University of Sydney Handbooks - 2017 Archive

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Study in the cross-disciplinary area of Geoarchaeology is jointly offered by the School of Geosciences in the Faculty of Science and the Department of Archaeology in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Program structure and content

Geoarchaeology is the application of natural and physical science approaches to archaeological phenomena, materials and contexts. The major is particularly focussed on the analysis of archaeological contexts at several spatial and temporal scales – from the landscape in which humans live to the soil profile in which human artefacts are preserved. As a Table 2 major, Geoarchaeology provides foundation training for Science students seeking to support their Table 1 Science major with a vocationally-focussed program. The Geoarchaeology major provides a pathway to specialist professional services in contract and public archaeology, and cultural heritage conservation and management.

Drawing upon units of study offered in faculties across the University, Science students gain an understanding of the theoretical basis of archaeology, and practical approaches to archaeological research in the field and laboratory, in addition to specialist training in the analysis of the soils and sediments from which cultural materials are often recovered.

Eligibility for a major

Geoarchaeology is only available as an optional Table 2 major to students in the Bachelor of Science, the Bachelor of Science (Advanced) and the Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics). Table 2 majors are not available to students in any other award courses or in combined degrees, eg, Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Arts.

Students in the Bachelor of Science, the Bachelor of Science (Advanced) and the Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics) wishing to complete a Table 2 major are still required to complete a minimum of one Table 1 major.

First year planning for a major in Geoarchaeology

12 credit points of Junior Geosciences, including GEOS1003/1903.
12 credit points of Junior Archaeology.

Requirements for a major

For a major in Geoarchaeology, the minimum requirement is 24 credit points from Senior units of study comprising:
(i) ARCA2639 and GEOS3103/3803, and
(ii) any two units of study taken from ARCA2602, ARCA2635, SOIL3009.

Contact/further information


T +61 2 9351 2912

School of Geosciences
Room 348, Madsen Building F09
University of Sydney
NSW 2006