• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Biological Anthropology
  • Areas of interest Biological Anthropology, Health Medicine and the Body, Forensic Anthropology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course

This course is a survey of medicine, surgery and medical theory and practices from prehistoric times through to the early medieval period. The focus of enquiry is the evolution and development of a suite of medical traditions over time as informed by their respective cultural milieus. Regionally Europe (the Greek and Roman empires and Medieval Europe specifically), North Africa (Egyptian), the Near East (Mesopotamia), the Indian subcontinent, East Asia, especially China, are explored in detail. Sources for this survey include both received and discovered texts as well as a range of archaeological and osteological evidence.

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:-

  1. Meet the course aims as outlined in the Course Description.
  2. Become familiar and comfortable with a broad sample of scholarship on the archaeology, prehistory and history of medicine and surgery
  3. Augment (to a standard commensurate with second year undergraduate studies) their ability to think critically about basic assumptions and conceptual frameworks in analysing medical issues, past and present
  4. Develop skills in oral presentations and debate and in writing about ancient medical issues

Indicative Assessment

Major Essay 3,000 words maximum (50%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 3, 4]

Tutorial Tasks equivalent to 2,000 words (50%) [Learning Outcomes 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.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials; and b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 48 units in program. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed BIAN6519

Prescribed Texts

It is unlikely that I will settle on a single main text due to a lack of any current texts that have the temporal and geographic depth and breadth of this course. Nonetheless, I am reviewing a number of potentially useful introductory texts.


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
2024 $4440
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6360
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.

There are no current offerings for this course.

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