• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Specialist
  • Course subject Biological Anthropology
  • Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences, Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Forensic Anthropology , Asia Pacific Studies More...

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 (δ13C, δ15N, δ18O 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. 

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 describe the application and use of stable isotopes in archaeological and biological anthropological scientific research
  2. Understand and apply the principles and methods underpinning stable isotope analysis
  3. Construct scientific hypotheses in stable isotope research
  4. Critically assess  published isotopic datasets archaeological or biological anthropological contexts
 

Indicative Assessment

Short answer test (25%) (LO 1)
Essay 5000 words (75%, LOs 2-3)
 

The ANU uses 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. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Workload

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.
 

Preliminary Reading

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

 

Areas of Interest

  • Earth and Marine Sciences
  • Archaeology
  • Biological Anthropology
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Asia Pacific Studies
  • Environmental Science

Fees

Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
1
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.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Spring Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
6284 01 Oct 2022 21 Oct 2022 21 Oct 2022 31 Dec 2022 In Person N/A

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