Debating Ancient History


Monday to Friday at 10.00am and 12:30pm.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
Year Level
Year 7 – 12
90 Minutes

$240 per group (up to 32 students)

We are lucky enough to be home to the oldest living cultures on Earth. How do we know about them, and how to we continue to find out more?

In this hands-on workshop, students unpack multiple perspectives on Australia’s ancient history, using objects and artefacts to piece together elements of the past. Using professional techniques to analyse real and replica objects from the Museum’s collections, students learn from Aboriginal knowledge holders, archaeologists, and historians while considering ethical concerns associated with the treatment, display and interpretation of collections.

Student Experience

Students will

  • View and handle significant and replica objects and artefacts from the Museum’s collections
  • Use inquiry-based learning to better understand professional investigation techniques
  • Learn about a significant Western Australian repatriation case study
  • Encounter challenging questions and interrogate issues around collecting cultural artefacts and human remains

Program feedback:

“I loved the discussions about misappropriation of Aboriginal culture. The exhibits were great, the education team were clear and explained things well.”

Skills development

This program links to the following strands of the Western Australian Curriculum:

Year 7

  • Investigating the ancient past: How historians and archaeologists investigate history, including excavation and archival research (ACDSEH001)
  • Investigating the ancient past: The range of sources that can be used in an historical investigation, including archaeological and written sources (ACDSEH029)
  • Investigating the ancient past: The importance of conserving the remains of the ancient past, including the heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (ACDSEH148) 

Year 11

Ancient History General

Unit 1 – Ancient civilisations and cultures
Elective: Ancient Australia and the First Peoples

Ancient History ATAR

Unit 1 – Investigating the ancient world

Students investigate the significant issues related to at least one of the following topics:

Historical authentication and reliability

  • Preservation, conservation, and/or reconstruction of ancient sites
  • Cultural heritage, ownership and the role of museums
  • Treatment and display of human remains

Year 12

Ancient History ATAR

Unit 4 – Reconstructing the ancient world

  • Understanding the nature, purpose and significance of the sources
  • Understanding issues relevant to the fragmentary nature of the evidence, reliability, excavation, and conservation
  • Apply key concepts as part of a historical inquiry, including evidence, significance, perspectives, interpretations and contestability
  • Use historical skills