Faculty of Arts

ANTHRO 701 A & B

Human Palaeoecology

Please note: this is archived course information from 2018 for ANTHRO 701.


This is a seminar on human palaeoecology (HPE) and the methods and theories used to investigate this subject matter. The course objectives are to:

  • Introduce you to human palaeoecology and related themes, analytical issues, and contributions to the discipline.
  • Help you develop the conceptual and methodological skills needed to critically evaluate the validity of differenttechnical and theoretical approaches.
  • Assist you in designing and undertaking your own research.

Initially we what consider what comprises the core subject matter of HPE. We then turn to key analytical issuesthataffectthequality of palaeoecological data, including formation processes, taphonomy, sampling, and aspects of measurement. This is followed by a discussion of why theory and models are useful (in general) and a review of some theories and models commonly used in HPE. In Semester II the application of specific methods is examined through case studies and includes techniques used in geoarchaeology, paleoethnobotany, and zooarchaeology. Course themes include the identification and impact of human colonization on virgin landscapes, insular adaptations, foraging behaviours, food gathering and producing strategies, geoarchaeological aspects of landscape change and human-climate interactions.

To complete this course students must enrol in ANTHRO 701 A and B, or ANTHRO 701.

View the course syllabus

Availability 2018

Semester 1 and 2 (full year)


Coordinator(s) Professor Melinda S. Allen


ANTHRO 701A: 15.0 points

ANTHRO 701B: 15.0 points

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