The ANU School of Archaeology and Anthropology (SoAA) recognises the value of, and need for, providing educational services and communicating research beyond conventional academic means at the university. Our School actively engages with primary and secondary school students, members of the public, and other groups or communities interested in learning about our disciplines.
The School combines four disciplines: Anthropology, Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, and Development Studies. The goals of the School are to further the understanding of past and present of humanity in a variety of social contexts.
Anthropology is the study of cultural differences and similarities in a globalised world. As a field of study anthropology is uniquely placed to interpret the widest range of contemporary social phenomena — from migration to religious fundamentalism, online communities and new social movements, contemporary indigenous cultural expression and identity politics, consumption and commodification, and many changing forms of social relationships.
Archaeology is the study of past human activities emphasising interpretations of material evidence. By excavating the physical remains of people, the places they lived, and the objects they made and used, archaeologists gain knowledge of human history and prehistory. Archaeology may be applied to all periods of the human past, from the first evidence of tool-making hominids two and a half million years ago to the grand civilisations of the ancient world to the recent history of colonial Australia.
Biological Anthropology is the branch of anthropology that seeks to understand humans in an evolutionary context. It takes a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding human origins and behaviour and encompasses subjects such as primatology, palaeoanthropology, human behavioural ecology, genetics, skeletal biology, demography, evolutionary ecology and forensic anthropology to provide a deep understanding of the biology and culture of humans living today.
Development Studies combines political science, sociology and anthropology to provide an understanding of the principal ways in which critical social inquiry and participatory processes are applied to the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development activities. It is inter-disciplinary understanding of theory and practice concerning the processes of development in the Third World, with a focus on Central Asia and the Middle East, China, Oceania, South and Southeast Asia.
Several outreach activities are possible to organise for delivery on campus and off site, depending on staff availability and teaching/research schedules. Please be aware that the greater the lead in time you give us, the more likely it is that we can realise your project/ activity. These activities include introductory lectures, laboratory practicals, and voluntary work experience. We organise these on a case by case basis, so please get in touch in the first instance and we will do our best to accommodate your request.