Archaeology (ARCH)

Professors: Dever, Gaber, Golahny, Johnson, Kingery
Associate Professors: Adams, Chandler
Assistant Professors: Knauth (Coordinator), Munson

  • Major: Archaeology
  • Courses required for major: 10
  • Required language: GRK, HEBR, or LAT 102; or SPAN 112
  • Non-credit Colloquium: 2 semesters
  • Capstone requirement: Practical Experience, ARCH 447 Research Project, and ARCH 448 Colloquium Presentation
  • Minor: Archaeology

Archaeology is the study of the human past through material remains. This interdisciplinary major provides students with a strong foundation in the major concepts, methods, and theories of the field, and allows them to specialize in one of three culture areas: Ancient Near East, Classical Mediterranean, or Latin America. Students majoring in archaeology can focus on topics of particular interest to them, with opportunities for collaboration with ongoing excavations and other forms of supervised field research. Beyond a career in archaeology, students also translate the skills and knowledge they acquire in archaeology into museum curation, historic preservation, education, and antiquities trade law enforcement, among many other careers.

Major Requirements

The major consists of ten courses, plus Colloquium and a Practical Experience, as follows:

A. Three core courses in Archaeology, plus Archaeology Colloquium:

  • ARCH 110 — Introduction to Archaeology
  • ARCH 427 — Archaeological Theory and Method
  • ARCH 447 — Archaeological Research Design
  • ARCH 448 — Archaeology Colloquium (non-credit; prerequisite ARCH 348)

B. One course in Anthropology (prerequisite for ARCH 427) from:

  • ANTH 114 — Introduction to Anthropology
  • ANTH 229 — Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 230 — Anthropology of Latin America
  • ANTH 232 — Environmental Anthropology
  • ANTH 310 — Food and Culture
  • ANTH 334 — Economic Anthropology

C. One course in object analysis from:

  • ARHI 222 — Survey of Art I: Ancient, Medieval, Non-Western
  • ARHI/ARCH 332 — Ancient Art and Archaeology
  • ARCH 403 — Laboratory Methods in Archaeology
  • ART 119 or 229 — Ceramics I or Ceramics II
  • Other ARHI or Studio Art (such as Drawing or Photography) or BIO 338 (Human Anatomy), with approval of the program coordinator.

D. Four courses in Culture Area (select one area):

Area 1 – Ancient Near East

  • ARCH/REL 226 — Biblical Archaeology
  • REL 328 — History and Culture of the Ancient Near East
  • HEBR or GRK 102 (or above) — Biblical Hebrew or Greek II (Akkadian, Arabic, or Modern Hebrew may be substituted)
  • one additional Ancient Near Eastern culture course from: ENGL 218; REL 113, 210, 212, 323, 333, 337; HIST 232; PSCI 367

Area 2 – Classical Mediterranean

  • ARCH/REL 226 — Biblical Archaeology
  • HIST 210 — Ancient History or REL 323 — The Hellenistic-Roman Cultural World
  • GRK or LAT 102 (or above) — Biblical Greek or Latin II (Classical Greek or Coptic may be substituted)
  • one additional Classical Mediterranean culture course from: ENGL 218, 225; PHIL 301; REL 114, 337, 433; THEA 332; or unused Classical Mediterranean option

Area 3 – Latin America

  • ARCH 231 — Mesoamerican Archaeology
  • ANTH 230 — Anthropology of Latin America
  • SPAN 112 (or above) — Intermediate Spanish
  • one additional Latin American culture course from: ANTH 232, 310, 320*, 334; an additional 4-credit ARCH course*; HIST 221; SPAN 311*, 321*, 426*
    *when Latin American topic

Other culture areas are possible on an individual basis. Recent examples include North America, Medieval Europe, and Southeast Asia.

E. One elective from:

  • ARCH/ANTH/REL 401 (Field Archaeology)
  • ARCH/ANTH 403 (Laboratory Methods)
  • Any additional 4-credit ARCH or ANTH course
  • Any additional course listed above in sections C or D (any culture area)
  • ASTR 102, 104, or 112 (Geology)
  • ENGL 219 (Linguistics)

An appropriate course from the fields of art, economics, history, literature, philosophy, political science, or religion (or other related fields), including independent study projects, may be substituted subject to approval by the program coordinator.

Capstone Requirements

The capstone experience consists of the following three components:

1) Senior Seminar: complete ARCH 447, including design and presentation of a substantial independent Research Project using archaeological data.

2) Practical Experience: participate in an approved archaeological field school, survey, or field research project, or complete a relevant internship. This need not be for credit, but these experiences typically involve at least 140 hours in the field, and students must keep and submit a journal documenting the experience. Optional credit may be earned as ARCH/ANTH/REL 401 Field Archaeology, ARCH/ANTH 403 Laboratory Methods, or ARCH/ANTH/ARHI/ART/HIST 470 Internship.

3) Colloquium Presentation: give a presentation in ARCH 448, normally based on the seminar research project and/or practical experience, presenting significant independent research relating to archaeology.

Diversity and Writing Courses

The following courses satisfy the Global Cultural Diversity Requirement: ANTH 114, 229, 230, 232, 310, 320, 334, 344; ARCH 226, 231, 332; ARHI 222, 332; ENGL 225; HIST 221, 232; PSCI 367; REL 226, 323, 328; SPAN 311, 321, 426. The following courses satisfy either the Domestic or Global Diversity Requirement: ENGL 218; REL 210, 212, and 333. The following courses, when scheduled as W courses, count toward the Writing Requirement: ANTH 230, 232, 310; ARCH 427; ARHI 222; ENGL 218,; HIST 210; PHIL 301; REL 323, 333, 337, 433; SPAN 426; and THEA 332.

Minor Requirements

A minor in Archaeology consists of five courses, including ARCH 110, ARCH/REL 226, ARCH 231, and two additional 4-credit courses in Archaeology. An ANTH course may be substituted for one of these with approval of the program coordinator.

An introduction to the major concepts and principles of archaeological research and the techniques used to study the human past through the retrieval, analysis, and interpretation of material remains. Includes a practical laboratory component.

Archaeology is the study of past cultures and societies through their material remains. This course utilizes actual field experience along with laboratory exercises, text-based instruction, and discussion to introduce archaeological field methods as applied in the context of modern American archaeological investigation, along with the theory underlying them. A variety of techniques for investigating, reconstructing, interpreting, preserving, and ultimately learning from the past are also examined and utilized. A basic human cultural chronology for Native American civilization is established as a context for understanding important ideological and socio-economic factors. The fieldwork component of the course includes site testing and preliminary assessment, development of research design, establishment of an excavation grid, and excavation by both arbitrary and natural strata. Students also identify, label, and catalog artifacts; complete site records; provide top plans and balk drawings; and contribute to a final site report. Additional lab fee and lab times required for excavation. Alternate years.

A study of the role of archaeology in reconstructing the world in which biblical literature originated, with special attention given to archaeological results that throw light on the clarification of the biblical text. Also, an introduction to basic archaeological method and a study in depth of several representative excavations along with the artifacts and material culture recovered from different historical periods. Cross-listed as REL 226. Fulfills Global Cultural Diversity Requirement.

An exploration of the archaeological record and what it reveals about the emergence of Mesoamerican civilization with an emphasis on Olmec, Maya, and Aztec societies. Fulfills Global Cultural Diversity Requirement.

Study of selected archaeological topics, theorists, or methods. Sample topics include household archaeology, archaeology of power, archaeology of ritual, origins of social inequality, and ceramic analysis. Prerequisite: ARCH 110 or consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit with consent of instructor when topics are different.

An exploration of the ancient cultures of the Near East and Mediterranean as elucidated by modern archaeological research, through examination of their art and architecture. Cross-listed as ARHI 332. Fulfills Global Cultural Diversity Requirement.

A forum for senior presentations, faculty and outside speakers relating to archaeology, plus occasional outside workshops and events. This course is a pre-requisite for ARCH 448. Students considering study abroad in the fall of their junior year should take ARCH 348 in the fall of their sophomore year if possible. 1-2 hours per week. Pass/Fail. Non-credit seminar.

Participation in an approved archaeological dig, survey, or field research program. Includes instruction in excavation or survey techniques, recording and processing of artifacts, and exposure to the wider results of related excavation and research and the use of archaeology as a tool for elucidating historical and cultural changes. This course acquaints students with the basic techniques and procedures used in modern archaeology through intensive hands-on fieldwork.Cross-listed as ANTH 401, and as REL 401 for some Mediterranean and Near Eastern digs with approval. Prerequisite: ARCH 110 or consent of instructor. Special fees apply. May Term or Summer Sessions only.

Directed research in archaeology, normally conducted in conjunction with an archaeological excavation project. A substantial research paper is required, making significant use of archaeological data and highlighting the relationship between field archaeology and history, art history, or related archaeological sciences. Possible topics for work in Cyprus could include ancient trade, city-state development in Cyprus, relations between Cyprus and the Levant, and Cyprus in an ancient Near Eastern context. Other topics are possible with approval of the instructor. Research in Cyprus is conducted at the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute and the library of the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus. Corequisite ANTH/ARCH/REL 401 or consent of instructor. 2 credits. May be repeated for credit with departmental consent when topics are different.

Acquaints students with the basic methods and techniques used to analyze archaeological materials. Students gain practical experience in the description, inventory, and analysis of artifacts, processing of specimens, and data documentation. Includes lectures, laboratory, and museum visits. Cross-listed as ANTH 403. Prerequisite: ARCH 110 or consent of instructor. Special fees apply. May Term or Summer Sessions.

Participation in an archaeological excavation or field school program at the level of assistant supervisor or above. Includes instruction in on-site supervision of daily digging, record-keeping, and interpretation of finds, and/or specialized training in excavation project coordination, data processing, or analysis of specific types of material culture. Research project required. Prerequisite: ANTH/ARCH/REL 401 or equivalent experience. Special fees apply. May Term or Summer Sessions only.

This seminar acquaints the student with the evolution of archaeological thinking over the past century. Current archaeological theory is covered in some detail; students will learn to identify, examine, and evaluate specific theories. Each student also prepares and presents a concise research project. Prerequisite: ARCH 110, one course in ARCH numbered 200 or above, and one course in ANTH; or consent of instructor. Corequisite: ARCH 448.

Building on ARCH 427, students design and present a substantial research project that articulates a research question or hypothesis with a logical plan of data collection and analysis, and uses archaeological data to address a specific topic or issue. Prerequisite: ARCH 427.

A forum for senior presentations, faculty and outside speakers relating to archaeology, plus occasional outside workshops and events. 1-2 hours per week. Non-credit seminar. Prerequisite: ARCH 348 or consent of instructor.

Interns in archaeology usually work in historical museums or art museums under the supervision of a museum director/curator/archaeologist and a member of the faculty. Course can also be designated as ANTH, ARHI, ART, HIST, or REL and taken through the relevant department.

This course represents an opportunity to pursue specific research interests not usually covered in regular courses. Course can also be designated as ANTH, ARHI, ART, HIST, or REL and taken through the relevant department.