The University of Western Australia’s School of Social Sciences is investing in a new ‘experimental farm’ for the study of archaeology, rock art, and forensics.
Located at UWA’s Crawley campus, the outdoor space will give students and the public the opportunity to try their hand at field, lab, and project skills including flying drones, metal detecting, and curating artefacts to museum standard.
Dr Sven Ouzman, UWA’s Discipline Chair of Archaeology, said the new experimental farm will both be a lot of fun – and give UWA students a competitive employment advantage.
“Archaeology, rock art, and forensics have a unique balance of being both theoretically informed and practical. Lectures, tutorials, and labs can only teach so much, and fieldwork is expensive. So having an experimental farm that so closely simulates real-life archaeological scenarios is a major asset,” Dr Ouzman said.
“This experimental farm, and the cutting-edge equipment that goes with it, will allow our students to master the key disciplinary techniques as they research, implement, and manage projects – all essential parts of the 21st century archaeologist’s skills set.”
The experimental farm will include environments such as a rock art shelter, a TARDIS-style excavation area, forensics mock up, pigment-making area, and a stone knapping station, with subsequent developments added as funding becomes available.
As well as being used year-round by Archaeology students, the farm will supplement the new summer school unit ARCY3013 Experimenting with Archaeology. Open to everyone, this six week intensive practical course gives budding archaeologists a practical insight into heritage project management and field skills, as well as the legal and social context within which such research operates.
The new experimental farm has been made possible thanks to the generous support of the UWA Alumni Fund.
Alexandra Wingate (Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education)
(+61 8) 6488 5597