Anthropology | Introduction to Archaeology
P200 | 7084 | 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 kinds of
questions that archaeologists ask about past human societies, and the
different ways that archaeologists use archaeological data to
interpret social organization, subsistence, environment, architecture,
trade, economic systems, interpersonal relations and political life.
You will learn about the goals of archaeology as a subfield of
anthropology, the development of archaeology as a scientific
discipline and the wide range of methods archaeologists use to collect
and analyze material remains.
Throughout the semester, we will draw on examples of archaeological
research from across the globe, discuss major transitions in world
history and evaluate how archaeologists reached those conclusions.
Examples include the transition from hunting and gathering to
sedentary lifestyles, the development of cities and complex societies,
and interpretations of everyday life, identity, burial customs, and
community membership. We will also discuss contemporary issues
including 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 kinds of things we have learned and
can learn about ancient human societies, and how archaeological
research is relevant in our modern lives.