College of Asia & the Pacific - Vanuatu Field School

College of Asia & the Pacific - Vanuatu Field School
Tuesday 14 February 2017

College of Asia and the Pacific

School of Culture History and Language.



ANIWA, VANUATU 4th to 18th of July

This field school is part of an ARC-funded project exploring 3000 years of settlement and interactions in the south Vanuatu region. The field school will focus on Aniwa Island, a small coral atoll about 7km long and 1km wide, just next to the active (but stable!) volcanic island of Tanna. We will be excavating a combination of rock shelters and open sites relating to the prehistoric occupation of Aniwa, as well as documenting and excavating a 19th century mission site. Among the exciting possibilities is the chance to document the early Polynesian colonisation of Aniwa around 1000 BP. These excavations will help us to build a prehistoric sequence for Aniwa that can be compared with the other islands in south Vanuatu, as well as other small coral atolls around the western Pacific. Prior to going to Aniwa there is a tour of the Vanuatu Museum and its archaeological collections and a day tour of the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Roi Mata Domain on the 3rd of July.

Iatoto beach, SE Aniwa with Tanna in distance


The generic learning outcomes and assessments for ARCH8002 vary from year to year according to the field location selected. This year (2017) the 6-unit assessment will include a key issue review paper/research project (35%); portfolio of data, field drawings, site recording forms, images, maps to a professional archive standard and self‐reflective digital or written diaries of daily field experiences following field activities/discussions (55%) and group participation/OH&S assessments (10%). This will have a total word length equivalent to 4,000 words.  Workload will be appropriate to 6-unit value. The course will involve a pre‐course briefing and 14 days field training. Assessment will be predominantly based on activities and work produced during the field course.

Learning Outcomes 2017: Students will gain the knowledge and skills to:

* Work to a high standard and safely within a remote area.

* Participate in a team research exercise in a remote area.

* Acquire archaeological field data in georeferenced forms e.g. GPS survey to a high standard for archive purposes or research.

* Undertake all aspects of site recording, mapping and excavation, including in areas and sites such as caves and open sites, historic building remains and an historic cemetery.

* Relate the significance of archaeological and palaeoecological data from a site and its setting to local, regional and national issues of value and significance.

* Demonstrate understanding of community consultation and ethical considerations.

The Fieldschool is restricted to 10 students as there are only 2 flights to Aniwa per week on a plane that seats only 18 people. Students need to make a firm commitment so that their tickets can be secured EARLY in the year. Please contact the convener below if you are interested and want further information or want to commit to this fieldschool.

Contact: Stuart Bedford


Updated:  14 December 2017/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications