• Class Number 4088
  • Term Code 3330
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Catherine Frieman
    • AsPr Catherine Frieman
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 20/02/2023
  • Class End Date 26/05/2023
  • Census Date 31/03/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 27/02/2023
SELT Survey Results

While most archaeological courses concern the Whats, Wheres and Whens of the past, this course addresses the Whys, Whos and Hows. This course will take a thematic approach to the changing ways archaeologists have interpreted past places, things and people since 1950 and to the development of regional archaeologies around the world.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. recognise the key concepts, themes and narratives used by archaeological theoreticians and discuss them within larger disciplinary, historical and national contexts;
  2. critique the application of specific theoretical concepts and paradigms to the archaeological record;
  3. think, write and argue with these key concepts, themes and theories using supporting evidence from the archaeological record; and
  4. reflect on and discuss the ways various topics within archaeological theory apply to the practice of archaeology and the archaeological record of different regions.

Research-Led Teaching

The course centres the production of novel research based in the readings and discussions

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 - a brief history of archaeological thought and practice Tutorial portfolio writing
2 The Human Environment Tutorial portfolio writing
3 Landscape and Society Tutorial portfolio writing
4 Phenomenology – natural vs. anthropogenic places Tutorial portfolio writing Unessay proposal due
5 Reading meaning and symbolism Tutorial portfolio writing
6 Agency and Materiality Tutorial portfolio writing
7 Technological systems and innovation Tutorial portfolio writing Annotated Bibliography due
8 Relational archaeologies Tutorial portfolio writing
9 Social complexity and anarchist archaeologies Tutorial portfolio writing
10 Feminist and gender archaeologies Tutorial portfolio writing One-on-One Unessay Status Updates
11 Archaeologies of contact and colonialism Tutorial portfolio writing One-on-One Unessay Status Updates
12 Indigenous archaeologies Tutorial portfolio writing Unessay and exegesis due

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Guided tutorial discussion 10 % * 2,3,4
Tutorial Portfolio 20 % * 3,4
Unessay proposal 10 % 19/03/2023 1,2,3,4
Annotated bibliography 20 % 23/04/2023 1,2,3,4
Status update 5 % * 3,4
Unessay and exegesis 35 % 26/05/2023 1,2,3,4

* 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.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4

Guided tutorial discussion

A variety of required and supplementary readings will be prepared for each week’s topic. You will be required to ‘guide’ the discussion of this material once during the semester. To do so, you will read not only the required readings, but also the majority of the supplementary readings to gain a fully rounded appreciation of the topic at hand.


You will carefully annotate the required readings using hypothes.is by at least the Monday before your day to guide the discussion. For class, prepare notes on this material to briefly (2-3 min) introduce the required readings (key points, author’s background, how the readings fit with the larger topic). Using this context, you will also develop a variety of general and more specific discussion questions to encourage your classmates to engage with the reading and discuss it.


For the collective reading with hypothes.is

Prepare (BRIEF!) annotations for the required readings to inspire your classmates. These might include:

-a note on what you see as key points (incl highlighting major contributions)

-highlighting how the author substantiates their argument with specific archaeological data or citations to published materials

-Notes on how the readings fit with the larger topic

-Queries about vocabulary, big ideas or archaeological examples – feel free to point out what you didn’t understand (that’s the point of doing this together).


Depending on the week, one or two students will be expected to help guiding each week’s discussion, but whether you work together or independently is your choice. All students will be marked independently.


Marks will be based on level of preparedness, quality of introduction of readings and quality of discussion questions


Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 3,4

Tutorial Portfolio

Each week we will co-read two to three readings with the online app hypothes.is. Your tutorial portfolio comprises your written contributions on the readings. You can make any sorts of comments you like – from highlighting passages to adding definitions of new-to-you words to connecting one reading to another or making a joke in the margins. You are strongly encouraged to read each other’s comments and respond. I will also be reading and responding to comments.


I expect everyone to contribute in good faith even if (perhaps especially if) the topic is confusing, hard to access or unappealing. Feel free to ask questions rather than propose answers – asking why and how is a big part of learning. Also feel free to respond creatively – memes, puns, tiktoks, etc are strongly encouraged.


This grade will be holistic – I’m looking to see that you respond substantively and engage in good faith every week, but I won’t judge based on individual comments or ideas. 

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 19/03/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Unessay proposal

You should start thinking early about what you want to focus on for your end of semester research project. You will submit a 4-500 word proposal which presents your developing ideas about your final project and what form it might take. The proposal has two parts:


A description of your research topic including: a research question that you will address, the significance of the topic to this course, evidence that a sufficient literature exists for your study, why this topic interests you, and a list of the sources that you have been able to find thus far (you don’t need to have read it yet! Just make clear you know what you can and cannot access through the ANU library!).


A preliminary suggestion of what form your unessay might take (feel free to make more than one suggestion) or, if you’re totally stumped, a request for a meeting to brainstorm.


This proposal should be written to the highest academic standard but it does not need to include academic referencing and can be in the first person.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 23/04/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Annotated bibliography

Once you have chosen a topic for your Unessay, you will need to produce an annotated bibliography (examples and helpful resources will be made available on wattle) of key references for the paper. This annotated bibliography should be 2-3 pages in length and include at least ten references. Reference types should include key books, chapters and journal articles. You can absolutely include material from the syllabus but not just material from the syllabus.


Your annotations should address (briefly! Complete sentences not required!):

The main points/thesis of the work, effectiveness of the arguments

The author’s authority (eg, what other work in the field have they done? What do published reviews say about the work?), point of view, etc.

Contextualisation of the work within its larger field

Relevance to your research topic


The bibliographies will be assessed based on the following criteria:

Structure/presentation (referencing format, spelling);

Evidence of critical thinking and reflection;

Knowledge and choice of references;

Relevance of materials and annotations to your research.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 5 %
Learning Outcomes: 3,4

Status update

In Week 10 or 11 you should schedule a status update meeting with me in person or over zoom. We will discuss your progress and plans for the completion of your Unessay. The goal of this meeting is to give you a chance to iron out any final concerns and to give me an opportunity to help lower stress levels and make sure you’re on track to succeed.

Assessment Task 6

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 26/05/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Unessay and exegesis

An Unessay is a creative and compelling response to academic material that builds on your scholarly research in a non-traditional way. It can take any form you can imagine. The form should be appropriate to the questions or topics you explore and should be achievable within the time constraints of the course. It can be factual, fictional, written, drawn, sewn, performed, or any other format you can imagine.

Use your unessay to expand on the body of theory you have chosen to explore how this body of theory can increase our understanding of a particular site, period, culture, landscape or set of objects. I encourage you to choose a single, clear case study to apply your ideas. This case study may concern materials, landscapes and/or societies from any period or location in the world or more modern questions of archaeological practice. Your research may build on the material reviewed in your review essay but does not have to. 


Your Unessay should be accompanied by the submission of a 1000-word exegesis. In this reflective statement, you should both explain the aims of your Unessay and reflect on your reasons for making the creative decisions you chose while assembling it. This reflective statement should be written to the highest academic standards and fully and completely referenced (reference lists will not count towards the word count). Appropriate referencing formats are included in this course handbook.


Attach the full bibliography of your Unessay to your reflective statement.


The Unessay (25%) will be marked on its Content and Impact:

Content: Accuracy in describing issues and facts; Range/comprehensiveness of material covered; Depth of understanding

Impact: Originality; Creative approach to question and aims; Structure and presentation; Visual/haptic impact


The exegesis (10%) will be marked on the relevance of references and examples to your aims, your use of explicit examples, your critical approach, and your use of bibliography.

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 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.

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.

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).

AsPr Catherine Frieman

Research Interests

AsPr Catherine Frieman

Tuesday 10:00 12:00
By Appointment
AsPr Catherine Frieman

Research Interests

AsPr Catherine Frieman

Tuesday 10:00 12:00
By Appointment

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