Archaeology provides the opportunity to investigate the material remains of past societies and cultures and the methods by which they are recovered, analyzed, interpreted and reconstructed.
Archaeologists investigate the entire human past from the first evidence of tool use 3 million years ago to historical studies as recent as the 20th century. To provide a comprehensive understanding of archaeology, the department emphasizes two approaches: the humanistic, which is represented by classical archaeology, and the social scientific, which is represented by anthropological archaeology.
Archaeology students will encounter a range of specialties within the field, from topical studies, such as prehistoric pastoralism, hunter-and-gatherer societies, Mayan archaeology, or Greek and Roman archaeology, to methodological approaches such as historical archaeology, ethnoarchaeology, zooarchaeology, paleoethnobotany, geoarchaeology, geographic information systems (GIS) and trace element analysis. A strength of this institution in anthropological archaeology is the focus upon biologically based studies (paleoethnobotany, zooarchaeology and GIS) to investigate such questions as the origins of food production or complex societies. The strength of the classical archaeological program capitalizes on ancient documents in investigating the more recent Eurasian human past.
While acquiring basic training in archaeology, students may choose to concentrate on a specific region, such as the Eastern Woodlands of the United States, the Andes, Mesoamerica, Africa, Central Asia, China or the Mediterranean world. Ancient and/or modern languages, as well as history and art, are essential for some areas of study. Students, in conjunction with their advisers, can identify a specialized set of courses that meet their goals.
Washington University archaeology faculty members are involved in research projects in many regions, such as Central Asia, Northern Africa, China, Greece, the Andes, the Mayan area, New Mexico and the Mississippi River valley. With a degree in archaeology, a graduate can work in academia, private consulting firms, government conservation and compliance agencies, and museums. Academic and museum positions generally require graduate-level training.
The Major in Archaeology
Total units required: 27
|ARC 190B||Introduction to Archaeology||3|
|ARC 200C||World Archaeology: Global Perspectives on the Past||3|
The major requires 21 advanced (300-/3000- or 400-/4000-level) units in addition to the two introductory courses. These 21 advanced units should be distributed from the offerings in anthropological and classical archaeology. All majors must complete a supervised archaeological field school of six weeks or the equivalent, approved by the departmental director.
Internships/Research: The hands-on experience of archaeological fieldwork is particularly attractive to many students. Undergraduate majors in archaeology will complete at least one supervised field project, which is selected to best meet the student's long-term goals. Most field research projects are small, which allows students to work closely with faculty and staff. Recently, students have worked at excavations in such diverse areas as Ireland, France, Kazakhstan, Greece, Israel, China, Japan, Guatemala, Bolivia, the U.S. Southwest, and Cahokia, Illinois. Students focusing on North American archaeology often take an internship at one of the local private firms to gain experience in contract archaeology. Undergraduate participation in research is encouraged particularly for students working on Senior Honors theses.
Senior Honors: Archaeology majors are encouraged to work for Senior Honors, for which students may apply in the junior or senior year. Acceptance into the program is based on previous academic performance, a proposal accepted by an archaeology faculty member who agrees to supervise the honors research, and approval of the Archaeology program director. The Honors thesis will be evaluated by a three-member faculty committee.
Study Abroad: In addition to field schools in the summer, many students also opt to take a semester abroad, particularly those focusing in classical archaeology.
The Minor in Archaeology
Units required: 15
Required courses: The minor in the interdisciplinary program in Archaeology requires completion of 15 course credits. The minor should include one of the two introductory courses (ARC 190B Introduction to Archaeology or ARC 200C World Archaeology: Global Perspectives on the Past) and at least 12 advanced units from 300- and 400-level courses.
The archaeology minor is usually fulfilled by a concentration in either the humanistic or in the social science areas. Thus, the minor will satisfy the Textual and Historical Studies distribution area or the Social Sciences distribution area, depending on which courses the minor includes.
Visit https://courses.wustl.edu to view semester offerings for L52 ARC.
L52 ARC 130 Freshman Seminar: The Ritual Landscape of Cahokia: Perspectives on the Politics of Religion and Chiefly Power
The purpose of this class is to engage and challenge freshman students in an open discussion about the prehistoric Mississippian community of Cahokia. The focus of this course is two-fold. The first is to study the way in which the archaeological evidence has been interpreted. The second is to examine other perspectives on Cahokia, especially from the Native American descendants who consecrated this landscape nearly a millennium ago. An underlying tenet of this seminar in understanding Cahokia can also be achieved through the traditions and literature of Native Americans. In the end we want to understand the basis for Cahokia's organization as a prehistoric Native American community, and the role that ritual and religion played in the rather dramatic and dynamic history of this community and the surrounding region.
Same as L48 Anthro 130
L52 ARC 190B Introduction to Archaeology
Archaeology plays a critical and unique role in understanding the human past. Through study of the methods and theories of archaeology, and a survey of important firsts in the human past, this course introduces students to the way archaeologists use material culture to reconstruct and understand human behavior. Chronologically ordered case studies from around the globe are used to look at social, ecological and cultural issues facing humans from the earliest times to the present. Students gain practice reconstructing the past through hands-on participation in two one-hour labs focusing on lithics and animal bones. By the end of the course, students are expected to be able to think critically about how the past is presented, and why, and the importance of the past as it relates to the present and future.
Same as L48 Anthro 190B
L52 ARC 200C World Archaeology: Global Perspectives on the Past
If we carefully peer beneath the earth's surface, we discover a hidden world that is being rediscovered by archaeologists. A considerable amount of excitement is generated by the discovery of lost civilizations and societies. Archaeologists from every corner of the earth come to Washington University to share their experiences as they use the most sophisticated technology to rediscover those forgotten and sometimes embarrassing aspects of our human past.
L52 ARC 212 Archaeological Fantasies and Hoaxes
American popular culture is saturated with pseudoscientific and fictionalized accounts of archaeological discoveries and interpretations. How can students of the past distinguish between fraud, fantasy, hype, and valid archaeological research? What potential merit do films, TV-oriented documentaries, and historical fiction offer? What role has racism played in attempts to deny indigenous peoples credit for their past achievements? This course looks at the popular culture of archaeology, providing tolls for critical evaluation as well as lifetime enjoyment of the field as it is frequently sold to both the informed and the unwary public. Anthropology majors and non-majors are all welcome as are sophomores and motivated first-year students who have not yet declared majors.
Same as L48 Anthro 212
L52 ARC 300 Internship in Archaeology
Internship with an archaeological project or organization where the primary objective is to obtain professional experience outside of the classroom. Student must have a faculty sponsor and a site or project supervisor. Prerequisites: open only to Archaeology majors with junior standing and permission of department.
Credit variable, maximum 3 units. Art: HUM
L52 ARC 3053 Nomadic Strategies and Extreme Ecologies
This course explores the archaeology and anthropology of nomadic pastoral societies in light of their ecological, political and cultural strategies and adaptation to extreme environments (deserts, mountains, the arctic). The aim of the course is to understand both the early development of pastoral ways of life, and how nomads have had an essential role in the formation and transfer of culture, language and power from prehistoric time to the current era.
Same as L48 Anthro 3053
L52 ARC 310C Ancient Civilizations of the New World
An examination of the Inca empire in Peru, and the Maya and Aztec empires in Mexico, through the inquiry into the roots, development, form, and evolutionary history of pre-Colombian civilization in each region from its earliest times to the rise of the classic kingdoms. Examples of respective artistic accomplishments are presented and discussed.
Same as L48 Anthro 310C
L52 ARC 3122 From Country to Heavy Metal: Ancient Civilizations of the Old World
Same as L48 Anthro 3122
L52 ARC 314B Prehistory of North America
Same as L48 Anthro 314B
L52 ARC 3163 Archaeology of China: Food and People
China is a country with a large population, diverse landscapes, and unique food. This course explores the origins of Chinese food in the context of the formation of Chinese societies. During the last two decades, the archaeology of China has become a fast-moving subject with advances in methods, theories and changes of key perceptions. In this context, the beginning and spread of food production in China has become one of the key questions in current archaeology. We focus on the process of domestication of plants and animals in various regions of China during the Holocene. We explore how those processes relate to other sectors of the Old World, such as those of South and Southwest Asia. This course pursues answers to the following questions: Why are the Chinese ways of living and eating different from those in the West? How were production and consumption in China shaped by food globalization in prehistory?
Same as L48 Anthro 3163
L52 ARC 3182 Ancient Africa: Social Mosaics and Environmental Challenges
This class introduces students to the basics of the archaeological record of humans in Africa from 3.6 M.Y. to 1000 years ago. The first third of the course focuses on early humans, the origins of meat eating, expansion of diet and cuisine, technical and cultural responses to changing environments. The second section of the course emphasizes African rock art, socioeconomic variability among hunter-gatherers, the origins of African pastoralism, mobile responses to climate change and African contributions to world food supply including domestication of sorghum, also coffee. The last third of the course is devoted to the complex urban societies of ancient Africa, Egypt, Axum, Great Zimbabwe, and Jenne Jeno. Course format is lecture and discussion. There are two midterms and students are expected to participate in interactive stone tool use, rock art creation, and discussion of ethnographic and archaeological data on pastoral decision-making in times of drought and war and of issues surrounding the purchase of African antiquities and conservation of cultural heritage.
Same as L48 Anthro 3182
L52 ARC 3304 Bones to Behavior: Undergraduate Research in the Lab and at the Zoo
Same as L48 Anthro 3304
L52 ARC 3305 Bones to Behavior II
Same as L48 Anthro 3305
L52 ARC 331 Greek Art and Archaeology
A survey of the artistic achievements and material culture of the Greeks in the first millenium BCE (Iron Age through the Hellenistic period). Development of architecture, sculpture and painting, as well as minor arts and utilitarian objects, with emphasis on the insights they offer into Greek society and interactions with the wider Mediterranean world.
Same as L01 Art-Arch 331
L52 ARC 334 Roman Art and Archaeology
The art and archaeology of the Romans, with emphasis on the late Republic and the Imperial period. Major monuments of sculpture and architecture, as well as town planning, domestic architecture, and the minor arts are used as evidence for reconstructing ancient life.
Same as L01 Art-Arch 334
L52 ARC 3351 The Ancient Maya: Archaeology and History
This course focuses on the ancient Maya civilization because there are many exciting new breakthroughs in the study of the Maya. The Olmec civilization and the civilization of Teotihuacan in the Valley of Mexico are considered as they related to the rise and development of the Maya civilization. The ancient Maya were the only Pre-Columbian civilization to leave us a written record that we can use to understand their politics, religion and history. This course is about Maya ancient history and Maya glyphic texts, combined with the images of Maya life from their many forms of art. The combination of glyphic texts, art and archaeology now can provide a uniquely detailed reconstruction of ancient history in a New World civilization.
Same as L48 Anthro 3351
L52 ARC 3369 Underwater Archaeology
Survey of the history, techniques and results of underwater excavation worldwide, with emphasis on the ancient Mediterranean. Prerequisite: ARC 190 or ARC 200, or permission of instructor.
L52 ARC 345E The Art and Archaeology of Ancient China
Same as Art-Arch 345E(Q).
L52 ARC 3461 Native Americans at Westward Expansion
Issues precipitated by Euro-American contact, colonization and expansion between 1492 and 1810 across Eastern North America, the Plains and the Rocky Mountains. Impacts of exploration and settlement and responses by native peoples: epidemics; population loss; breakdown of Southeastern chiefdoms; resistance; relocation; and shifts in economic strategies. Perspectives and policies of Native Americans as well as Europeans and non-Indian Americans, including Lewis and Clark.
Same as L48 Anthro 3461
L52 ARC 347B Ancient Mound Builders of the Mississippi Valley
Same as L48 Anthro 347B
L52 ARC 3617 Past and Present Cultural Environments
Human societies are situated within and interact with their ecological and environmental systems. Even social relationships within and between groups imply spatial relationships and geographic orientation, advantages, influence and limitations. Beyond subsistence, environment and the "natural world" play an integral role in how humans pattern the landscape, structure society, develop their world view, and, in turn, alter and adapt the world in which they live. This upper-division undergraduate and graduate seminar course introduces students to anthropological conceptions of human-environmental relationships, past and present. Topics include environmental and landscape archaeology; historical, political, and human behavioral ecology; world view and conceptualizations of nature; human adaptation, resilience theory, and niche construction; anthropological case studies; the intersections of humans, animals and the environment; and end with environmental politics.
Same as L48 Anthro 3617
L52 ARC 3693 Anthropology of Death, Mourning and Burial
This course offers anthropological analysis of death, mourning and burial. It draws on data and theoretical explanations from different sub-disciplines of anthropology (archaeology, cultural anthropology, and physical anthropology). In addition to theoretical conceptualization of mortuary practices, specific case studies are used to address a wide range of topics. The course covers cross-cultural comparison of burial among hunter-gatherers, pastoralists and complex societies. Mortuary practices also are conceptualized based on religion and secularity, social organization and biological approaches (e.g., paleodiet, paleodemography, disease). Ethical and legal issues of using human remains worldwide also are addressed. This course helps train and stimulate academic enquiry into ancient and modern societal treatment of death around the globe. The time covered in this course ranges from the Lower Palaeolithic to the contemporary world.
Same as L48 Anthro 3693
L52 ARC 372 Geoarchaeology
Geoarchaeology involves the application of analytical techniques, concepts, and field methods from the earth sciences to help solve archaeological problems. Issues explored in this course include human and environmental processes involved in archaeological site formation, the sedimentary context of archaeological remains, soils and sediments relevant to archaeology, the relationship between past settlement and landscape evolution, paleoclimatic reconstruction, human impacts on the environment, geological sourcing of artifact proveniences, and remote sensing of the physical environment. Several field trips to local archaeological/geological sites provide an opportunity to understand how geoarchaeology is applied to specific research problems.
Same as L48 Anthro 372
L52 ARC 373 Introduction to GIS for Anthropologists
Same as L48 Anthro 373
L52 ARC 374 Social Landscapes in Global View
From the beginning of the human campaign, societies have socialized the spaces and places where they live. This socialization comes in many forms, including the generation of sacred natural places (e.g., Mt. Fuji) to the construction of planned urban settings where culture is writ large in overt and subtle contexts. Over the past two decades or so, anthropologists, archaeologists and geographers have developed a wide body of research concerning these socially constructed and perceived settings — commonly known as "landscapes." This course takes a tour through time and across the globe to trace the formation of diverse social landscapes, starting in prehistoric times and ending in modern times. We cover various urban landscapes, rural landscapes, nomadic landscapes (and others) and the intersection of the natural environment, the built environments and the symbolism that weaves them together. Chronologically, we range from 3000 BCE to 2009 CE and we cover all the continents. This course also traces the intellectual history of the study of landscape as a social phenomenon, and investigates the current methods used to recover and describe social landscapes around the world and through time. Join in situating your own social map alongside the most famous and the most obscure landscapes of the world and trace the global currents of your social landscape!
Same as L48 Anthro 374
L52 ARC 376 Warriors, Merchants, Monks and Courtesans: Ancient Narratives of Globalization in Google Earth
This introductory seminar-style course examines the history of globalization through the narrative accounts of those who lived along some of the great trade routes of the Old World. Through a combination of in-class discussion and hands-on tutorials and projects in Google Earth, we examine how day-to-day local interactions and the experiences of individuals contributed to broader cultural exchanges and the shaping of ancient cosmopolitan centers. We use a bottom-up approach to understand the process of globalization, and why it is not only a phenomenon of the modern world. This course covers a large geographic and temporal span, but it is not about memorizing lists of dates and places or putting dots on a map — it is about learning how to interpret multiple strands of knowledge and put them together into a cohesive narrative of history. The course covers four broad anthropological themes related to Old World history and globalization in conjunction with weekly lessons in Google Earth; there are no prerequisites for either. The knowledge and skills gained in the course lead to a final independent research project consisting of a short paper and an interactive digital map that can be shared online through the Google Earth community.
Same as L48 Anthro 376
L52 ARC 3775 Ancient Eurasia and the New Silk Roads
This course explores the rise of civilization in the broad region of Eurasia, spanning from the eastern edges of Europe to the western edges of China. The focus of the course is the unique trajectory of civilization that is made evident in the region of Central Eurasia from roughly 6000 BC to the historical era (ca. AD 250). In addition to this ancient focus, the course aims to relate many of the most historically durable characteristics of the region to contemporary developments of the past two or three centuries. Fundamentally, this course asks us to reconceptualize the notion of "civilization" from the perspective of societies whose dominant forms of organization defied typical classifications such as "states" or "empires" and, instead, shaped a wholly different social order over the past 5000 years or more. This class provides a well-rounded experience of the geography, social organization, and social interconnections of one of the most essential and pivotal regions in world history and contemporary political discourse.
Same as L48 Anthro 3775
L52 ARC 379 Meltdown: The Archaeology of Climate Change
This course examines the temporal, geographical and environmental aspects of past climate changes, and by using specific examples, explores how climate changes may have affected the evolution of human culture and the course of human history. Archaeological and documentary examples from the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Near East are used to explore if or how significant events in human history have been influenced by changes in climate.
Same as L48 Anthro 379
L52 ARC 3932 Introduction to Archaeological Field Survey
The study and interpretation of the archaeological record begins in most instances with an archaeological survey. The purpose of this course is to provide students with an introductory level, hands-on experience to archaeological survey as practiced in eastern North America. This involves an introduction in the field to the various methods employed in the identification and mapping of archaeological sites. Students spend Saturdays in the field mapping and recording archaeological sites including the mapping of monumental earthworks such as those at the prehistoric site of Cahokia or nearby mound centers.
Same as L48 Anthro 3932
L52 ARC 399 Undergraduate Teaching Assistant
Open to advanced undergraduates only. Usual duties of teaching assistant in laboratory or other selected courses. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.
Credit 3 units.
L52 ARC 4020 Jerusalem, The Holy City
Same as L75 JINE 4020
L52 ARC 403 Culture and History of the Southwestern United States
This course integrates archaeological, historical, and early ethnographic dimensions of American Indian societies in the southwestern United States and northwest Mexico, a region famous for its challenging environment, cultural diversity, and the contributions made by its Native inhabitants. Emphasis is placed on the development of sophisticated desert agriculture and on the rise of regionally integrated cultures including Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde. The impact of Spanish, Mexican, and American colonization are explored. Ethnographies of Tohono O'odham (Papago), Hopi, Zuni, Rio Grande Pueblo, and Navajo societies are discussed.
Same as L48 Anthro 403
L52 ARC 420 Plundered Past: Archaeology’s Challenges in the Modern World
The public imagination thrills at the fantastic adventures of Indiana Jones and Laura Croft, Tomb Raider; but the reality of modern archaeology is more complex, ethically challenging and interesting than a simple treasure hunt. In the U.S. and Canada, our science museums and museums of anthropology still display artifacts that are regarded as sacred and culturally definitive by Indian nations, although such holdings are now subject to negotiation and repatriation. Art museums in Europe and the U.S. are still stocked with looted ancient masterpieces that are revered as vital heritage by the nations from which they were stolen. We display looted art alongside a much smaller number of legitimately excavated artifacts of masterpiece quality, so it is no surprise that our popular images of archaeologists as avid and undiscerning collectors raise little concern. But modern archaeologists are not extractors of art or even of scientific information, from places as passive and inert as the museums' objects ultimately occupy. Archaeologists work with living people inhabiting societies and states that care deeply about their pasts and the relics of it. They are active agents engaged with many other people in the production of knowledge about the past. In our rapidly shrinking world, educated sensitivity to the many ancient cultural legacies that shape the values of modern global society is more than a moral imperative; it is a basic form of collaboration in the common project of survival. Archaeologists are ethically charged to advance that project through education about the complex contemporary arena of artifacts, sites, and information they occupy.
Same as L48 Anthro 4240
L52 ARC 421 Minoan and Mycenean Archaeology
Same as Art-Arch 421.
Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD
L52 ARC 4211 Paleoethnobotany and Ethnobotany
Interrelationships between plants and people, especially in past societies. Recovery and analysis of plant remains from archaeological sites; interpreting subsistence and vegetation changes; medicinal, ritual, and technological uses of plants; plant domestication and agricultural intensification. Modern efforts to understand and preserve threatened traditional ethnobotanical practices. Prerequisite: Anthro 190BP or an introductory botany course, or permission of instructor.
Same as L48 Anthro 4211
L52 ARC 4212 Advanced Methods in Paleoethnobotany
Same as L48 Anthro 4212
L52 ARC 4214 The Archaeology of Food and Drink
Same as L48 Anthro 4214
L52 ARC 426 Ancient Athens
Athens was one of the great cities of antiquity. From lavishly decorated marble temples on the Acropolis, to public office buildings and inscriptions in the Agora (civic center), to the houses of the living and the monuments for the dead, the city has left a rich record of her material culture. These buildings and objects, together with an exceptionally large number of literary and historical texts, make it possible to paint a vivid picture of the ancient city. The course concentrates on the physical setting and monuments of Athens, as revealed by both archaeology and texts, and how they functioned within the context of Athenian civic and religious life. Prerequisite: Classics 345C, Classics 350 or permissions of instructor.
Same as L08 Classics 426
L52 ARC 4285 Environmental Archaeology
This course intends to introduce students to lines of evidence used in the interpretation of past landscapes, how we can conceptualize the changing human ecological relations and how we can identify human influence on their environment. Special emphasis is placed on the human-animal-plant relations, with case studies from around the world. Combining both lecture and seminar sessions, this course aims to ensure that students are aware of several of the basic methods of bio-archaeological and palaeo-environmental reconstruction, and the application of these methods to the interpretation of past landscapes and human impacts on them.
Same as L48 Anthro 4285
L52 ARC 4375 Ancient Greek Sculpture in Context
Same as L01 Art-Arch 4375
L52 ARC 4393 The Archaeology of Trade and Exchange
Studies of trade and exchange are fundamental to our past, as cultures in contact result in new imaginings of self, communities, and place in the world. This course engages in archaeological and anthropological discussions about the interconnectedness that results from trade. This seminar concentrates on the discourse of material trade and the mechanisms for exchange, redistribution, dependency and resistance. It also examines the immaterial exchange of ideas, perceptions and values that alter concepts of identity, space and time. Globalization, political economies, and power are also addressed, along with ideas about territory, value, and social and political consequences of trade.
Same as L48 Anthro 4393
L52 ARC 4561 Ceramic Analysis
Same as Anthro 4561
L52 ARC 4562 Artifact Analysis: Mississippian Cultures
The purpose of this course is to provide students with an introductory, hands-on experience of the methods employed in the analysis of archaeological materials common to the Mississippian culture. Students conduct class projects based on collections from Cahokia Mounds and the St. Louis region. Prerequisite: Anthro 314 or equivalent, or graduate standing, or permission of instructor.
Same as L48 Anthro 4562
L52 ARC 4655 New Advances in Archaeology
Archaeological research is moving at an increasingly rapid pace, with advances in archaeological methods and theory propelling new interpretations and understandings of archaeological findings. This course we focus on contemporary developments in archaeology, with an emphasis on current trends in theory, method and discovery. The objectives of the course are to place emerging trends in archaeological research in a historical context, to understand new methods, and to explore how various theoretical approaches influence the conduct of archaeological research around the globe.
Same as L48 Anthro 4655
L52 ARC 4661 Historical Archaeology
This course focuses upon the methods and techniques employed in historical archaeology. We will include method of integration of written records through contextual studies, discussion of specific artifact type identification techniques, and seminar type treatments of other aspects of the field. The class will include some hands-on lab work, working primarily with materials from the first American fort west of the Mississippi (Fort Belle Fontaine) and two Civil War period mansions. Prerequisite: 3 credits of archaeology or permission of instructor.
Same as L48 Anthro 4661
L52 ARC 4682 Ethnoarchaeology
Theories, methods and techniques applied by archaeologists to contemporary societies and materials to aid their understanding of extinct societies. Analysis of ethnographic research in both the Old and New Worlds. Participation with Profs. Watson, Browman, and Fritz are included in relevant topics. Prerequisites: Anthro 160B or 190BP, and permission of instructor.
Same as L48 Anthro 4682
L52 ARC 4761 Pleistocene Peopling of Eurasia
The paleolithic archaeology, human paleobiology, and paleoecology of the geographical expansions and adaptations of Eurasian humans through the Pleistocene. Prerequisite: Anthro 150A or 190B.
Same as L48 Anthro 4761
L52 ARC 4771 Out of the Wild: Domestication and Socioeconomic Diversity in Africa
The reason for the beginnings and spread of food production during the early Holocene in so many parts of the world is one of the most interesting questions in archaeology. It now seems likely that there are many different pathways to domestication. In Africa, there is a record of up to several million years of human existence as hunter-gatherers before some human populations adopted food production. Domestication of plants and animals about 10,000 years ago resulted in fundamental changes in human societies. It provided the basis for the increase in settlement densities, specialization and social stratification, and general decrease in mobility and dietary diversity, characteristic of non-hunter-gatherer societies in the modern world. In this seminar, the class explores the phenomenon of domestication, and the spread of food production, surveying the evidence for manipulation and domestication of plant and animal species by prehistoric peoples in Africa. We focus on how and why domestication occurred, and factors that influenced its spread, and interactions between late hunter-gatherers and early pastoralists, and intersections with complex societies of the Nile. We also look at the contributions of Africa to understanding pathways to food production world wide.
Same as L48 Anthro 4771
L52 ARC 4791 Archaeological Study of Social Complexity
A hallmark of anthropological theory is the idea that human societies evolve toward greater complexity or higher levels of organization through time. Yet accurately defining complexity or organization is such a difficult and frustrating undertaking that many people give up and fall back on an intuitive understanding, similar to Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart's famous definition of pornography: "I know it when I see it." But what exactly does it mean to be socially complex? How does complexity in human societies emerge and how is it perpetuated? How can we infer social complexity from the archaeological record? In this seminar we examine theoretical and methodological aspects of social complexity as investigated by archaeologists. By means of case studies drawn from around the globe and ranging from the earliest humans to the recent past, we seek to define, describe and understand the concept of social complexity and its manifestations in diverse societies at different times.
Same as L48 Anthro 4791
L52 ARC 4792 The Many Paths Leading Toward the Creation of the Ancient City
Same as L48 Anthro 4792
L52 ARC 4803 Advanced GIS Modeling and Landscape Analysis
The aim of this course is to learn to analyze archaeological data in terms of its spatial layout, geography, ecology, and temporal dynamics, using Geographic Information Systems and associated computer modeling techniques. A focus is placed on the relationship between natural environments, cultural geography, and the mapping of archaeological landscapes, and on the archaeologist's ability to accurately recover, reconstruct and analyze this relationship in a virtual environment.
Same as L48 Anthro 4803
L52 ARC 481 Zooarchaeology
Methods and techniques of analysis of faunal remains recovered in archaeological context, including aging, sexing, and the study of cultural modification of archaeological faunas.
Same as L48 Anthro 481
L52 ARC 489 Pathways to Domestication
Same as L48 Anthro 489
L52 ARC 4892 Hunter-Gatherer Socioeconomic Variation
This class will explore the nature and extent of variation in hunter-gatherer socioeconomic systems as documented in the literature on recent hunter-gatherers, and in the archaeological record of the last 20,000 years. We will discuss Woodburn's concept of delayed return hunter-gatherers, Testart's writing on hunter-gatherer socioeconomic organization, and archaeological concepts of simple and complex hunter-gatherers. We will examine case studies of both delayed and immediate return hunter-gatherers from the Americas, Asia, Africa and Australia, and emphasize understanding underlying reasons for differences between groups, and implications of differences for patterns of cultural change, including the adoption of food production.
Same as L48 Anthro 4892
L52 ARC 489W Seminar: Pathways to Domestication
The origins of agriculture led to one of the most important transitions in human history, continuing to fascinate anthropologists and all who depend on farmers for food. We examine evidence for the development and spread of settled and mobile farming systems in diverse regions of the world. We discuss old and new theoretical approaches and apply increasingly sophisticated methods for recovering and interpreting the evidence. Recent research puts us in a better position than ever before to understand the preconditions, processes, and possibly the causes of domestication and the spread of food production. This course is the WI version of Anthro 489 Seminar: Pathways to Domestication.
Same as L48 Anthro 489W
L52 ARC 491 Archaeological Research
Undergraduate research experience sponsored by one of the archaeology staff. May be taken more than once for credit. Prerequisite: permission of the faculty member under whom the research will be done.
L52 ARC 492 Independent Studies
Supervised independent research. For advanced undergraduates only. Prerequisite: permission of the faculty member under whom the work will be done.
Credit variable, maximum 3 units.
L52 ARC 493 Honors Thesis
Limited to students accepted into the honors program. Prerequisite: permission of department.
L52 ARC 497 Senior Project
Designed for majors in Archaeology who have not satisfied their college capstone experience in another manner, or who are not satisfying this requirement through ARC 493 Honors Thesis. This course involves a structured research assignment, internship, fieldwork or independent project under the supervision of one of the department's faculty. Limited to students in the junior level and above. Permission of instructor who will supervise the work is required.
L52 ARC 4975 Collecting Cultures: Taste, Passion and the Making of Art Histories
Same as L01 Art-Arch 4975
L52 ARC 498 Intensive Writing Course: Archaeology
Designed for majors who have not satisfied their college writing requirement in another fashion. This course ordinarily is taken in tandem with another 300- or 400-level course in Archaeology, with the required permission to enroll granted by the instructor in that course. The student prepares a portfolio of papers, which undergo revision and rewriting, as assigned by that course instructor. In some cases, this writing-intensive course may be taken as an independent study course with one of the Archaeology professors. This latter option requires permission of both the department and the instructor. When the course is integrated with another 300- or 400-level course, credit is limited to 1 unit. If taken as an independent study course, credit is no more than 3 units. Permission of instructor required; limited to juniors and seniors.
David L. Browman
PhD, Harvard University
Edward S. and Tedi Macias Professor in Arts & Sciences
PhD, Harvard University
James W. and Jean L. Davis Professor in Arts & Sciences
PhD, University of California, Berkeley
PhD, Harvard University
Gayle J. Fritz
PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
PhD, University of Pennsylvania
Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences
PhD, University of Pennsylvania
(Earth and Planetary Sciences)
PhD, University of Cambridge
PhD, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Jarvis Thurston & Mona Van Duyn Professor Emerita
PhD, Princeton University
PhD, Columbia University
(Art History and Archaeology)
Patty Jo Watson
Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor Emerita
PhD, University of Chicago