- 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 Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Forensic Anthropology
- Academic career PGRD
- Mode of delivery In Person
- Offered in See Future Offerings
This course provides an overview of the biomolecular techniques used by archaeologists and anthropologists to understand the past. These methods now form the basis for some of the highest impact research in our field. The course will explore the ethics of biomolecular research, and the principles underlying the main stable isotope, DNA, proteomic and lipid residue methods used within these fields. It will discuss how these are used to investigate questions about our past. For example, how stable isotopes have been used to understand early farming practices and how aDNA has revealed interbreeding between different species of hominins. Where possible students will be given the opportunity to visit laboratories at the ANU, and will be taught the fundamentals of data analysis. The course will focus on evaluating the quality of a dataset and whether it can answer specific archaeological/ anthropological questions.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- understand the principles underpinning the biomolecular techniques used by archaeologists and anthropologists;
- explain how these methods are used to answer questions in archaeology and biological anthropology;
- construct scientific hypotheses in archaeological/ anthropological biomolecular research;
- critically assess whether published datasets can answer archaeological or anthropological research questions; and
- communicate this critical assessment to the student's peer group.
- Short answer test (30) [LO 1,2]
- Workshop oral presentation (15) [LO 3,4,5]
- Workshop poster (20) [LO 3,4,5]
- Essay (3000 words) (35) [LO 2,3,4]
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.
130 hrs of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of lectures and seminars delivered intensively over 10 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.
Tobler, R. et al., 2017. Aboriginal mitogenomes reveal 50,000 years of regionalism in Australia, Nature, 544, 180-184.
Hendy, J., 2021. Ancient protein analysis in archaeology. Science Advances, 7, eabb9214
Craig, O.E. et al., 2020. Residue analysis. in Archaeological Science: An Introduction, Cambridge University Press, 70-96
Familiarity with archaeological science and the application of science to archaeology and/or anthropology. No specific knowledge will be assumed, but the course will develop scientific understanding.
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.
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Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
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Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery||Class Summary|
|6346||01 Jul 2025||18 Jul 2025||18 Jul 2025||30 Sep 2025||In Person||N/A|