Anthropology | Introduction to Archaeology
P200 | 13956 | King


This course is an introduction to the methods and theories of
archaeology.  Archaeology is the study of human societies based on
material remains left behind by people.  We will explore the questions
that archaeologists ask about past human societies, and the different
ways that archaeologists interpret social organization, subsistence,
environment, architecture, trade, economic systems, interpersonal
relations and political life based on archaeological data.  You will
learn about the development of scientific archaeology and the goals of
archaeology as a subdiscipline within anthropology.

Archaeologists employ a wide range of techniques to collect and
analyze material remains, including settlement survey, excavation,
environmental reconstruction, laboratory analysis of artifacts, dating
techniques, and microscale analytical methods borrowed from the
physical sciences.  Throughout the semester, we will draw on examples
of archaeological research from across the globe and will discuss
major issues in world prehistory.  Examples include the transition to
sedentary lifestyles, the development of cities and monumental
architecture, and interpretations of everyday social life, identity,
and community membership.  We will also discuss contemporary issues
related to archaeology, such as museums, site preservation, looting,
and use of the archaeological past in nation building and ethnic
politics.  Students should come away from this class with a solid
background in how archaeologists do their work, what we have learned
from archaeological research about ancient human societies, and how
archaeology can be applied to the contemporary world.

Students will be evaluated based on attendance at lecture and
participation in discussion sections, section assignments, and two exams.