Section Information for Spring 2017
How do we know what we think we know about the past? This is the guiding principal of the course, trying to link our interpretations about past civilizations and extinct societies to the concrete archaeological record. How do objects, architecture, features, ecofacts and context tell us about past populations? And can archaeology help us understand the present? The readings for the course cover the current state of archaeological studies including the guiding principles used by modern archaeologists. You will learn how archaeologists decide where to dig, how to date a site, and how to reconstruct past behaviors. Case studies from around the world highlight how the archaeological methods and theories described in the readings are applied in practice. By the end of the course, students will be able to lead their own archaeological excavation of their dorm room as you peel through the layers of old coffee mugs, overdue homework assignments, and the hamper of dirty laundry. You will be able to understand how archaeologists think and what clues you leave behind for future archaeologists.
Satisfies the general education requirement in social and behavioral Science.