- Code ARCH8044
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
- ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
- Course subject Archaeology
- Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences, Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Forensic Anthropology , Environmental Science
- Academic career PGRD
- Mode of delivery In Person
This course provides an overview of the principle stable isotope techniques applied within archaeology and biological anthropology. The course will proffer a background to the principles underlying the main stable isotopic techniques used in archaeology (d13C, d15N, d18O and 87Sr/86Sr) as well as more advanced techniques and concepts. There will also be discussion of archaeological applications including, for example, the use of stable isotopes to understand early farming practices or Palaeolithic lifeways. The focus will be on evaluating the quality of the dataset and whether it can answer specific archaeological/ anthropological questions posed.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- understand and apply the principles and methods underpinning stable isotope analysis;
- explain how stable isotopes are used to answer questions in archaeological and biological anthropological scientific research;
- construct scientific hypotheses in stable isotope research; and
- critically assess whether published isotopic datasets can answer archaeological or biological anthropological research questions.
- Short answer test (25) [LO 1,2]
- Essay 5000 words (75) [LO 2,3,4]
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130 hrs of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of lectures and seminars delivered intensively over 6 days, and
b) 94 hrs of independent student research, reading and writing.
Bentley, R.A., 2006. Strontium Isotopes from the Earth to the Archaeological Skeleton: A Review. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 13 (3), 135-187.
Lee-Thorp, J.A., 2008. On Isotopes and Old Bones. Archaeometry 50 (6), 925-950.
Makarewicz, C.A. and Sealy, J., 2015. Dietary reconstruction, mobility, and the analysis of ancient skeletal tissues: Expanding the prospects of stable isotope research in archaeology. Journal of Archaeological Science 56, 146-158.
Tykot, R.H., 2004. Stable isotopes and diet: You are what you eat. Proceedings of the International School of Physics “Enrico Fermi” Course CLIV, M. Martini, M. Milazzo and M. Piacentini (Eds.), IOS Press, Amsterdam 2004.
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Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
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- 6 units
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