Adventures in Archaeology
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This class will introduce students to the science, methods, and theories of archaeology, both globally and locally. For the global component, we will examine the material remains of past civilizations, including architecture, artifacts, mortuary remains, and written sources. Our investigation takes us, virtually, to every corner of the globe and to many different periods in history, from the Mediterranean to Easter Island, and from the Neolithic Middle East to Colonial America.
Primarily, we explore how the remains of past civilizations provide archaeologists and historians with clues that unlock the secrets of ancient societies. Students will gain a broad understanding of global prehistory and history, the rise and fall of civilizations, and human impact on the environment throughout history. We will examine how humans lived (the development of urbanism), how they organized their societies (experiments in politics), what they ate (hunter-gatherer to agriculture), how they worshiped (religion and myth), how they treated others (warfare and sacrifice), and how they explained the inexplicables of human existence (such as the afterlife). This class will also consider the history of the discipline and the ethics of archaeological inquiry.
The majority of class work will be done online, using Canvas and Zoom. We will have two synchronous meetings each week, Mondays and Thursdays, within posted class hours. If a student is prevented from accessing any of these meetings for any reason, including technology issues, they should contact the faculty, and alternative arrangements will be made. We will also invite virtual guests to our classroom: students will "meet" archaeologists who work for universities, museums, state agencies, and independently, with the goal of learning about the variety of careers archaeologists occupy.
To the extent that is possible, we will go on "field" trips. Most of them will be virtual (example: the digital model of the Giza plateau), and some may be local and individual (example: a historic cemetery).
This class assumes no prior knowledge of archaeology, and will be of interest to any student wishing to learn more about the ancient world, history, or who is interested in pursuing archaeological fieldwork in the future. Variable credit options for this offering are possible, and should be discussed with the instructor.
Credits per quarter
- Complete Online Learning - This offering delivers all of its instruction online.
$25 for museum entry fees (only if this field trip becomes possible)
Class Size: 25
Scheduled for: Day
Final schedule and room assignments:
First meeting:Monday, July 20, 2020 - 9:30 am
Located in: Olympia