ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE: HOW CHEMISTRY, PHYSICS, AND BIOLOGY INFORM THE PAST

ARC2SCI

2020

Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In this subject, students will learn about howscientific techniques (from chemistry, physics, biology, biochemistry andinformatics) 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 thesetechniques often need to be modified due to the unique nature of archaeologicalmaterials.

 

A range of commonly applied techniques will be discussedand how they can contribute to archaeological data such as palaeoenvironmentalreconstruction, scientific dating, materials analysis and bioarchaeology.

 

Students will gain an understanding of how tointerpret scientific data (accuracy, precision, sampling and statistics) andhow this is used in archaeological interpretation.

 

Students will be encouraged to understand andcriticise scientific data used in archaeology and use their improved scientificliteracy 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 2 - 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 subjects ARC3SCI

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. 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)
Personal and Professional Skills (Ethical behaviour,Study and Learning Skills)
Personal and Professional Skills (Ethical behaviour,Study and Learning Skills)
Discipline -Specific Knowledge and Skills (Discipline-Specific Knowledge and Skills)

02. 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 an 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)
Personal and Professional Skills (Ethical behaviour,Study and Learning Skills)
Personal and Professional Skills (Ethical behaviour,Study and Learning Skills)
Discipline -Specific Knowledge and Skills (Discipline-Specific Knowledge and Skills)

Subject options

Select to view your study options…

Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2020, Semester 1, Blended

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.

Laboratory Class Week: 10 - 22
One 1.0 hours laboratory class 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 semester (750 words equivalent)20 01, 02, 03
Two 750-word workshop assignments40 01, 03
One 1500-word essay40 01, 02, 04