Archaeology and the Ancient World Course Offerings
(Jump to Spring Term)
Primarily for Undergraduates
ARCH 0030 Art in Antiquity: An Introduction [CRN: 16471]
What went into the creation of the Parthenon? Who lived in the Tower of Babel? Why do we still care? This course offers an introduction to the art, architecture, and material culture of the ancient world. Things of beauty and of power will be explored, from Egyptian pyramids and Near Eastern palaces, to the 'classical' art of Greece and Rome. MWF 11:00-11:50. Instructor: Felipe Rojas.
ARCH 0033 Past Forward: Discovering Anthropological Archaeology (ANTH 0500)
Interested students must register for ANTH 0500.
This course offers a broad journey through the human past, from material culture crafted by our evolutionary ancestors to the remnants of the recent historic past. To facilitate this journey, the class explores the methods, concepts, and theories that anthropologists employ in the study of past peoples, places, and things. Case studies stretch across the globe. As a hands-on endeavor, archaeology focuses on tangible evidence. In this course, small-group discussion, laboratory, and field exercises will complement lectures, leading to an understanding of how anthropologists study the past and how that knowledge affects the present. LILE. MWF 9:00-9:50. Instructor: Parker VanValkenburgh
ARCH 0150 Introduction to Egyptian Archaeology and Art [CRN: 16472] [Course Website]
An introductory survey of the archaeology, art and architecture of ancient Egypt, ranging in time from the prehistoric cultures of the Nile Valley through the period of Roman control. While the course will examine famous features and characters of ancient Egypt (pyramids, mummies, King Tut!), it will also provide a wide-ranging review of the archaeology of this remarkable land. MWF 1:00-1:50. Instructor: Laurel Bestock.
ARCH 0156 Architecture and Urbanism of the African Diaspora (HIAA 0770)
Interested students must register for HIAA 0770.
This lecture course introduces the built environments in and of "Africa," from the earliest known examples to the contemporary moment. Through a consideration of texts and images, we will interrogate "Africa" as both a construct and concrete geographical entity characterized by diverse cultures, contexts, and histories. In addition to exploring the content of various architectural and urban traditions, we will approach our topic from the point of view of the theoretical paradigms that have governed the historiographical interpretation of particular periods, regions, and cultures. Readings will be arranged thematically and according to chronology and geography. Weekly one-hour section required. DPLL WRIT. TTh 10:30-11:50. Instructor: Itohan Osayimwese
ARCH 0160 Buried History, Hidden Wonders: Discovering East Asian Archaeology
What do Peking Man, human sacrifice, buried armies, lost cities, and silk routes have to do with one another? All are part of the rich and varied legacy of East Asian archaeology, which is today being re-written by spectacular new discoveries little known to the West. Beginning with Asia’s earliest hominin inhabitants, this course will explore the origins of agriculture, early villages and cities, ancient writing systems, and changes in ritual practice through time. We will also discuss the current state of archaeological research in Asia, focusing on site preservation and the political roles of archaeology. LILE. MWF 12:00-12:50. Instructor: Katherine Brunson.
ARCH 0201L Who Owns the Classical Past? (CLAS 0210 L) [CRN: 15975] [Course Website]
Interested students must register for CLAS 0210 L.
This course offers a forum for informed discussion of a variety of difficult questions about access to the classical past, and its modern-day ownership and presentation, seen primarily from the perspective of material culture (archaeology, art, museum displays, etc.). Enrollment limited to 20 first year students. FYS. TTh 10:30-11:50. Instructor: John F. Cherry.
ARCH 0270 Troy Rocks! Archaeology of an Epic [CRN: 16474] [Course Website]
What do Brad Pitt, Julius Caesar, Dante, Alexander the Great, and countless sports teams have in common? The Trojan War! This course will explore the Trojan War not only through the archaeology, art, and mythology of the Greeks and Romans but also through the popular imaginings of cultures ever since, to figure out what "really" happened when Helen ran off and Achilles got angry and the Greeks came bearing gifts. FYS. TTh 9:00-10:20. Instructor: Margaret Andrews.
ASYR 0310 Thunder-gods and Dragon-slayers: Mythology + Cultural Contact - Ancient Mediterranean and Near East [CRN: 16569]
This course is an exploration of the mythological imagination in the ancient Mediterranean and Near East. From cosmic origins to epic battles, mighty queens to baneful monsters, mythological motives and narratives crisscrossed the ancient world, bypassing seemingly rigid geographic and cultural boundaries. Particular attention will be devoted to the study of the dynamic reinterpretation of myths in situations of cultural contact. Primary evidence will include material from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Anatolia, the Levant, Greece and Rome. The course will span several millennia, from the earliest attestations of the Epic of Gilgamesh to the Christian and Muslim reinterpretation of so-called pagan myths. FYS WRIT. TTh 10:30-11:50. Instructor: Felipe Rojas.
ARCH 0407 Hadrian’s Wall:
Archaeological Skills, Methods, and History
on the Northern Roman Frontier
Explore the archaeology of one of Great Britain’s grandest monuments, Hadrian’s Wall, from the beginning of the fortification in 122AD to the present. Students will learn the basics of archaeological excavation, survey, and illustration, through hands-on, in-class labs – to understand the real, tangible ways archaeology can teach us about religion, race, the military, politics, architecture, and the everyday lives of people in Roman Britain. Note: this course can fulfill the archaeological methodology (field archaeology) requirement for Archaeology concentrators. WRIT. MWF 10:00-10:50. Instructor: Sophie Moore.
ARCH 0676 Pirates of the Caribbean:
Scalawags, Sailors, and Slaves [CRN: 17291] [Course Website]
Avast ye maties! Study the legendary bandits, mischievous scalawags, and barbarous buccaneers that roved the high seas of the Caribbean from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. Through archaeological and historical scholarship, we will explore pirates’ everyday belongings, the goods they plundered, the hideaways they called home, the havoc they caused, and the legends they left behind -- including Blackbeard, Captain Morgan, and even Captain Jack Sparrow. We will also investigate the economics behind the rise of piracy, with an emphasis on the trans-Atlantic slave trade. MWF 2:00-2:50. Instructor: Matthew Reilly.
For Undergraduates and Graduates
ARCH 1152 Bandits and Barbarians: Exploring Subaltern Resilience and State Power (ANTH 1145) [CRN: 16863] [Course Website]
Interested students must register for ANTH 1145.
In the imaginations of ancient Greeks and Romans, the urban centers of ‘civilization’ were surrounded by wild lands where barbarians roamed. Even now, mountains, marshes, forests, and deserts are the realms of bandits, primitive tribes, warlords, and terrorists. From ‘shepherd-bandits’ in highland Sardinia and ‘red-faced Gauls’ in Roman France to ‘marginal tribes’ in the Kabyle mountains and the ‘wild people’ of the Ethiopian borderlands, this course explores peripheral lands through time and across the globe. We will critically examine such stereotypical representations, to understand how their inhabitants carved out their own spaces in the interstices of ancient and modern states. TTh 1:00-2:20. Instructor: Peter van Dommelen.
ARCH 1162 Anthropology in/of the Museum (ANTH 1901)
Interested students must register for ANTH 1901.
This course will provide an introduction to the history, purposes, transformations, and internal workings of museums from an anthropological perspective. Students will learn about museums that focus on natural and cultural history related to anthropological studies of archaeology, human evolution, and world ethnography. It will cover the relevance of anthropological training to careers in the museum field, as well as the importance of conducting anthropological investigations in the museum environment. Enrollment limited to 20. T 4:00-6:30.
ARCH 1772 The Human Skeleton (ANTH 1720)
Interested students must register for ANTH 1720.
More than simply a tissue within our bodies, the human skeleton is gateway into narratives of the past--from the evolution of our species to the biography of individual past lives. Through lecture and hands-on laboratory, students will learn the complete anatomy of the human skeleton, with an emphasis on the human skeleton in functional and evolutionary perspective. We will also explore forensic and bioarchaeological approaches to the skeleton. By the course conclusion, students will be able to conduct basic skeletal analysis and will be prepared for more advanced studies of the skeleton from medical, forensic, archaeological, and evolutionary perspectives. Enrollment limited to 20. Not open to first year students. Instructor permission required. TTh 10:30-11:50. Instructor: Andrew Scherer.
ARCH 1787 Alcohol in the Ancient World [CRN: 16929] [Course Website]
From the earliest Neolithic experiments with fermentation to the elaborate drinking cultures of the Classical world, alcohol has infused and influenced social life for thousands of years. This course provides an introduction to the production and consumption of beer, wine, and other beverages in the ancient world. Case studies from across the globe demonstrate that alcohol was (and is) a uniquely potent form of material culture, embedded within complex webs of social, political, economic, and ritual activity. TTh 2:30-3:50. Instructor: Tate Paulette.
ARCH 1793 Slavery in the Ancient World (CLAS 1120E)
Interested students must register for CLAS 1120E.
Examines the institution of slavery in the ancient world, from Mesopotamia and the Near East to the great slave societies of classical Greece and (especially) imperial Rome; comparison of ancient and modern slave systems; modern views of ancient slavery from Adam Smith to Hume to Marx to M.I. Finley. Readings in English. TTh 2:30pm-3:50pm. Instructor: John Bodel.
ARCH 1900 The Archaeology of College Hill [CRN: 16473] [Course Website]
A training class in field and laboratory techniques. Topics include the nature of field archaeology, excavation and survey methodologies, archaeological ethics, computer technologies (such as GIS), and site and artifact analysis and conservation. Students will act as practicing archaeologists through the investigation of local historical and archaeological sites in the College Hill area (e.g. the First Baptist Church of America and the John Brown House). M 3:00-5:30. Instructor: Eve Dewan.
Primarily for Graduates
ARCH 2006 Principles of Archaeology (ANTH 2501)
Interested students must register for ANTH 2501.
Examines theoretical and methodological issues in anthropological archaeology. Attention is given to past concerns, current debates, and future directions of archaeology in the social sciences. F 9:00-11:30. Instructor: Robert Preucel.
ARCH 2153 Archaeological Ethnography: A Multi-Temporal Contact Zone
In this course, we will examine the emerging field of archaeological ethnography, a shared space of interaction between social anthropologists and archaeologists, and between scholars and the various local communities around archaeological sites. Our main focus will be the Sanctuary of Poseidon on the island of Poros in Greece, the epicenter of a long-term archaeological ethnography project, started in 2007. We will place the site in global comparative perspective, and debate together the challenges in producing an archaeological ethnography monograph. Th 4:00-6:30. Instructor: Yannis Hamilakis.
ARCH 2240 Key Issues in Mediterranean Prehistory [CRN: 16953] [Course Website]
This course's scope is the entire Mediterranean basin, from its first peopling until ca. 500 BC. The focus is on key transformations in economic, social, and political structures and interactions; on explanations for these changes; and on current issues where fresh data or new approaches are transforming our understanding. This seminar is intended for students both with and without prior knowledge of this field, and particularly for those preparing for the Mediterranean Prehistory field exam. Th 4:00-6:30. Instructor: John F. Cherry.
ARCH 2501A Problems in Archaeology: Culture, Contact and Colonialism (ANTH 2500A)
Interested students must register for ANTH 2500A.
Explores the theoretical discourses shaping anthropological approaches and defining archaeological projects on culture contact and colonialism. Attention will be given to examining colonial encounters between Europeans and indigenous peoples as ongoing processes rather than particular historical moments, and to looking at recent efforts at decolonizing archaeological practice. Th 4:00pm-6:30pm. Instructor: Patricia Rubertone.
ARCH 2601 Approaching Women and Gender in Roman Culture [CRN: 17092] [Course Website]
Gender as a hierarchical concept was a fundamental basis of Roman culture, but women often played active roles in shaping political, religious, and social ideologies in both public and private contexts. Drawing on material, visual, and literary evidence, as well as theoretical concepts of gender in the ancient world, this course will examine not only how the concepts of women and gender were constructed and perpetuated, but also how they were simultaneously resisted and subverted. T 4:00-6:30. Instructor: Margaret Andrews.
ARCH 2710 The Archaeology of Nubia and Egypt [CRN: 16476] [Course Website]
Egypt and Nubia share the distinction of ancient civilizations along the Nile river, but Nubia remains much more poorly known than Egypt. This seminar will examine the archaeology of Nubia, including its relationship to Egypt, from the introduction of ceramics and agriculture to the medieval period. This long-term perspective will allow comparative study of issues such as state formation, imperialism and religious change. W 3:00-5:30. Instructor: Laurel Bestock.
ARCH 2851 Skills Training in Material Culture Studies I
When dealing with material culture, one must possess a solid foundation in a range of skills. How does one document and analyze artifacts, architecture and landscapes, what techniques are appropriate in what cases? How should all this information be securely stored and promulgated? This "hands on" class, intended for students in multiple disciplines, will consider the study of particular types of material or bodies of evidence (e.g., pottery, lithics, epigraphy, numismatics). F 3:00-5:30.
(Jump to Fall Term)
Primarily for Undergraduates
ARCH 0520 Roman Archaeology and Art
Anyone who has ever watched “Gladiator”, “Spartacus”, “Life of Brian”, or “Bugs Bunny: Roman Legion Hare” has some image of Rome, the Romans and their empire. This course, while exploring and assessing these influential popular preconceptions, introduces a more balanced view of Roman archaeology and art, examining not only the “eternal city” of Rome, but its vast and diverse imperial domain. MWF 2:00-2:50. Instructor: Margaret Andrews.
ARCH 666 Cult Archaeology: Fantastic Frauds and Meaningful Myths of the Past
The pyramids and Stonehenge built by aliens? The power of the Mummy’s Curse? These myths couldn’t be true… or could they? Cult Archaeology examines popular and fantastic interpretations of archaeological remains presented in the press and popular media. This course finds the logical flaws in pseudoscientific explanations and the biases that underlie them. Discover the “truth” about archaeology! MWF 1:00-1:50. Instructor: Laurel Bestock.
ARCH 0801 Alexander the Great and the Alexander Tradition (CLAS 0810A)
Interested students must register for CLAS 0810A.
This course focuses on a single historical figure, Alexander the Great, using him as a point of departure for exploring a wide range of problems and approaches that typify the field of Classical Studies. How knowledge of Alexander has been used and abused provides a fascinating case study in the formation and continuous reinterpretation of the western Classical tradition. MWF 11:00-11:50. Instructor: John F. Cherry.
For Undergraduates and Graduates
ARCH 1052 Global Historical Archaeology (ANTH 1620)
Interested students must register for ANTH 1620.
The course examines historical archaeology as a multidisciplinary approach to the study of the historic past. Draws in recent research from different parts of the world, including North America, South Africa, Australia, the Caribbean, and South America, to illustrate historical archaeology's contributions to interpreting peoples' everyday lives and the diversity of their experiences in the post-1500 era. TTh 2:30-3:50.
ARCH 1056 Indigenous Archaeologies (ANTH 1125)
Interested students must register for ANTH 1125.
This course is an introduction to Indigenous archaeology, sometimes defined as archaeology "by, for and with Indigenous peoples." These approaches combine the study of the past with contemporary social justice concerns. However, they are more than this. In addition to seeking to make archaeology more inclusive of and responsible to Indigenous peoples, they seek to contribute a more accurate understanding of archaeological record. They thus do not reject science, but attempt to broaden it through a consideration of Indigenous epistemologies. This course covers topics as the history of anthropological archaeology, Indigenous knowledge and science, decolonizing methodologies, representational practices and NAGPRA. TTh 9:00-10:20. Instructor: Robert Preucel.
ARCH 1177 Occupy Archaeology! Interrogating Inequality, Past and Present
We are the 99%! Black Lives Matter! These rallying cries bring inequality to the front-and-center of western political and media discourses. Yet a social system dividing the haves and have-nots is hardly a modern phenomenon. This course considers injustice diachronically and on a global scale, examining ways in which the material world studied by archaeologists creates — and is created by — social divisions, and critiquing the ways that archaeology as a discipline is a part of the problem. Enrollment limited to 15. TTh 1:00-2:20. Instructor: Andrew Dufton.
ARCH 1220 Byzantine Archaeology and Art - Material Stories of a Christian Empire
The world of Byzantium is often considered as a dark age separating the glories of Rome and the Renaissance. Yet Byzantium was among the longest living empires in world history, with an artistic and cultural impact felt far beyond its borders. The course will introduce students to a series of art works, architectural masterpieces, and archaeological discoveries that illuminate our understanding of the much underestimated, and much misunderstood, Byzantine Empire. TTh 1:00-2:20. Instructor: Sophie Moore.
ARCH 1623 Ancient Egyptian Art and Architecture (EGYT 1500)
Interested students must register for EGYT 1500.
Ancient Egyptian art and architecture had a remarkably long history, and much that was produced is amazingly well preserved. Almost anything Egyptian is immediately recognizable today, but developments in most areas were steady and pronounced. To do justice to this subject, a number of experts will cooperate in presenting various topics including monumental buildings and lavishly decorated tombs, as well as the sculpture, painting, and minor arts of all periods from Predynastic to Nubian. The ancient artisans, their materials, and their techniques will be discussed; modern efforts undertaken to conserve and document their work will also be described. Prerequisite: previous course work in Egyptology (e.g. EGYT 1430 or 1440) or written permission of the instructor. Instructor: Laurel Bestock.
ARCH 1715 Building Big! Supersized Architectural and Engineering Structures From Antiquity
Sometimes size does matter. The need and desire to "build big", to create colossal architectural or sculptural things, was a constant feature of antiquity, from temples to portraits, from tunnels to fortifications. Who and what lay behind this apparent architectural megalomania? What practical challenges to construction had to be overcome? And how have such monuments affected our understanding, both of the ancient world and of modern means of self-representation? TTh 10:30-11:50. Instructor: Felipe Rojas.
ARCH 1775 Animals in Archaeology
Food, foe, friend: animals play all these roles, and more, in their relationship to humans, in the past as well as the present. This course will explore how zooarchaeology -- the study of animal remains (bones, teeth, and shells) -- allows us to reconstruct ancient human-animal-environmental interactions. We will cover a range of topics and analytical techniques, including hands-on sessions for the identification and quantification of faunal remains. Additional topics will include ancient DNA in zooarchaeology, bone stable isotope analyses, human-caused extinctions, animal domestication, bone artifact production, and animal sacrifice. TTh 2:30-3:50. Instructor: Katherine Brunson.
Primarily for Graduates
ARCH 2105 Ceramic Analysis for Archaeology
The analysis and the interpretation of ceramic remains allow archaeologists to accomplish varied ends: establish a time scale, document interconnections between different areas, and suggest what activities were carried out at particular sites. The techniques and theories used to bridge the gap between the recovery of ceramics and their interpretation within anthropological contexts are the focus of this seminar. M 3:00-5:30. Instructor: Peter van Dommelen.
ARCH 2185 Sensing Antiquity: New Approaches to Ancient Aesthetics and Sensoria
How did the Greeks and Romans perceive and discuss the beautiful and the ugly? The fragrant or malodorous? The ticklish and the tart? These may seem like difficult questions, even bizarre, and yet, in many ways, those past opinions inform our own experience of the world. This course is an exploration, through archaeological and literary primary sources, of the many ways in which ancient men and women interacted through their senses with the world around them and how they reflected upon that interaction. W 3:00-5:30. Instructor: Felipe Rojas.
ARCH 2310 Cities in the Sand: The Archaeology of Urbanism in Mesopotamia
Images of legendary Mesopotamian cities, now wired with explosives or pockmarked with looters’ pits, flit daily across our screens. For more than a century, archaeologists have been working to uncover these early urban centers in Iraq and Syria, where the very idea of the city was first imagined. This seminar offers an introduction to the archaeology of urbanism and a detailed examination of the cities of Mesopotamia – from Uruk and Ur to Babylon and Baghdad. T 4:00-6:30. Instructor: Tate Paulette.
ARCH 2407 Lived Bodies, Dead Bodies: The Archaeology of Human Remains (ANTH 2560)
Interested students must register for ANTH 2560.
Bioarchaeology is the study of human remains from archaeological contexts. We will survey the "state of the art" in bioarchaeology, while exploring its relevance and application to the archaeology of complex societies. We will survey a range of bioarchaeological methods and applications, including paleopathology, stable isotope analysis, population affinity/ancient DNA, perimortem trauma, and body modification. In turn, we will explore how bioarchaeology can be used to approach a wide range of archaeological problems relative to complex societies, including subsistence, economy, migration, urbanism, social inequality, conflict and warfare, and identity. Open to graduate students only. S/NC. LILE. M 6:00-8:30. Instructor: Andrew Scherer.
ARCH 2852 Skills Training in Material Culture Studies II
When dealing with material culture, one must possess a solid foundation in a range of skills. How does one document and analyze artifacts, architecture and landscapes, what are the appropriate techniques? How should all this information be securely stored and promulgated? This "hands on" class, intended for students in multiple disciplines, will revolve around techniques of documentation and analysis (e.g. architectural drawing, GIS [Geographic Information Systems], data bases and digital media). F 3:00-5:30.
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