Credit points: 15

Subject outline

The shift from foraging to farming is one of the most dramatic developments in human history, and has remained an area of intense interest in archaeology for over a century. Beginning some 15,000 years ago, this fundamental transition laid the foundations for modern urban living - but also had huge impacts upon the environmental footprint of such societies, which in turn significantly affected their societal and environmental sustainability and resilience. At a time of rapidly accelerating climate deterioration and resource shortfalls, these themes are more relevant than ever. In order to better understand this seismic transition, particular attention is paid to the problems archaeologists face in differentiating the material residues of early farmers from those of hunter gatherers. In this subject you will learn about the earliest agricultural developments in the Middle East and how they are placed in a global perspective by considering the advent of farming in Europe, north and sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia, Melanesia, Mesoamerica and South America. This subject addresses La Trobe's Sustainability Thinking Essential.

SchoolHumanities and Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorBelinda D'Angelo

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Available as ElectiveYes

Learning Activities Case studies, assignments, group work and essays

Capstone subjectYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Students must have completed at least 180 level 1 and/or 2 credit points or obtain the subject coordinators permission


Incompatible subjectsARC2FFF

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Quota Management StrategyN/A

Quota-conditions or rulesN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A

Career Ready


Work-based learningNo

Self sourced or Uni sourcedN/A

Entire subject or partial subjectN/A

Total hours/days requiredN/A

Location of WBL activity (region)N/A

WBL addtional requirementsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

Graduate Capabilities

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. Demonstrate creativity in developing solutions to a range of problems related to food production and environmental management
02. Critically reflect upon the impact that the development and adoption of agriculture had upon environmental and societal sustainability in a range of temporal and geographical contexts
03. Identify lessons from the past that can be applied to sustainability and resilience challenges in the 21st century
04. Apply theoretical frameworks and archaeological evidence of different kinds to construct global narratives of regional historical trajectories and social systems
05. Construct a sustained argument based on the application of adequate research to current academic issues

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne (Bundoora), 2021, Semester 2, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorBelinda D'Angelo

Class requirements

LectureWeek: 31 - 43
One 2.00 h lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via blended.

TutorialWeek: 31 - 43
One 1.00 h tutorial per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via blended.


Assessment elementCommentsCategoryContributionHurdle% ILO*

Examination (1,000-word equivalent) 1 hour exam

N/AOther written examIndividualNo25 SILO2, SILO4

Written essay (2,000 words) In this essay students are asked to evaluate the sustainability and environmental impact of a range of ancient farming practices.

N/AAssignmentIndividualNo50 SILO1, SILO4, SILO7, SILO8

Assignments (1000 words equivalent) 2 x 500 word equivalent assessments

N/AAssignmentIndividualNo25 SILO1, SILO2, SILO7