of how the project would enhance our local and regional knowledge of human history. Keep the assessment to approximately 2500 words.

Value: 20%

Due Date:

Estimated return date:

When in doubt about anything, ASK...and.... ask EARLY – do not leave it until the assignment due date. Your lecturer, other academic staff and College administration staff are here to help you.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) as submission must be through Turnitin.

NOTE: For any one piece of work that will be submitted through TurnItIn the submission date will be set four days before the deadline date. This will enable the student to submit a piece of work through TurnItIn and receive a ‘similarity result’. The student will then be able to correct any outstanding issues and re-submit before the deadline. IMPORTANT to remember that on your first submission TurnItIn will provide a “similarity result” within a short time, but if you try and submit a second time it will take more than 24 hrs.

SO – complete essays well before the deadline and you can make sure that you will have no plagiarism issues.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded.


Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Student work will be returned in accordance with CASS procedures. Written feedback will be provided on essays and presentations.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

It is not possible to resubmit assignments.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Prof Philip Piper

Research Interests

Archaeological science, Zooarchaeology, Palaeoecology, Archaeological Field Research

Prof Philip Piper

Thursday 09:00 11:00
Dr Rachel Wood

Research Interests

Dr Rachel Wood

Monday 09:00 12:00
Rebecca Jones

Research Interests

Rebecca Jones

Tuesday 09:00 12:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions