Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In this subject students develop expertise in the fundamental principles of archaeological research and how research programs are designed and implemented. Particular attention is given to practical and technical issues. This involves following through the many decisions involved in designing archaeological projects from initial research design to publication, including the choice of particular field strategies, methods of recording and documentation, and the preparation of reports. It includes a practical excavation component at the Melbourne campus.

SchoolHumanities and Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorSusan Lawrence

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 5 - Masters

Available as ElectiveNo

Learning ActivitiesOn-going negotiation of evolving excavation strategies with team members, maintenance of a detailed field notebook that describes, tracks & evaluates daily activities on an archaeological excavation and artefact analysis.  Written critical evaluation in the form of a report on the activities of the team as well as one's own performance.  Develop and manage an evolving research strategy for the excavation of pre-selected squares in the TARDIS resource.  Preparation of a research design and in the maintenance and archiving of site records.  Development of a research proposal including budget for the fieldwork, post-excavation and publication stages of an archaeological project.  Preparation of a detailed excavation report on the work carried out in the TARDIS.

Capstone subjectYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Enrolment in the Master of Professional Archaeology (AMPA) or the Graduate Diploma of Professional Archaeology (AGPA) or the Subject Coordinator's approval


Incompatible subjectsARC3AAR

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Quota Management StrategyN/A

Quota-conditions or rulesN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A

Learning resources

Archaeology in Practice

Resource TypeBook

Resource RequirementPrereading

AuthorBalme, J. & A. Paterson





Chapter/article titleN/A



Other descriptionN/A

Source locationN/A

The Archaeologist's Field Handbook

Resource TypeBook

Resource RequirementPrereading

AuthorSmith, H. and H. Burke



PublisherAllen and Unwin


Chapter/article titleN/A



Other descriptionN/A

Source locationN/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

COMMUNICATION - Communicating and Influencing
COMMUNICATION - Cultural Intelligence and Global Perspective
INQUIRY AND ANALYSIS - Creativity and Innovation
INQUIRY AND ANALYSIS - Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
INQUIRY AND ANALYSIS - Research and Evidence-Based Inquiry
PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL - Adaptability and Self-Management
PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL - Ethical and Social Responsibility
PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL - Leadership and Teamwork

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. Communicate with other team members and stakeholders about strategies for excavation and recording of an archaeological site
02. Demonstrate effective team work skills through clear communication, organisation of tasks and responsibilities and critical self-reflection on your own role in the team.
03. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of archaeological excavation and reporting.
04. Demonstrate project management skills through allocation of time and funding
05. Write a major report on excavation and analysis of archaeological materials that is grounded in primary data.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne (Bundoora), 2021, Semester 2, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorSusan Lawrence

Class requirements

Block ModeWeek: 34 - 35
Six 8.00 hours block mode per study period on weekdays during the day from week 34 to week 35 and delivered via face-to-face.


Assessment elementCommentsCategoryContributionHurdle% ILO*

Field notebook(1000-word). This will consist of completed context forms, photographs, measured plans, journal & artefact catalogue that comprise record of excavation. Students will complete work in excavation teams & hand it in at end of intensive teach block. will be assessed as group project

N/AAssignmentIndividualNo20 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3

Resrch desgn (1500word). Studnts are asked to plan how they'll carry out excavatn of part of site assignd to group. It'll assess studnt's abilitis to understnd relationshps b/w intellectul aim, excavatn methods & data collectn strategy. be handed in at start of excavation & assessd individualy

N/AAssignmentIndividualNo20 SILO1, SILO3, SILO4

Site report (3000-word) must use primy data recordd in field notebk to construc cohernt account of excavatn. will assess abilities to analy & interprt data, to use data to address set of resrch questns, & to place interpretn in contxt of relevnt body of resrch.hand in aft mid-sem break.

N/AReportIndividualNo40 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3, SILO4, SILO5

Literature review (1000 words) Students must provide a synthesis of key texts that consider the justification for archaeological excavation.

N/AAssignmentIndividualNo20 SILO3