Faculty of Arts


Pacific Archaeology

Please note: this is archived course information from 2020 for ANTHRO 306.


In "Pacific Archaeology" we will discuss the origins of Pacific Island populations and ensuing cultural changes beginning over 40,000 years ago to recent times. The course will examine the archaeological sequences of major archipelagos and pay special attention to current theoretical and methodological issues on topics such as colonisation, human impact on ancient environments and the generation of cultural diversity. Students can expect to master a diverse body of knowledge and critically assess current topics in Pacific archaeology that are broadly applicable to all regions of the world.

The aims of "Pacific Archaeology" are:

  • The development of critical analytical skills
  • The application of knowledge about the Pacific Island past to multiple fields of inquiry
  • The increase of skill with written analysis and verbal discussion of ideas

The objectives we will work toward in achieving these aims are:

  • The acquisition of general knowledge about the Pacific Island past through lectures, reading and discussion
  • The application of theoretical and methodological issues in Pacific Island archaeology to other regions and disciplines
  • The evalution of methods and proposed explanations in Pacific Island archaeology

Students who attend lectures, participate in discussion, engage with the material by taking thorough notes and reading closely and who complete all assigned work should be able to reach these aims and objectives.



Coursework only

View the course syllabus.

Availability 2020

Semester 1


Lecturer(s) Dr Ethan Cochrane

Recommended Reading

On the Road of the Winds; Patrick Kirch (2000 ed. available online through library)


Coursework only


ANTHRO 306: 15.0 points


60 points passed at Stage II 



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