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ANTH427 Archaeological Theory

Study of anthropological and other scientific and sociocultural ideas as they relate to, inform, and frame archaeological research and practice. Theory in archaeological history.

This course is focused on the development of theoretical capacity and sophistication in postgraduate archaeology students. Students will review, evaluate and debate the intellectual foundations and ideas of, and behind, archaeology. These ideas cover some of the most important intellectual developments in recent human history including feminism, postcolonial theory, and evolutionary and environmental theory. Students also consider important and influential theorists in archaeological history and the contemporary discipline of world archaeology. Strategically, this course should inform and support postgraduate archaeology students as they frame research questions and design.

Paper title Archaeological Theory
Paper code ANTH427
Subject Anthropology
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Full Year (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,583.82
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,967.53

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72 300-level ANTH or ARCH points
ANTH 426, ARCH 404
Limited to
BA(Hons), PGDipArts, MA(Coursework), MArchP
May not be credited together with ANTH410 passed in 2012 or ARCH410 passed in 2013.

Teaching staff

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Ian Barber
Contributing lecturer: Dr Tim Thomas

There is no single set textbook for ANTH427. The course is taught from a variety of e-journal articles, book chapters and books held by the University of Otago library.
Course outline
Will be available on Blackboard at the beginning of the course.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised

Cultural understanding, Ethics, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete this course will have:

  • Acquired knowledge and confidence to design their research from a theoretically informed base;
  • Developed a deeper understanding and appreciation of the range of ideas that have influenced archaeological practice and research historically, and today.

Participation in this course will also contribute to the development of the following graduate attributes:

  • Global perspective through world case studies and cross-cultural perspectives
  • Lifelong learning
  • Scholarship
  • Communication, especially orally through seminars and group discussion
  • Critical thinking and writing
  • Ethics
  • Information literacy
  • Theoretically informed and coherent research
  • Self-motivation

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Full Year

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 14:00-16:50 9-13, 15-22, 28-31