This course is an introduction to archaeological practice and process. Students will learn the foundational methods of archaeological research design and fieldwork, including techniques of survey, mapping, documentation, excavation, artifact identification and analysis, and archaeological interpretation. The remit of the course also extends beyond survey tracts and excavation trenches. Students will engage with issues of presentation and representation, interact with professional and non-professional audiences, become familiar with political and ethical challenges, and integrate data from other sources into their research (e.g., documents, oral histories, museum collections).
The goal of this course is to introduce students to a variety of archaeological field methods and research strategies, as well as stewardship issues and sub-specialties within the discipline (primarily survey and excavation, but also including geoarchaeology, digital recording, spatial analysis, and heritage management). As part of the course requirements, students will maintain a course website, complete written assignments and a final project, and participate in a community archaeology day. Ultimately, this class will prepare students to navigate the entire process of archaeological research, no matter where in the world they may wish to put their skills to use.
Prof. Alex Knodell, Carleton College