Archaeology and ancient history

What is archaeology and ancient history?

The major in Archaeology and Ancient history at Monash focuses on the ancient Mediterranean world and Indigenous Australia. You’ll examine material remains– such as ancient settlements, monuments, art and objects – as well as historical texts to understand how ancient communities were organised, how people lived and what they believed.

Why study archaeology and ancient history?

You’ll learn about the first Australians and how their past contributes to our nation’s enduring heritage. You’ll investigate how the Mediterranean and Ancient Near East served as the birthplace of many of the ideas that shaped modern cultures around the world. By studying the past, you will gain a deeper understanding of the world we live in today.

Archaeology asks you to dig deeper

Our students use archaeological artefacts and texts to explore past communities. You will learn how ancient objects and documents can reveal how people interacted with each other and with their environment. You will do a deep dive into past cultures to explore how communities sought to solve the dilemmas of living in groups, and will see how some of their solutions might be applicable to issues we encounter today.

What will you study?

Archaeology and ancient history topics create a broad and deep view of the ancient world. You’ll explore topics such as:

  • Archaeological methods
  • Ancient Greek, Latin, and Egyptian Languages
  • Anthropology
  • Landscape studies
  • Cultural Heritage Protection
  • Ancient literature and mythology

Here are some examples of the kinds of units you can study:

  • Beyond ‘primitive’ art: Understanding meaning and symbolism in Indigenous art
  • The archaeology of empires
  • The archaeology of death in ancient Egypt
  • Sex, gender and power in the Ancient Near East
  • On a dig: Practical archaeology in the field
  • Ancient mythologies

What careers will you be ready for?

  • Archaeologist
  • Heritage management
  • Conservation
  • Consultancy
  • Tourism
  • Museum/gallery curating and much more.

Who will be teaching you?

Our archaeologists get down to earth.

With a down-to-earth approach to their fascination with the ancient world, you’ll be learning from scholars who are involved in an intriguing range of excavation projects around the globe. They explore how we can use the documents and physical remains of communities to understand the past and its relevance to the present.

Their research takes them to locations from the Torres Strait Islands to Iran, Georgia, Greece and Egypt. From palaces to campsites, and barley fields to battlefields, our staff explore the nature of human communities.

Global study

With Monash’s impressive international links, you’ll have the opportunity to venture into contexts where you can apply your expertise.

Short term programs:

  • Roman archaeology – Italy
  • Archaeological fieldwork – Italy

Exchange programs include:

  • University of Vienna – Austria
  • Tel Aviv University – Israel
  • University of Exeter – England
  • University of Warwick – England.

GIG: Global Immersion Guarantee

The Monash Arts Global Immersion Guarantee (GIG) is an award-winning initiative that will enable you to explore first-hand the relationships between society, technology and the environment. It’s a two-week, funded study trip for all eligible first-year Monash Arts, single or double degree students to one of six destinations – China, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia or the Pacific Islands.

Major Focus by location
Focus Locations
Handbook

This area of study is offered in the following courses or can be taken where you have 8 free electives. To see if you can take this area of study within a double degree select from the course offering below.

What a week: Archaeology and ancient history

In our Monash Arts 'What a Week' series, two year 12 students hear from an industry practitioner about where an Archaeology and ancient history major can take them.

Career options

  • Archaeologist
  • Heritage management
  • Conservation
  • Research
  • Media consultant
  • Tourism
  • Museum/gallery curating

Overseas opportunities

The Centre for Ancient Cultures participates in a number of archaeological research projects about the ancient world from Amarna, Egypt to Pasargadae, Iran.