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.
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:
- understand the methodologies and research objectives of environmental archaeology;
- assess the limits of the evidence used and assess past human impacts on ecosystems; and
- develop basic laboratory skills and understanding of the different techniques and methodologies employed in environmental archaeology research.
Indicative AssessmentArgumentative 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]
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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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 lectures and 18 hours of tutorials and tutorial-like activities; 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
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.
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- 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.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.