• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Archaeology
  • Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences, Archaeology, History, Materials Science, Asia Pacific Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Geoffrey Clark
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2025
    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 artefact material 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, thin-section pertography and sediment analysis and analyse the data with statistical techniques and methods.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Recognise the potential for application of microanalysis in specific situations.
  2. Understand and implement good laboratory techniques including safe practice and proper documentation.
  3. Perform analyses using using appropriate technology.
  4. Manipulate and calibrate data sets to identify the composition of archaeological materials.
  5. Construct statistical models to assign artefacts to a geographical source.

Other Information

Students require a permission code to enrol and are asked to email their request to: admin.chl@anu.edu.au. 

Indicative Assessment

  1. Quiz (x3) (15) [LO null]
  2. Essay (x1) (25) [LO null]
  3. Laboratory report (x3) (60) [LO null]

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.


The course workload is 130 hours including in class time and independent study. 

Inherent Requirements


Requisite and Incompatibility

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

Prescribed Texts


Preliminary Reading

Reading lists, primarily focused on recent journal articles, will be provided for each course topi and are available on the Wattle site.

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
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
2275 17 Feb 2025 24 Feb 2025 31 Mar 2025 23 May 2025 In Person N/A

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