ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

ARC3SCI

2015

Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In this subject students will learn about how scientific techniques (from chemistry, physics, biology, biochemistry, geology amongst others) 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 and questions. 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 imporved 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 15 credit points of any Archaeology subejcts or coordinators approval

Co-requisitesN/A

Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Readings

Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsBiomolecular Archaeology An IntroductionRecommendedT. A. Brown and K BrownWiley
ReadingsArcheological ChemistryRecommendedA. M. Pollard and C. HeronRoyal Society of Chemistry

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Ability to research, investigate and present arguments about the validity and usefulness of scientific techniques applied to archaeological questions.

Activities:
Discussions in class and tutorials and tutorial assignment.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Writing (Writing)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)

02. Demonstrate awareness of 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 short answer exam.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Writing (Writing)
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)

03. Share workload and conduct themselves equitably in group tasks in tutorials. Additionally behaving respectfully toward other groups while discussing and listening.

Activities:
Informal group tasks in tutorials will require focus on management of a research plan, analytical thinking and interpretation of results.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)
Teamwork (Teamwork)
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)

04. Understand in detail current trends and arguments in areas of archaeological science and how these areas have contributed to archaeological knowledge.

Activities:
Research and write a medium length essay reviewing an aspect of archaeological science of the students choice.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Writing (Writing)
Teamwork (Teamwork)

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2015, Semester 2, Day

Overview

Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorColin Smith

Class requirements

Lecture Week: 31 - 43
One 2.0 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via blended.

WorkShop Week: 31 - 43
One 2.0 hours workshop per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via blended.

Assessments

Assessment elementComments% ILO*
On-line short answer exam (1000 word equivalence)25 01, 02, 03, 04
One 1000-word workshop assignment25 04, 03, 02, 01
One 2000-word essay50 01, 04, 03, 02