Introduction to Archaeology
Modern archaeology draws much of its theory and goals from anthropology. This course will show how archaeologists use fragmentary traces left by past peoples to develop an anthropological understanding of their cultures. The class will explore the variety of ways archaeologists investigate such things as prehistoric diet, social life, politics, technology, art and religion. Topics to be covered include: the nature of archaeological information, dating techniques, interpretation of material objects and archaeological ethics. Studies from around the world will be used to illustrate the shifts in human history (the origins of agriculture, the origin of cities, etc.), the range of human adaptation in the past and the general sequence of social evolution. The course will provide an understanding of how and why we study past societies, as well as the unique contribution archaeology can make to understanding ourselves.