DIETS, DATING AND DNA: ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

ARC3SCI

2018

Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In this subject students will learn about how scientific techniques (from chemistry, physics, biology, biochemistry and informatics) can be applied to answer archaeological questions. In order to understand how these techniques work students will learn relevant concepts of the physical sciences, and how these techniques often need to be modified due to the unique nature of archaeological materials. A range of commonly applied techniques will be discussed and how they can contribute to archaeological data such as dating, palaeoenvironmental reconstruction, materials analysis and bioarchaeology. Students will gain an understanding of how to interpret scientific data (accuracy, precision, sampling and statistics) and how this is used in archaeological interpretation. Students will be encouraged to understand and criticise scientific data used in archaeology and use their improved scientific literacy in the academic and practical realms.

SchoolSchool of Humanities & Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorColin Smith

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Students must have completed at least 60 credit points or obtain the subject coordinators permission

Co-requisitesN/A

Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Readings

Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsArchaeological ChemistryRecommendedPollard and Heron 1996Royal Society of Chemistry
ReadingsBiomolecular Archaeology: An IntroductionRecommendedBrown and Brown 2011Wiley

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Demonstrate the ability to locate and appropriately use relevant sources investigate and present justifiable arguments about the validity and usefulness of scientific techniques applied to archaeological questions.

Activities:
Discussions in class and tutorials and tutorial assignment and short answer exam
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Literacies and Communication Skills (Writing,Quantitative Literacy)
Inquiry and Analytical Skills (Critical Thinking,Creative Problem-solving,Inquiry/Research)
Inquiry and Analytical Skills (Critical Thinking,Creative Problem-solving,Inquiry/Research)
Inquiry and Analytical Skills (Critical Thinking,Creative Problem-solving,Inquiry/Research)
Discipline -Specific Knowledge and Skills (Discipline-Specific Knowledge and Skills)

02. Students will be able to explain and discuss common archaeological science techniques used in the field. The principles behind the techniques and what they are used for and their limitations.

Activities:
Exposure through lectures and tutorials, short answer exam, and tutorial tasks
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Literacies and Communication Skills (Writing,Quantitative Literacy)
Literacies and Communication Skills (Writing,Quantitative Literacy)
Inquiry and Analytical Skills (Critical Thinking,Creative Problem-solving,Inquiry/Research)
Discipline -Specific Knowledge and Skills (Discipline-Specific Knowledge and Skills)

03. Examine and analyse scientific data applied to archaeological problems, generating arguments based on appropriate graphical and numerical manipulations

Activities:
Tutorials and tutorial tasks
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Literacies and Communication Skills (Writing,Quantitative Literacy)
Literacies and Communication Skills (Writing,Quantitative Literacy)
Inquiry and Analytical Skills (Critical Thinking,Creative Problem-solving,Inquiry/Research)
Inquiry and Analytical Skills (Critical Thinking,Creative Problem-solving,Inquiry/Research)
Inquiry and Analytical Skills (Critical Thinking,Creative Problem-solving,Inquiry/Research)
Discipline -Specific Knowledge and Skills (Discipline-Specific Knowledge and Skills)

04. Demonstrate and understanding of current trends and arguments in areas of archaeological science and how these areas have contributed to archaeological knowledge by composing a well justified argument using correct referencing

Activities:
Research and write a medium length essay reviewing an aspect of archaeological science.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Literacies and Communication Skills (Writing,Quantitative Literacy)
Inquiry and Analytical Skills (Critical Thinking,Creative Problem-solving,Inquiry/Research)
Inquiry and Analytical Skills (Critical Thinking,Creative Problem-solving,Inquiry/Research)
Discipline -Specific Knowledge and Skills (Discipline-Specific Knowledge and Skills)

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2018, Semester 1, Day

Overview

Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorColin Smith

Class requirements

Lecture Week: 10 - 22
One 2.0 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via blended.

WorkShop Week: 10 - 22
One 1.0 hours workshop per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via blended.

Assessments

Assessment elementComments% ILO*
On-line quizzes (through LMS) supplied regularly through the semester20 01, 02, 03
Two 750-word workshop assignments40 01, 03
One 1500-word essay40 01, 02, 04