University of Tasmania

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Thinking archaeologically about Australia's deep time history

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 22:16 authored by Louise ZarmatiLouise Zarmati

History teachers have been teaching the topic ‘Ancient Australia’ since it was introduced in the Australian Curriculum in 2012. Year 7 students were required to learn about the ancient past of Australia before studying either Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, or Ancient Rome, and one of the two new Asian World topics: Ancient China or Ancient India. The draft revisions of the Australian Curriculum for Year 7 History, which was open for public consultation from April to July 2021, indicated that the 'Ancient Australia' topic would be changed to 'Deep Time History' in the 2022 version (v.9).

On closer examination, what may sound like a simple change of title will require history teachers to have factual knowledge of dating systems, key terms, concepts, and significant events in Australia's deep time past, as well as understand the methods used to conduct this research. Much of this information may be new to many teachers and not easily accessible. In this article, I discuss some implications these proposed changes will have on the way teachers and students think about Australia's deep time past, because this new topic is based almost entirely on archaeology rather than historical sources. I have also provided a list of useful and easily accessible resources in the closing section.


Publication title

Journal of the History of Teachers Association of New South Wales






Faculty of Education


History Teachers' Association of New South Wales

Place of publication


Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Secondary education; Teacher and instructor development