Archaeologists study past societies, primarily through their material remains. While it began as an amateur pastime a few hundred years ago, archaeology today is a scientific discipline that attempts to describe and order the past, to understand past human behaviour, and to explain long-term processes of culture change. Archaeologists have developed or adapted a wide range of methods for recovering, recording, analysing and describing the archaeological record, and a body of theory to help interpret and understand the past.
The archaeologists on faculty in the department have combined research experience in Mexico, the Great Lakes, the Northwest Coast, Turkey, and Greece. Students with an interest in archaeology are encouraged to approach any of the archaeology faculty for information about the department's archaeology programme, about career or field-work opportunities, or about archaeology in general.
Undergraduate archaeology courses are intended to give students an appreciation of some of the breadth and depth of the past human experience, as well as an understanding of the theory and methods by which archaeologists recover, analyse and interpret their data.
1st-year courses include:
- 1AA3 - Introduction to Anthropology: Sex, Food, and Death. This
course examines major issues in Anthropology in contemporary and past
societies from archaeological, biological, cultural, and linguistic
perspectives. It will focus on sex, food, illness, death, and related
- 1AB3 - Introduction to Anthropology: Identity, Race, and Power. This course examines major issues in Anthropology in contemporary and past societies from archaeological, biological, cultural, and linguistic perspectives. It will focus on identity, power, migration, race, and related themes.
2nd-year courses include:
- 2PA3 - Introduction to Prehistoric Archaeology, where the goals and methods of modern archaeological research are explored;
- 2O3 - North American Prehistory, which provides an introduction to the development of native American cultures; and
- 2VV3 - The Ancient Maya, which provides an introduction to prehistoric Maya society and culture.
3rd-year courses include:
- 3AS3 - Archaeology and Society, which examines the social context and implications of archaeological research;
- 3K3 - Archaeological Interpretation, which deals with methods of data recovery and analysis;
- 3DD3 - The Archaeology of Death
4th-year courses include:
- 4F3 - Archaeological Theory;
- 4HF3 - Archaeology of Hunter-Fisher-Gatherers.