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Archaeology Courses overview
Archaeology is the scientific study of the past cultures with emphasis on analysis and interpretations of physical remains. By examining the physical remains of people, places they lived, tools and objects they used, archaeologists gain knowledge of human history and prehistory (read more).
In Australia, archaeology is taught in three forms: Aboriginal archaeology (the archaeology of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia before and after European settlement), historical archaeology (the archaeology of Australia after European settlement) and maritime archaeology. Combining these sub-disciplines make up the important concept of cultural heritage management which encompasses Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sites, historical sites and maritime sites (read more).
Archaeology may be applied to all periods of the human past – from the first evidence of tool-making hominids two and a half million years ago, to the grand civilisations of the ancient world, to the recent history of colonial Australia. The approach of Archaeology gives insights into the lost or hidden behaviour of people and cultures of earlier times.
Antiquarianism is the earliest stage of archaeology which involves collecting and displaying historical treasures. Antiquarianism was generally common to wealthy individuals who had the resources to search, acquire, and display artifacts.
While archaeologists all have general knowledge of the field's history, methodology and theories, they typically dedicate their work to narrower specialties like region, time period, and techniques.
Is archaeology for me?
People who are suitable to be an archaeologist have an appetite for discovery. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems through careful examination and analysis.
The study pathway for archaeology typically starts at a bachelor's level which are generally required for entry-level archaeology positions.
Graduate certificate or graduate diplomas are for those wishing to extend their knowledge and skills in archaeology. These qualifications provide a broad understanding of archaeological knowledge as well as research skills to help students develop expertise in a number of specialisations related in archaeology.
Master's degrees generally focus on archaeological theory, practical experience, analysis and laboratory techniques. They also allows students to specialise in a specific region or time period, depending on their area of interest and professional goals. Candidates are typically required to submit an original thesis in a specific area of interest.
A doctoral degree (PhD) will help students gain a superior understanding of specialised area of archaeology through an advanced level of research and study. It also involves submission of a thesis or dissertation based on original research in a specific area or topic. A PhD also provides qualification for upper-level management positions or teaching roles at universities.
Professionals, students and others with an interest in archaeology can join the Australian Archaeological Association to promote advancement of archaeology in Australia as well as participate in exchange of archaeological information and ideas.
Employment opportunities for archaeology might be found in museums, conservation sites and laboratories, cultural heritage management firms, universities, local and national agencies and non-profit organisations.
Areas of specialisation covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to: