Archaeology Course Offerings
ARCE 120: Field Research in Environmental Archaeology
Summer, Credits: 4.
Degree Requirement: F7, F11.
This course and accompanying lab focus on a scientific understanding of the biological and geological methods and theories that are relevant to human/environmental interaction in pre-historic and historic sites of human occupation. Research questions to be discussed involve three major areas of study: 1) relationships between site formation processes, environmental change and human activity; 2) plant and animal domestication and exploitation; and 3) methods for dating artifacts. The class and lab are held in May and early June at the Ames Plantation in Tennessee. Enrolment is limited; students must apply for acceptance through the director of the Archaeology Program.
210. Learning from Things: Material Culture Studies.
Spring, Credits: 4.
While we are symbol users and inhabitants of imagined worlds, we are also tool makers whose hands are “dirtied” in manipulating the world. This course will focus attention on our “materiality” and our engagement with the material world. Examples of material culture studies will be drawn from such disciplines as archaeology, anthropology, geography, history, art history, folklore, popular culture, architecture, and museum studies. Material culture studies, while a rich source of information is also a challenging arena for the study of individuals, societies and cultures because objects neither “speak” unambiguously nor directly to us. Students will come to appreciate how astute observation underpinned by theoretical acumen and the clever framing of questions can allow us to “learn from things.” This course is cross-listed as Anthropology/Sociology 290.
220. Archaeological Methods.
This class will examine how we use archaeological materials to learn about past societies by studying the traces that their inhabitants left behind. Students will explore the range of methods used in the field, laboratory, and museum to find, record, date, preserve, contextualize, and interpret material culture. Basic methods of investigation and research will be discussed through the examination of site survey, excavation, and the analysis of artifacts. Students will be introduced to various systems of archaeological classification and analytical techniques for understanding objects such as lithic artifacts, pottery, human skeletal remains, and other historic and prehistoric artifacts. Artifact illustration, photography, cataloguing, and curating will also be discussed. This course is cross-listed as Anthropology/Sociology 254.
450. Archaeological Field School.
Summer, Credits: 4.
Degree Requirement: F11.
A supervised training course (ordinarily in the summer) in archeological methods at a controlled excavation. Students will live on the site and participate as crewmembers in the excavation, registration, restoration and publication of archaeological remains. Most students will participate in the Rhodes summer field school at the Ames Plantation, but alternative field schools in the USA or abroad are acceptable alternatives pending the approval of the chair of the Archaeology Program.
A supervised learning experience involving archaeological and/or material culture studies out of state, abroad, or in the community outside of the college. This may include museums, laboratories, cultural resource management firms, cultural conservation projects, historical landmarks, surveying firms, etc. The student and the faculty advisor will devise the program of field work and submit it for approval to the chair of the Archaeology Program.