The Program in Archaeology is designed to provide students with an interdisciplinary foundation in archaeology—the study of the material remains of the past—and to equip students to use archaeological evidence in other fields of inquiry. The program offers courses that cover many cultures and periods, including Egypt, the Near East, Greece, Rome, and the Americas. It encourages a deep integration of the humanities and the sciences, and promotes the awareness of issues of cultural heritage.
Once subfields of ancient art or ancient history, archaeology today embraces anthropological approaches as well as the physical and social sciences. Technology has transformed the practice of archaeology, with tools such as ground-penetrating radar, GIS, and photogrammetry offering new insights. Yet archaeology is not just concerned with uncovering and understanding the past; it is also devoted to protecting it. Rampant looting and the destruction of sites has placed archaeologists at the forefront of discussions on cultural heritage. Many of the program courses, therefore, including the required methods course (ART 401), highlight ethical and political dimensions of archaeology.
The program is open to all majors. Students should apply to the program during their sophomore year.
In order to gain admission, a student must have taken any one of the courses offered by the program (see list below). Appropriate freshman seminars or writing seminars may fulfill the requirement, with the program director's approval.
Program of Study
The program aims to provide a broad introduction to the field of archaeology and to allow students to pursue archaeological interests that complement their research in other areas. The core courses and fieldwork requirement ensure breadth and provide a theoretical and methodological foundation for further study. The remaining courses should be selected in consultation with the program director and students' department advisors, and will allow students to tailor their study.
The plan of study consists of four elements: two core courses, fieldwork or its equivalent, three additional courses, and independent research. All courses must be taken for a grade. Students can double-count up to two courses toward the certificate and their major.
1. Students take two core courses: ART 100: An Introduction to the History of Art: Meanings in the Visual Arts, and ART 401: Introduction to Archaeology
2. Students participate in fieldwork.
ART 304: Archaeology in the Field or its equivalent.
“Fieldwork” is not limited to excavation. Sustained engagement in any aspect of an archaeological project fulfills the obligation. Students may, for example, assist in a geophysical survey, participate in a surface survey, work in archaeological archives, or intern for a zoologist. Fieldwork must be approved by the program’s executive committee ahead of time.
3. Students take a further three courses. At least one must be offered in the Department of Art and Archaeology in the ancient area, and at least one must be a course outside of the Department of Art and Archaeology (see the list below). Approved freshman seminars may count toward the three courses. A freshman seminar taught by a faculty member in the Department of Art and Archaeology may not count for the required course outside of the department.
4. Students undertake independent research, which may take one of three forms: 1) a senior thesis with an archaeological component; 2) a junior paper on an archaeological topic; 3) or a 25-page research paper on an archaeological topic.
The acquisition of languages that may assist in research (e.g., German or French) or in fieldwork is strongly recommended, but not required.
The fieldwork requirement offers an ideal opportunity for students to participate in summer study abroad, and the executive committee can recommend many summer study opportunities.
Certificate of Proficiency
A student who completes the requirements of the program with satisfactory standing receives a certificate of proficiency in archaeology.
Courses (most of the following are crosslisted)
ANT 206 Human Evolution
ANT 308 Forensic Anthropology
ANT 374 Bioarchaeology of the Peoples of the Past
ART 100 An Introduction to the History of Art: Meanings in the Visual Arts
ART 102 An Introduction to the History of Architecture
ART 200 The Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East and Egypt
ART 201 Roman Architecture
ART 266 Introduction to Pre-Columbian Art
ART 267 Mesoamerican Art
ART 290 The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt
ART 300 Greek Archaeology of the Bronze Age
ART 301 Art of the Iron Age: The Near East and Early Greece
ART 304 Archaeology in the Field
ART 306 Classical Athens: Art and Institutions
ART 308 Roman Cities and Countryside: Republic to Empire
ART 395 The Ancient Egyptian Body
ART 401 Introduction to Archaeology
ART 418 Antioch through the Ages: Archaeology and History
ART 481 Egyptian Architecture: The Monumental Landscape
FRS 126/129 Contact: The Archaeology of Interaction in the Ancient Mediterranean
FRS 187 Earth's Environments and Ancient Civilizations
GEO 102B Climate: Past, Present and Future
GEO 103 Natural Disasters
GEO 203 Fundamentals of Solid Earth Science
GEO 370 Sedimentology