• Class Number 6431
  • Term Code 3450
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Topic Meet the Neighbours: Archaeology in Vanuatu
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Stuart Bedford
    • Dr Stuart Bedford
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/06/2024
  • Class End Date 30/08/2024
  • Census Date 05/07/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 19/06/2024
SELT Survey Results

ARCH8002 is run as an intensive field course which aims to provide students with experience in excavation, stratigraphic recording, site planning, artefact recording and an understanding of the complex relationships between sites and the landscapes in which they occur. Emphasis is on learning and refining high level technical skills and understanding how these can be applied to better understand archaeological site formation processes and environmental management issues at the site scale, working in Australia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

Due to logistical limitations, this course has a maximum enrolment of 10 students. These students will be selected based on short written statements submitted as part of the application process.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Varies depending on the specific topic offered and will be described in the Other Information section for each new class when it is added.

Additional Course Costs

Students are expected to pay for their flights to and from Australia to Vanuatu. A nominal $400.00 is charged to cover accommodation and food for the two weeks on Efate Island.

Required Resources

Reading required:

Bedford, S., and M. Spriggs 2014. The archaeology of Vanuatu: 3000 years of history across islands of ash and coral. In E. Cochrane and T. Hunt (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of

Prehistoric Oceania. Oxford: Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199925070.013.

Wilson, M. and C. Ballard 2014. Guide to Chief Roi Mata’s Domain. World Heritage Vanuatu. Chief Roi Mata’s Domain Publication Series No. 1.

Wilson, M., C. Ballard and D. Kalotiti 2011. Chief Roi Mata’s Domain: Challenges for a World Heritage Property in Vanuatu. Historic Environment 23(2): 5-11.

Kirch, P.V. 2017. Lapita and Austronesian Expansion. In P.V. Kirch, On the Road of the Winds. An archaeological history of the Pacific Islands before European Contact, pp. 74-106. California: University of California Press.

Bedford, S., M. Spriggs, H. Buckley, F. Valentin, R. Regenvanu and M. Abong 2010. A cemetery of first settlement : Teouma, South Efate, Vanuatu. In C. Sand, and S. Bedford (eds), Lapita: Ancêtres océaniens/Oceanic Ancestors, pp. 140-161.

Bedford, S. 2018. Modified canines: Circular pig’s tusks in Vanuatu and the wider Pacific, pp. 125-141. In M.C. Langley, M. Litster, D. Wright and S.K. May (eds) 2018. The Archaeology of Portable Art: southeast Asian, Pacific, and Australian Perspectives. London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-138-23776-6

Bedford, S. 2006, Pieces of the Vanuatu Puzzle, pp. 105-132. Terra Australis 23. Pandanus Press.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

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 Field school - Winter course: archaeology; cultural heritage.This fieldschool will be investigating a newly discovered colonising settlement on Efate Island, in central Vanuatu. This phase relates to what is known as the Lapita period, beginning some 3000 years ago. Initial investigations at the site indicates that settlement in the area continues for at least 1600 years following later pottery traditions recorded across the site. Preliminary excavations have confirmed that huge mound features at the site represent midden dumping by large numbers of people over a short time. They compose of shellfish, bone, pottery and other discard. The fieldschool will investigate these mounds and the wider landscape, defining the period of initial arrival and tracking transformation in material culture and settlement over time. We expect to recover substantial collections of Lapita and later pottery, terrestrial faunal remains including extinct species along with abundant fishbone and shellfish. Visits will be undertaken to other important sites on Efate, including the Roi Mata UNESCO World Heritage site and the National Museum. Assessment will include participation in a pre-fieldwork class (5%), key issue review paper/research project (4000 words) (35%); portfolio of data, field drawings, site recording forms, images, maps to a professional archive standard and self-reflective digital or written diaries of daily field experiences following field activities/discussions (55%); and group participation/OH&S assessments (5%).
There will be an introductory lecture and then the workload will be primarily the field school itself that will comprise 18 days outside Australia, all of which will be on Efate Island. On site hours are 8am to 4pm (7 hrs a day with an hour for lunch), 6 days a week. A post-fieldwork research essay of 4000 words completes the program

Tutorial Registration

There are no tutorials

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Pre-fieldwork seminar participation 5 % 2,5
Fieldwork portfolio 55 % 1,2,3,4,5
Research project 35 % 1,2,3,4,5
OH and S assessments and group and community collaboration 5 % 1,3

* 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 ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

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: 5 %
Learning Outcomes: 2,5

Pre-fieldwork seminar participation

Attend a fieldschool planning workshop/seminar on the ANU campus. Participate in team discussions on research strategy and planning.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 55 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Fieldwork portfolio

Field dairy. Recording in the field, interpretation of archaeological sites

Portfolio of data, field drawings, site recording forms, images, maps to a professional archive standard and self-reflective written diaries of daily field experiences

following field activities/discussions. Complete on the 25th of July.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 35 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Research project

Detailed understanding of an aspect of research identified in the field

A key issue review paper/research project (4000 words). The student identifies a particular area of interest related to the research in the field and completes a research project. To be completed by the 30th of August.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 5 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,3

OH and S assessments and group and community collaboration

Preparedness in the field

This aspect of the field program provides teaching in relation to Occupational Health and Safety in the field and working with local communities.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community 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 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 University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

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.

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

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded.

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 The Course Convener may grant extensions 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).
Dr Stuart Bedford
02 6125 4297

Research Interests

Archaeological method and theory; materials analysis; Pacific archaeology, including Aotearoa/New Zealand pertaining to the early contact/historic period; archival andarchaeological approaches to the reconstruction of cultural contact and engagement and transformation over time; Aotearoa/New Zealand and Pacific particularly Melanesianprehistory, the archaeology of ritual, exploration and colonisation of the Pacific, Politics and archaeology; Cultural Resource Management; indigenous archaeological perspectivesand initiatives.

Dr Stuart Bedford

By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Stuart Bedford
02 6125 4917

Research Interests

Dr Stuart Bedford

By Appointment
By Appointment

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