• Class Number 3625
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Duncan Wright
    • Duncan Wright
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
SELT Survey Results

How many courses do you know that provide tools required to unravel past lives from ancient sites and objects? This course aims to do just that, giving you an introduction to archaeology and the various techniques archaeologists use to investigate the past. Archaeologists dig holes in the ground, but they also work underwater, in museums and in laboratories. You will learn about all these archaeologies, get hands-on experience working with archaeological materials and develop skills required to review and interpret the archaeological literature.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. apply essential skills for classifying and interpreting archaeological materials;
  2. understand the diversity of archaeological techniques and their roles in uncovering information about past peoples;
  3. systematically assess objects and reflect on the information they contain.

Field Trips


Required Resources

To maintain a COVID safe environment, you will need to either bring your laptop/ tablet (with laboratory worksheet document downloaded from Wattle) OR a notebook and pen to each laboratory. You will also not be allowed into laboratories should you not have a face mask.

Renfrew, C. and P. Bahn. 2016. Archaeology: Theories, Methods, and Practice (8th Edition or equivalent). London: Thames and Hudson.

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Other Information

Please be aware that slight changes may occur to order of lectures/ laboratories. It is important you regularly check Wattle for updates.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Archaeology adventures  See Wattle for your laboratory schedule
2 Understanding objects & essay writing workshop
3 The Archaeologies 
4 Underpinning themes in archaeology
5 Measuring time
6 Enter the stone age & Exam Workshop
7 Archaeology of art
8 Anzac day (no lecture)
9 Using pots to get to people 
10 Scientific archaeologies
11 Let the bones speak & Conclusions Assessment 1, Assessment 2
12 No lecture  Assessment 3

Tutorial Registration

see Wattle for details

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Laboratory Portfolio 30 % 26/05/2023 20/04/2023 1,2,4
Laboratory Portfolio (Stage 2) 30 % 26/05/2023 01/06/2023 1,2,3
Exam 40 % * * 1,2

* 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 Integrity 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 Skills website. 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.


Lectures and laboratories are assessed through an exam AND laboratory worksheets. It is therefore a requirement that you engage with all course activities. To do so, you will need to pick a laboratory group during or before the first week of Semester.

For venue, please see Wattle page and look at this on a week by week basis in case the coordinator is forced to make changes during the semester.


This course includes an exam

Assessment Task 1

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 26/05/2023
Return of Assessment: 20/04/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

Laboratory Portfolio

A worksheet template (in word) has been provided for all laboratories. Fill these out using information provided during laboratories. 

For those attending classes - you will need to bring a tablet/ laptop to laboratories with worksheets downloaded and/or a notebook in order to collect required information which can then be uploaded into the word document.

If you are likely to miss one laboratory you must email me in advance. Some leniency will be given should one laboratory be missed (this will not effect your mark) but you will lose out should you miss more than one laboratory.

For those doing online worksheets - These exercises can be done in your own time, however, if you want to do this with the rest of the class then you should be prepared (with assemblage ready) in time for the lab. You are expected to complete all worksheets (there is one less than in person laboratories so should not be a problem).

Submission - Upload the entire document of worksheets on Wattle WITH photographs of your drawings embedded within this. Grades for each worksheet will be amalgamated.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 26/05/2023
Return of Assessment: 01/06/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Laboratory Portfolio (Stage 2)


7 x 300 word essays

Purpose of assignment

A good way of cementing core archaeology skills covered in this course is for you to do/ study these for yourself. Worksheets will prepare you for a time when you are working on your own archaeological site or assemblage!


Each week the laboratory worksheet will include 'take home questions'. It is expected that you will complete some research to answer these questions (i.e., using materials collated outside the laboratory and in your own time).

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2



40 questions, 2-4 sentences per question (timed - 3 hours)

Purpose of assignment

The purpose of this exam is to measure your overall comprehension of material covered during the semester. This will provide you with a solid foundation in archaeological practice.


For this assignment you will be answering questions about the topics discussed during the course (lectures and tutorials). For this reason it is vital that you listen to lectures and attend laboratories. To show a solid comprehension of course material it is advised that you read textbooks and other assigned material.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

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. For this course, however, online submission is required.

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

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

Assignment grades will be returned via Wattle.

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

Students may not re-submit assignments.

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).

Duncan Wright

Research Interests

Australian archaeology, archaeology of ritual and religion

Duncan Wright

By Appointment
By Appointment
Duncan Wright

Research Interests

Duncan Wright

By Appointment
By Appointment

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