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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Melbourne, Australia; Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia;
  • Program Terms: Summer, Winter
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

Applications for this program are not currently open. If this is an ANU exchange program, you can view the next exchange program application opening dates and closing deadlines here.
Program Description:

Mornington Peninsula 1


This innovative new archaeology fieldschool will immerse you in the rich cultural landscapes of Australia that have been occupied by Aboriginal communities for at least 60,000 years. Get first-hand experience working alongside ANU archaeologists, cultural heritage professionals, traditional landowners and your fellow students while putting cross-cultural research into practice. The fieldschool is being run in partnership with Heritage Insight, a leading heritage consultancy based in Melbourne, and the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation.

You will spend two weeks on the stunning Mornington Peninsula in Victoria where you will learn techniques in survey and excavation, approaches to ethical and professional archaeological practice, all while exploring traces in the ground of a dynamic human past. Focus will be on both the long-term human use of these coastal landscapes, and historic developments throughout the 19th Century. Besides onsite excavation, teaching includes a series of engaging fire-side talks, practical demonstrations, museum-based learning, and visits to cultural sites across the region.

European settlement of the Mornington Peninsula began at the turn of the 19th century, but it had been home to Aboriginal communities for millennia. Port Philip Bay is the focal hub of Melbourne city and borders the Mornington Peninsula, but only formed within the last 20,000 years when sea levels rose significantly since the last ice age. What can we learn about the human past by combining archaeological techniques with traditional knowledge? How did Aboriginal communities adapt to changing landscapes over time? How does the past relate to the present, and how can it inform our future? These are the kinds of engaged questions we will explore during the fieldschool in collaboration with the traditional owners of this land – the Bunurong people of the southeastern Kulin Nation.

You will emerge with a practical skillset and a deeper understanding of the significance of cultural landscapes in contemporary society. You will be challenged to think critically and consider how on-the-ground research together with science and the humanities can come together to represent the complex human past.

Study Activity

The course runs from Friday 3 September - Sunday 19 September 2021.

You will enrol in ASIA2220 at undergraduate level or ARCH8002 at graduate level to participate in this course.

The course will start with a one day preparatory workshop at ANU on Friday 3rd September where you will have the opportunity to meet your course convener, Dr Ben Shaw, and fellow students. The workshop will introduce you to the research and cultural management aspects of this archaeology fieldschool, including linguistic, anthropological, and historical approaches. It will also prepare you for the 2-week in-field component of the course on the picturesque Mornington Peninsula. A gear list will be provided in advance to give you ample time to pack for the trip, and you will have a chance to test the field equipment.

Departure day, all aboard and off we go! You will meet everyone again at ANU on Sunday 5th September, load the gear into a secure trailer and set off on the 8-hour journey onboard the minibus. We will stop for breaks along the way, arriving at our accommodation, Merricks Lodge, by mid-afternoon to settle in. The next morning we will have a Welcome to Country by the Traditional Landowners, followed by orientation of the study area. Survey and excavations will then begin investigating the Aboriginal and European history around Cape Schanck, a focal point for cultural activity in the region over many millennia. Training will include site survey, mapping, excavation, recording, and artefact analysis.
Over the two weeks we will have visits from experts across different aspects of archaeology and related disciplines. There will be a rest day during the field component for you to put your feet up and relax, and you will be an opportunity to visit cultural landscapes across the region and learn about their traditional and contemporary social significance. On the Sunday 19th September we will drive back to ANU campus, arriving in the afternoon.

Please note: assessment for this course will overlap with Semester 2, 2021. Students who wish to particpate in this course and complete 24 units of study or more in Semester 2, 2021 will need to apply to overload. 
 Eligibility and Selection Criteria
This opportunity is open to all undergraduate and graduate ANU students who have completed 24 units of study at the time of departure. As part of your application, you will need to tell us how this experience will benefit you personally and how it will contribute towards your career aspirations. 

Students will be selected based on their written response to the selection criteria. Academic performance (GPA) may also be taken into consideration.

Application Details

Complete the application by Monday 5 April 2021.

You will be advised of the outcome of your application by Friday 16 April 2021 and you must confirm your participation by Friday 23 April 2021.

Travel and Other Costs

You will be covered by ANU travel insurance for the duration of this course.An additional cost of $1000 per student will cover transport, accommodation, food, and logistics and is to be prepaid prior to course commencement. This cost may be less and will be confirmed once enrolments and final arrangements have been confirmed. You will be required to pay a $100 deposit to secure your place in the program.

General Information for Mobility Programs

While the College of Asia and the Pacific welcomes participation from all eligible ANU students, credit towards your degree program will be at the discretion of your home College. It is your responsibility to consult with your College's student advisors about how this course might fit into your current degree requirements.

The CAP Student Centre is not able to provide visa advice, please refer to the relevant embassy or immigration department for advice about visas.

Please be aware that the program location and activities may be altered depending on unforeseen circumstances outside of the university’s control.
Any changes required to the program will be communicated to applicants where possible.


CAP Student Centre

H Block Building, between Menzies Library and Centre for China in the World (CIW)
T: 6125 3207

This program is currently not accepting applications.