• Class Number 5099
  • Term Code 3160
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dougald O'Reilly
    • Dougald O'Reilly
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 26/07/2021
  • Class End Date 29/10/2021
  • Census Date 14/09/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/08/2021
SELT Survey Results

This course provides an introduction to the archaeological and biological data which reflect upon cultural history and human variation. "From Origins to Civilisations" sets up a broad framework upon which later Archaeology and Biological Anthropology courses across the University can be placed. In particular, combined with Introduction to Archaeology, it provides the necessary basis for students to continue on to a wide variety of later year units.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. understand the broad trajectory of human evolution;
  2. critically evaluate archaeological journal articles; and
  3. understand the rise of complex societies and recognise similarities and differences between them.

Research-Led Teaching

ARCH1112 will see leading ANU academics who specialise in specific areas present their research. The topics presented are driven by their research and incorporate a broad range data that informs each presentation. The course is very focussed on research-led teaching and strives to present students the most up-to-date information possible.

Field Trips


Additional Course Costs


Examination Material or equipment


Required Resources

Scarre, C. (ed.) 2018 (or earlier), The Human Past : world prehistory & the development of human societies, Thames and Hudson, London

Fagan, B. 2007, People of the Earth, Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River NJ.

Price, D. and Feinman, G. 2005, Images of the Past, McGraw-Hill, Boston.

Collis, J. 1984. The European Iron Age. London: Batsford.

Cunliffe, B.W. 2008. Europe between the oceans : themes and variations: 9000 BC to AD 1000. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

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.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction - Evolution Dr Dougald O’Reilly The Biological Evolution of Humanity: from origins to early Homo Dr Dougald O’Reilly Reading: Human Past chapter 2; Fagan chapter 2; Price and Feinman chapter 2. Reading: Human Past chapter 2+3; Fagan chapter 2; Price and Feinman chapter 2.
2 The Biological Evolution of Humanity: The Erectine Phase and the Neanderthals Dr Dougald O'Reilly The Biological Evolution of Humanity: The origin of Homo sapiens Dr Dougald O'Reilly Reading: Human Past chapter 3; Fagan chapter 3; Price and Feinman chapter 3 Reading: Human Past chapter 3; Fagan chapters 2 and 3; Price and Feinman chapters 2 and 3.
3 Ancient Human Behaviour Dr Justyna Miszkiewicz (pre-recorded lecture) Modern Human Variation and its Origins. Alannah Pearson Reading: Larsen, C. S. (2002). Bioarchaeology: the lives and lifestyles of past people. Journal of Archaeological Research, 10(2), 119-166. Reading: Human Past chapter 4. Hublin et al. 2017
4 The settlements of Australasia and the Americas by Homo sapiens. Prof. Peter Bellwood Ancient Greece Dr Dougald O'Reilly Reading: The Human Past chapter 4; First Migrants chapter 3 Reading: Scarre - Human Past Chapter 13 (relevant portion).
5 The Origins of Agriculture Dr. Dougald O'Reilly Predynastic Egypt: the origin of the world’s first nation state. Dr Dougald O'Reilly Reading: The Human Past chapters 5-9; First Farmers chapters 2 and 3. First Migrants chapters 6-9. Reading: Fagan chapters 11 and 16, Price and Feinman chapter 10. Scarre pp 370-376
6 Archaic and Old Kingdom Egypt. Dr Dougald O'Reilly The Indus civilization and its successors Dr Dougald O'Reilly Reading: Fagan chapter 16, Price and Feinman chapter 10. Scarre pp 376-380. Reading: Human Past chapter 14; Fagan chapter 17, Price and Feinman chapter 10. Scarre 532--538.
7 The Origins of Chinese civilization. Dr Dougald O’Reilly The rise of agricultural societies and the increasing voices from genetics and linguistics. Prof. Peter Bellwood Reading: Human Past chapter 15; Fagan chapter 18, Price and Feinman chapter 10. Scarre 553-558 Reading: First Migrants chapter 6.
8 Origins and migrations of the Indo-European speaking peoples. Prof Peter Bellwood Bronze Age Europe Dr Catherine Freiman Reading: The Human Past chapter 8; First Migrants chapters 7 and 8. Reading: Human Past Chp 11; Fagan Chp 20; Cunliffe chp 7 + 8
9 Mesoamerican Civilisations Dr Dougald O’Reilly Inca Empire Dr Dougald O'Reilly Reading: Scarre - Human Past Chapter 16 Reading: Scarre - Human Past Chapter 17
10 Iron Age Europe Dr Dougald O'Reilly Peopling the Pacific Dr Mathieu Leclerc Reading: Cunliffe Chp 9 + 10; Collis chp 1 Readings: Scarre - Human Past Pg 279-292.
11 Indianization of SE Asia Dr Dougald O'Reilly Chiefdoms and Monumentality in Pacific Dr Mathieu Leclerc Reading: Human Past chapters 7 and 15; Fagan chapter 17 Scarre 585-593. Readings: Scarre - Human Past Pg 295-301.
12 Rise of Rome Dr Paul Burton The Collapse of Civilisations Dr Dougald O'Reilly Reading: M. Torelli, "Archaic Between Latium and Etruria," in The Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 7 pt. 1: The Rise of Rome to 220 B.C., eds. F. W. Walbank, A. E. Astin, M. W. Frederiksen, R. M. Ogilvie and A. Drummond. Cambridge University Press, 1989, pp. 30-51. Reading: Diamond, J. Collapse Ch. 14 (On reserve at Chifley Library)

Tutorial Registration

Please visit the course Wattle page to enrol in tutorials

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Presentation and written submission summarizing presentation 15 % 1-3
Reading Sheets 15 % 2
Essay 40 % 1, 2, 3
Exam 30 % 1, 3

* 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 Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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.


Students are expected to prepare for tutorials and engage in discussion on the topic and offer comment on student presentations.


One 50 minute examination at end of semester.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1-3

Presentation and written submission summarizing presentation

You are expected to prepare a presentation on a topic of your choice from those provided and a written submission summarizing your presentation max. two pages. The presentation is linked to learning outcomes 1 and 3. A presentation marking rubric can be found on the Wattle site.

You will have 10 minutes for the presentation and hopefully some time at the end - 2 or 3 minutes for questions that should be built in to the presentation at the end. The week of your presentation will be selected during the first tutorial. Presenters can use Powerpoint, overheads, or photocopied handouts. Presentations should include an introduction to the topic, the civilization’s (or appropriate) location, its excavation history and its archaeological significance. Presentations must also end with two discussion questions. These are individual presentations and will be presented during a Zoom Tutorial session. The summary should include detail of each student’s contribution to the presenation.

You may present your topic in any way you wish, traditional Powerpoint, puppets, act out a scene etc. so get creative!

The presentations will be assessed based on the following criteria (see rubric on Wattle):

Relevance and quality of the information provided

Clarity of oral presentation – including timekeeping

Quality of discussion questions and their relevance to the material being presented

Word limit: Summary should not exceed two A4 pages and presentation should be 15 minutes in length.


Value: Presentation 9%, summary 6% of overall mark


Presentation requirements: A powerpoint or similar presentation tool should be used. Come prepared with the presenation on a data USB or upload it to the web.


Estimated return date: Within one week of presentation/submission.

Rubric available on Class Wattle site

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 2

Reading Sheets

Before tutorials you must prepare at least two questions for a weekly reading (from the learning resources or your own research) and a summary of the purpose of the article as well as defining two terms you did not understand in the article. The reading will come from an internationally respected/recognized journal and be on one of the presentation topics of that week. It is up to the student to find a reading of interest. For example if one of the presentation topics is on the Moche, say in week 4, you will find an article on the Moche on-line through e.g. JSTOR.

For 9/11 of the tutorials you should prepare a simple tutorial reading form (for one of the tutorial journal papers provided) and for two of the 11 tutorials you should prepare a Critical Reading assessment (both forms can be found on Wattle). These should be handed in at end of Tutorials.


Word limit (where applicable): c. 500 words max.


Value: 15% of overall mark.


Presentation requirements: Use the forms provided on Wattle.


Estimated return date: Week after end of semester.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3


Compose a Research Essay on a topic of your choice from those provided on the Wattle site.

The essays will be assessed on the following criteria:

· Accuracy in describing issues and facts

· Range/comprehensiveness of material covered

· Depth of understanding

· Originality

· Relevance of material

· Use of examples

· Critical approach to sources

· Use of bibliography

· Use of illustrations (optional)

· Structure and presentation

Word limit: c. 1500 words max.


Value: 40% of overall mark.


Presentation requirements: Use the forms provided on Wattle.


Estimated return date: Week after end of semester.

Rubric available on Class Wattle site

Assessment Task 4

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 3


50 minutes in length on Wattle. Multiple choice.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to 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 be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, 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 Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

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) submission must be through Turnitin.

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

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. 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

See individual assessment details

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted 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

Resubmission is not permitted.

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).

Dougald O'Reilly

Research Interests

Archaeology, Southeast Asia, Social Complexity

Dougald O'Reilly

By Appointment
Dougald O'Reilly

Research Interests

Dougald O'Reilly

By Appointment

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