Spring 2023 - ARCH 285 D100

Archaeological Science (4)

Class Number: 4042

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    SWH 9152, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 18, 2023
    10:30 PM – 10:30 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    12 units.



Introduces scientific techniques used for archaeological investigations. Quantitative/Breadth-Science.


This in-person course is intended to introduce students to the scientific approach and analytical techniques used to study ancient societies and their interactions with past environments.  These studies have been transformed in recent years by the application of principles of physics, chemistry, biology, earth and materials sciences and the use of analytical techniques drawn from the natural sciences and engineering. Morphological and genetic studies of human and biological remains and chemical-physical analysis of the material culture provide new insights into past human knowledge, ideology, activities and the environments in which ancient people lived. Lectures will cover introductive concepts on the scientific method (e.g., hypothesis’ generation and testing), principles and applications of commonly used analytical techniques, and several case studies from different archaeological periods and regions.


  • Midterm I 20%
  • Midterm II 20%
  • Assignments (5) 35%
  • Final Exam 25%



Gilberto Artioli. 2010. Scientific Methods and Cultural Heritage. An Introduction to the Application of Materials Science to Archaeometry and Conservation Science. Oxford University Press.

Print ISBN: 9780199548262, 0199548269

eText ISBN: 9780191576355, 0191576352 (Rentable from www.vitalsource.com)


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.

Deferred grades will be given only on the basis of authenticated medical disability.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html