Anthropology | Social Context Grad Core: Sites in Social Context
P604 | 26760 | Sievert


People come and go, but places abide. This isn’t a course about
formation processes, taphonomy, landscape archaeology, or GIS
(although these provide fuel). Instead, we’ll look at archaeological
places using a biographical perspective. I provide two case studies:
Spiro, the grand mortuary center in Oklahoma, and the Pioneer Village
at Spring Mill State Park. We’ll look at how these places were
occupied in the past and explore how they became ‘sites’. Then we’ll
look at what happened to these places after archaeology became a part
of their use-lives. During the semester you will each create a site
biography, so you’ll get to pick a site, figure out who the
stakeholders were and are, and put site lives into social and
historical perspective. This course should encourage you to do work
relevant to your own research, and give you some additional
perspectives to call on for understanding site meaning past and present.

Format: Seminar—discussion of readings and problems. Students help
guide the class, supply readings and provide peer review. My long-
range goal is an edited volume of site biographies to which you
contribute innovative chapters. The class will be front loaded, with
intensive reading during the first weeks, and individual research and
workshop formats for the latter part of the class.