Honors | Introduction to Archaeology (ANTH)
P200 | 10606 | Stacie King
LEC MW 11:15am-12:05pm
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.
In the past, we have arranged special opportunities for Honors
students that have included archaeological excavation and visits to
museums. There are no formal course prerequisites other than
enthusiasm and interest. This class is intended for undergraduate
students interested in learning about what we know and how to do
archaeology. It also fulfills a requirement toward the Anthropology
minor or major and is a core course for the brand new multi-
disciplinary minor in Archaeology.