Bringing the past into the present.
There are two broad areas of Anthropology studied at Otago: Archaeology and Social Anthropology. These are two separate programmes, but have key shared papers at undergraduate level.
Archaeology seeks to understand earlier human societies and cultures through the study of material evidence from the past. This evidence can include assemblages of portable artefacts such as stone tools, larger monumental structures like Mayan temples, and entire human-modified landscapes. Archaeologists generate data through fieldwork and excavation, and use both laboratory science and interpretive theory to study that data. Archaeology is essentially a humanities discipline, since it studies human societies and their history – but it draws on a range of other fields, particularly from the sciences.
Archaeology is our primary source of knowledge about the deep history of humankind, and the gradual developments in culture and society that led to the present-day arrangement of human communities. Otago offers a range of stimulating Archaeology papers, including opportunities for postgraduate students to carry out supervised field and laboratory research, particularly in New Zealand and the Pacific.
Archaeology at Otago
Archaeology at Otago is taught as part of the broader discipline of Anthropology; the comparative study of humanity and culture. Otago offers a range of stimulating Archaeology papers with opportunities for postgraduate students to carry out supervised field and laboratory research, particularly in New Zealand and the Pacific.
Students who wish to specialise in Archaeology major in Anthropology.
There is also an Anthropology minor option requiring a minimum five papers.
Why study Archaeology?
The study of Archaeology will broaden your understanding of the development of human society and culture. At Otago you will learn about the methods and findings that have led archaeologists to understand how and why complex societies emerged throughout the world.
Otago courses provide a unique 50,000 year perspective on early human colonisation and cultural change in Asia and the Pacific. Students gain novel insights into human social and material environments and interactions in the past.
Students can also prepare for a career that promotes new and exciting research into our human heritage, and the care of archaeological sites today. Graduating Archaeology students will have critical skills in the systematic recording, analysis and interpretation of the cultural past.
Archaeology is taught as part of the Arts degree at the University of Otago so our students receive excellent instruction in research, and are skilled in the construction and presentation of well-reasoned and articulated arguments – in both written and oral form. These are the fundamental skills necessary for a wide range of careers and our graduates are currently employed in many different professions. Those with a graduate degree in Archaeology often elect to take up positions in archaeological research, heritage management, museum studies or in related fields.
In most modern countries some and occasionally all archaeological sites are protected under law from modification. Government agencies responsible for archaeological site protection may employ archaeologists to help manage sites, or to respond to applications to modify sites for development or research purposes.
In New Zealand some archaeologists are employed by Heritage New Zealand, the national agency responsible for site protection. Such archaeologists may process applications to modify sites and otherwise work to promote the identification, understanding and protection of archaeological places and areas.
The Department of Conservation also employs archaeologists.
Local authorities are increasingly assuming greater responsibilities for archaeological heritage in New Zealand and overseas, and may offer archaeological employment. Public museums may also employ archaeologists as curators, or for specific conservation purposes and research.
Many archaeologists work in a private consulting capacity, offering services and advice to local and national government and other public institutions. They may also be contracted to carry out investigations required during development work, or to advise on the management and care of particular sites and artefacts.
Archaeological skills and knowledge contribute usefully to other professions such as planning, surveying, museum management, history and tourism.
There are no formal secondary school prerequisites for enrolment in an Anthropology degree.
Our staff are committed to providing high quality teaching through lectures and tutorial interactions, field instruction and laboratory supervision and training. They are all active researchers who incorporate their research programmes and findings into their teaching.
Explore your study options further. Refer to enrolment information found on the following qualification pages.
- Bachelor of Arts (BA)
- Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom)
- Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc)
- Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons))
- Diploma for Graduates (DipGrad)
- Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts)
- Master of Arts (Coursework) (MA(Coursework))
- Master of Arts (Thesis) (MA(Thesis))
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Go to the Anthropology page for programme requirements.
|Paper code||Year||Title||Points||Teaching period|
|ANTH103||2020||Introduction to Anthropology||18 points||First Semester|
|ANTH105||2020||Global and Local Cultures||18 points||Second Semester|
|ANTH106||2020||Human Origins and Civilisations||18 points||Second Semester|
|ANTH203||2020||Asian Archaeology||18 points||Second Semester|
|ANTH204||2020||Pacific and New Zealand Archaeology||18 points||First Semester|
|ANTH205||2020||Anthropology and the Contemporary Pacific||18 points||Not offered in 2020|
|ANTH206||2020||Anthropology of Globalisation||18 points||Second Semester|
|ANTH208||2020||Archaeological Methods||18 points||First Semester|
|ANTH209||2020||Special Topic||18 points||Not offered in 2020|
|ANTH210||2020||Translating Culture||18 points||Not offered in 2020|
|ANTH211||2020||Contemporary Ethnographic Research||18 points||First Semester|
|ANTH216||2020||Archaeology of the Modern World||18 points||Second Semester|
|ANTH222||2020||Conceiving Reproduction||18 points||Second Semester|
|ANTH223||2020||Anthropology of Health||18 points||Not offered in 2020|
|ANTH225||2020||Rites of Passage: Death, Grief and Ritual||18 points||Not offered in 2020|
|ANTH228||2020||Anthropology of Religion and the Supernatural||18 points||Second Semester|
|ANTH310||2020||Special Topic||18 points||Not offered in 2020|
|ANTH312||2020||Cultural Politics||18 points||First Semester|
|ANTH316||2020||Labour and Society||18 points||Not offered, expected to be offered in 2023|
|ANTH321||2020||Archaeozoology||18 points||First Semester|
|ANTH322||2020||Conceiving Reproduction||18 points||Second Semester|
|ANTH323||2020||Anthropology of Health||18 points||Not offered in 2020|
|ANTH324||2020||Archaeological Practice||18 points||Second Semester|
|ANTH325||2020||Rites of Passage: Death, Grief and Ritual||18 points||Not offered in 2020|
|ANTH326||2020||Special Topic: Sex and Culture||18 points||Not offered in 2020|
|ANTH327||2020||Anthropology of Money||18 points||First Semester|
|ANTH328||2020||Anthropology of Religion and the Supernatural||18 points||Second Semester|
|ANTH329||2020||Landscape Archaeology||18 points||Second Semester|
|ANTH330||2020||New Zealand Archaeology||18 points||First Semester|
|ANTH331||2020||The Emergence of Agriculture: an Archaeological Journey||18 points||Second Semester|
|ANTH405||2020||Archaeological Excavation||20 points||1st Non standard period|
|ANTH409||2020||Material Culture Studies||20 points||Full Year|
|ANTH410||2020||Special Topic: Archaeological Science||20 points||First Semester|
|ANTH411||2020||Special Topic: The New Ethnography of Development||20 points||Full Year|
|ANTH413||2020||Oceanic Prehistory||20 points||Not offered in 2020|
|ANTH423||2020||Bodies, Technologies and Medicines||20 points||Not offered in 2020|
|ANTH424||2020||The Anthropology of Evil||20 points||Full Year|
|ANTH425||2020||Anthropology of Transnationalism and Diaspora||20 points||Not offered, expected to be offered in 2022|
|ANTH490||2020||Dissertation||60 points||Full Year|
|ANTH495||2020||Dissertation||60 points||Full Year|
|ANTH590||2020||Research Dissertation||60 points||1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period|