• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Archaeology
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Geoffrey Clark
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2022
    See Future Offerings

This course introduces students to a selection of microanalytical techniques used in archaeological science. Students will receive instruction in three different sub-fields: geochemical sourcing, stable isotope analysis and trace analysis. The emphasis is upon acquiring "hands-on" knowledge of each technique, including the equipment used, the generation of data and the interpretation of data. Students will prepare samples and collect data using techniques such as x-ray fluorescence, chemical isolation of bone collagen, and optical and electron microscopy.  

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Assess the potential for application of microanalysis techniques in specific situations
  2. Evaluate published archaeological microanalysis studies
  3. Perform basic microanalysis techniques using appropriate technology
  4. Understand and implement good laboratory techniques including safe practice and proper documentation.

Other Information

Students who require a permission code to enrol are asked to email their requests to admin.chl@anu.edu.au. 

Indicative Assessment

  1. Two essays (26% each): 52%.  Students select essay topics related to two of three major microanalysis techniques covered in the course.  (LO 1,2)
  2. Three lab reports (10% each): 30%.  One lab report for each major topic covered in the course. (LO 3,4)
  3. Three short quizzes (6% each): 18% (LO 1,2,4)

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.


It is expected that in-class and out-of-class work will total about 10 hours per week. The total workload for the course is 130 hours including in class time and independent study. 

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be a student in the Master of Archaeological Science, Master of Archaeological Science (Advanced), Master of Archaeological and Evolutionary Science or Master of Archaeological and Evolutionary Science (Advanced), or have the permission of the course convenor.

Prescribed Texts

Weiner, S2010 Microarchaeology - beyond the visible record. CUP: Cambridge

Preliminary Reading

Reading lists, primarily focused on recent journal articles, will be provided for each course topic.

Assumed Knowledge

Knowledge of basic statistical techniques is helpful but not required.


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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2022 $3840
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2022 $5700
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

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.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
2494 21 Feb 2022 28 Feb 2022 31 Mar 2022 27 May 2022 In-Person and Online View

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