Centre for Continuing Education

History of Archaeology Course

History. See the future. It’s in the past.

The world as we know it today has been shaped by events of the past. Learn about history the smart way with History courses at the University of Sydney.

Learn about the history of archaeology while handling museum artefacts from the University of Sydney’s Nicholson museum.

In this course, you will gain an understanding of archaeology and how it has developed as an academic discipline over three centuries. Epochs of archaeological enquiry from antiquarianism through to a modern experimental scientific approach are considered.

The work of great archaeologists of the past are also examined, including: Woolley, Carter, Wheeler and Kenyon.

Aims

The course aims to provide you with a new understanding and appreciation for the development of archaeology. You will also learn about the application of theoretical practices to archaeology that have given us greater insight into the human past.

Outcomes

By the end of this course, you should be able to discuss the developments in archaeology within the following periods:

  • 1750-1800: Antiquarianism
  • 1800-1850: The age of exploration
  • 1850-1914: Colonialism’s impact on historical understanding
  • 1914-1945: The age of large scale excavations, but new techniques
  • The post-war period.

You should also be able to discuss the profession of archaeology and its demands.

Content

Museum artefacts will be used as support materials throughout discussion of course topics.

This course covers the following topics:

Major periods in the development of archaeology

  • Collecting artefacts
  • The Grand Tour and the invention of the museum
  • Belzoni and the early looting of Egypt
  • 1750-1800: Antiquarianism
  • 1800-1850: The age of exploration
  • 1850-1914: Colonialism’s impact on historical understanding
  • 1914-1945: The age of large scale excavations, but new techniques
  • The post-war period

Key excavations

  • Pompeii

Key archaeologists

  • Sir Charles Nicholson
  • Heinrich Schliemann
  • Howard Carter
  • Sir Leonard Woolley
  • Sir Max Mallowan and Dame Kathleen Kenyon
  • The early Australian archaeologists

Intended Audience

Interested members of the public.

Prerequisites

An interest in the history of archaeology.

Delivery Style

  • Museum education
  • Guided handling of museum objects
  • Talks and discussion

Materials

You will be provided with a print out of necessary course materials. Museum artefacts handled in class are selected by the course tutor.

Features

  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Statement of completion
History of Archaeology Course

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