Skip to main content

Centre for Global Archeological Research  |  Main Campus

Minor Archaeology Programme

We have a minor package programme with elective/optional courses in archaeology offered to all undergraduates in USM. The syllabus covers Introduction to Archaeology; Ascent of Man and Civilisation; Archaeological Excavation; Science in Archaeology; and Southeast Asian Archaeology. Students are offered site visits and excavations as well as hands-on work in the laboratory for a more complete understanding of evidence gathering, environment reconstruction, and archaeological interpretations.


Exposes students to key sections and issues in archeology so that they have a basic knowledge that can be developed later. After taking this package, students will learn about space and time -human development and prehistoric culture, early civilizations, archaeological methods, material culture, and early technology.
These courses will give students an extraordinary dimension of time and will be able to merge/adapt “time” to events in human and technological development from prehistoric times to early civilizations, in a vast space, i.e. the world.
Students will also be exposed to problem-solving and interpretive approaches that include social science and pure science methods.

Programmes Structure

 Students need to collect 16 units from the 4 courses offered. All courses are mandatory terraces. Students can start a minor by enrolling in any of the courses offered in the semester in question. There are no prerequisites for each course offered.

Course Code/Unit

Course Title

Offered Semester

UAW 101/4*

Introduction to Archaeology


UAW 201/4**

Ascent of Man and Civilisation


UAW 302/4

Science in Archaeology


UAW 303/4*

South East Asia Archaeology


UAW 304/4

Archaeological Excavation


* offered as an option

* This course is specifically for 4 -year system students who register for the 20 -unit Archaeological Minor Package


UAW 101/4 – Introduction to Archeology

This course aims to introduce students to the field of archeology. Students will learn the history of archeology and how archaeologists identify archaeological sites, conduct excavations, determine the age of artifacts or sites, and make reconstructions of prehistoric ways of life. Students will also learn about prehistoric artifacts and technologies found in excavations around the world. Students will be given the opportunity to examine various types of excavated artifacts, make stone tools, and visit archeological sites.

UAW 201/4 – Ascent of Man and Civilisation

Students will be exposed to archaeological evidence that can describe human activities and behavior from 4 million years to the beginning of civilization-a development that has taken place slowly and unevenly around the world. Over this long period, students will be introduced at a glance to major changes in climate, flora and fauna. This course will focus on the stages of development of human species, material culture and technology in prehistoric discussions in prominent areas of Africa, China and selected early civilizations such as Egypt ,. Middle East, India, China and Mexico.

UAW 302/4 - Science in Archaeology

 This course aims to expose students to the scientific approaches that are often used to solve questions in archeology. This scientific approach involves physical and chemical methods that will be introduced to students through laboratory examination, against various types of artifacts such as pottery, bronze and beads. Thus, students will have the opportunity to gain "hands on" experience through laboratory classes and laboratory projects.

UAW 303/4 - South East Asia Archaeology

 Southeast Asian societies in the Paleolithic, Neolithic and Metal eras in Southeast Asia did not yet have writing, and therefore did not leave any written materials that could tell about their lives. Thus, what is left behind (e.g., pottery, bronze, bones, stone tools), can be studied through archeology, to “revive” prehistoric societies and cultures. Students will be exposed to the stages of early human cultural development and key issues in the prehistory of Southeast Asia, particularly in the states of Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia.

UAW 304/4 - Archaeological Excavation

Archaeological studies involve fieldwork as well as laboratory work. Thus, this course will expose students to the basic work carried out at the study site as well as analysis of the artifacts found in the excavations. This course will provide students with knowledge of how fieldwork is done, how analyzes are conducted and finally how interpretations are made. Fieldwork takes place during the long holidays and will take 2 weeks. This course will be continued in Semester I with a focus on methods of conducting various analyzes of artifacts.