The Stone Age Meets the Information Age:
an introduction to archaeology
Professor Jeanne Sept
Student Building 038 (office)
Lisa Maiorino (intern)
Teter Hall room xxx
explaining archaeology: link to students' www projects
Archaeologists are "time detectives," peering into the depths of the human past in search of clues that will help us learn about ancient peoples, places and times. Sometimes the discoveries are magnificent! But more often than not our clues are small, dusty and broken -- bits and pieces of ancient lives and challenging to interpret. If it is difficult to imagine life in ancient times, it is often more difficult to understand how archaeologists reconstruct the past using only fragments of ancient evidence. This course will introduce you to how we study the human past.
We will start our detective work by using the present as a guide to interpreting the past, and look at an example of how archaeology can improve our understanding of historic periods as well as prehistoric ones. And we will continue sleuthing by using the tools of the "Information Age" to help us learn about the Stone Age. You will study one of the world's most famous early sites using a CD-ROM. And by the end of the course you will not only know how to "surf" the Internet (World Wide Web), and use it as an effective research tool, but you will also have helped build a WWW portfolio for our course. An important part of archaeological research is explaining our work to the public. You will get the chance to explain aspects of archaeology to other IFS students on the WWW.
We will read articles about archaeological sites from around the world, study artifacts and fossils in the lab, and do a little library research and some original archaeological "fieldwork" around the IU campus. Many of our projects will be collaborative, and you will get the opportunity to work in small groups to practice solving archaeological problems. You will also get the chance to hone your writing skills by writing short reports and essays on a set of topics each week.
Jeanne Sept does field research related to the archaeology of human origins in East Africa,
and teaches in the Anthropology Department at Indiana University, Bloomington.
visit her main web page Human Origins and Evolution in Africa or the following topical pages:
Africa | Primates | Human Evolution | Paleoecology | Archaeology
IU Anthropology | Sept teaching interests | Sept research | Sept Personal Home Page
Last updated: 11 August, 1998
Copyright 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 Jeanne Sept
IU Bloomington Home Page