The Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of History Department of History
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HIST5515B Special Topics in Public History (Archaeology): Public Archaeology

Semester 1 (2022-2023)

Lecture TimeThursday, 18:30 - 20:15

VenueLT4, Yasumoto International Academic Park (YIA LT4)


Lecturer CHAU Hing Wah (

Teaching Assistant Tze-Yan, Jessie, Woo (

Course Description

This course introduces students to the wide range of areas in which archaeology has an impact outside the academic areas of archaeological study.  It aims to examine the development and planning of archaeological presentation, and issues connected with maintenance of the archaeological resource; the role of legislation in archaeology; the ‘values’ of archaeology in society; and the complex interrelationships between society, politics and economics that provides the framework within which archaeology exists.


Course Schedule

Lecture 1:   History and Development of Archaeology (Sep 8)

Lecture 2:  Archaeological Survey and Excavation (Sep 15)

Lecture 3:   Archaeology of Hong Kong: Development and Achievements (Sep 22)


Field Visit:  Visit to the archaeological remains in the Kowloon Bay area, including the Kowloon Walled City Park, the Sung Wong Toi Park and the archaeological display inside the Sung Wong Toi MTR Station. (Sep 25, Sun)


Lecture 4:   Protection of Archaeological Heritage: International Charters and Conventions (Sep 29)

Lecture 5:   Re-constructing Hong Kong’s Past: Our Cultural Identity (Oct 6)


Group presentation: Students will be divided into groups of 5 to 6 members and each group is required to do a powerpoint presentation of their research on the Field Study of Kowloon Bay (Oct 13)


Lecture 6:   Underwater Archaeology: An Introduction (Oct 20)

Lecture 7:   Post-excavation: Finds Processing, Analysis, Conservation, and Interpretation (Oct 27)


Field Visit:  Visit to the Wun Yiu archaeological site in Tai Po and the Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum in Sham Shui Po. (Oct 30, Sun)


Lecture 8:   Protection of Archaeological Heritage: China and Hong Kong (Nov 3)

Lecture 9:   Archaeology and Nationalism: Origins of Chinese Civilization Project (I) (Nov 10)

Lecture 10: Archaeology and Nationalism: Origins of Chinese Civilization Project (II) (Nov 17)

Lecture 11: Underwater Archaeology: Survey, Excavation, Conservation and Management (Nov 24)

Lecture 12: Public Archaeology: Retrospect and Prospects (Dec 1)

Assessment & Assignments

The evaluation is based on:

(1)   Attendance in classes (10%)


(2)   Presentation (20%)


(3)   Field visit report (20%)


(4)  Term paper (50%)


Honesty in Academic Work

Attention is drawn to University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and to the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations. Details may be found at

With each assignment, students will be required to submit a signed declaration that they are aware of these policies, regulations, guidelines and procedures.

  • In the case of group projects, all members of the group should be asked to sign the declaration, each of whom is responsible and liable to disciplinary actions, irrespective of whether he/she has signed the declaration and whether he/she has contributed, directly or indirectly, to the problematic contents.
  • For assignments in the form of a computer-generated document that is principally text-based and submitted via VeriGuide, the statement, in the form of a receipt, will be issued by the system upon students’ uploading of the soft copy of the assignment.

Assignments without the properly signed declaration will not be graded by teachers.

Only the final version of the assignment should be submitted via VeriGuide.

The submission of a piece of work, or a part of a piece of work, for more than one purpose (e.g. to satisfy the requirements in two different courses) without declaration to this effect shall be regarded as having committed undeclared multiple submissions. It is common and acceptable to reuse a turn of phrase or a sentence or two from one’s own work; but wholesale reuse is problematic. In any case, agreement from the course teacher(s) concerned should be obtained prior to the submission of the piece of work.

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