Through archaeological research, anthropology gives us a unique view of human history, much longer and richer than possible from the study of written documents alone. Such research has shed light on lifeways and cultures from the origins of our species to the recent past — a span of more than two million years. Archaeological discoveries not only have scientific value, but also generate tremendous public interest, and can serve as key components in promoting “heritage tourism” and an appreciation for cultural heritage in North Carolina and other parts of the world. The Archaeology Program will provide training for students interested in this long view of human history. For undergraduates, it culminates in a liberal arts degree that prepares students for graduate training in archaeology, or for a career in any field that requires skills in analytical thinking, writing, and teamwork. For graduate students, it provides doctoral training that leads to jobs in universities, museums, and cultural resource management.
We currently have 39 undergraduate and six graduate Anthropology courses that have largely archaeological content (see Appendix 1). These include First Year Seminars, broad introductions, lab methods, field schools, area courses and thematic or topical courses. We expect to add or drop some courses as faculty are hired, retire or shift interests, but we believe the current set provide a solid mix of the theory, method and application for training our students. The lab courses provide hands-on training in analysis of the varied materials that are our primary sources of evidence, while the field schools provide structured experiential education that is an indispensable part of training for archaeologists. It is worth noting that our graduate offerings seem a bit thin, but we make a practice of offering topical seminars that are selected to fit the needs of current students as well as reflect faculty interests. It goes without saying that courses offered by other concentrations enrich and augment the courses with explicit archaeological content.
Foundation Graduate Courses
The department already offers three courses which together form the foundation for our graduate training in archaeology:
- ANTH 705, Archaeological Theory;
- ANTH 726, Quantitative Methods in Archaeology; and
- ANTH 729, Research Strategies in Archaeology.
The archaeologists currently in residence (see Appendix 2) could participate in many working groups that are not solely restricted to the Program, such as those in engaged anthropology and cultural heritage. Other strengths in the Program which might generate working groups — and would likely attract faculty from outside of archaeology — are food, political economy, religion, and material culture (in many forms).
Faculty engagement, heritage preservation, and community archaeology are strengths of the Program. In terms of local engagement, the RLA organizes and hosts a number of public programs each year, and has a half-time Public Outreach Coordinator (always an Anthropology graduate student) who organizes these activities. A typical year might include public events (“Archaeology Day” in the fall and the “UNC Science Expo” in the spring), online teacher workshops, archaeology tours of campus for the general public, as well as K-12 classroom visits. The Anthropology Department’s archaeology program could partner with these efforts and build on them. The archaeology program could also partner with the RLA and the Curriculum in Archaeology to sponsor talks aimed at both academic and public audiences.
In addition to these local efforts, it is important to note that archaeology faculty have a very strong track record in leading community-based projects elsewhere in the U.S. and in Latin America.
The Research Laboratories of Archaeology (RLA), which provides much of the infrastructure for the archaeologists in the Anthropology Department, already has an established track record for raising private funds in support of archaeology. Any development initiatives in archaeology that the Anthropology Department pursues should be closely coordinated with the RLA.
Anthropology Courses with Archaeological Content
- ANTH 050 FYS: Skeletons in the Closet
- ANTH 054 FYS: The Indians’ New Worlds: Southeastern Histories from 1200 to 1800
- ANTH 060 FYS: Crisis and Resilience: The Past and Future of Human Societies
- ANTH 064 FYS: Public Archaeology in Bronzeville
- ANTH 065 FYS: Humans and Animals
- ANTH 121 Ancient Cities of the Americas
- ANTH 123 Habitat and Humanity
- ANTH 145 Introduction to World Prehistory
- ANTH 148 Human Origins
- ANTH 222 Prehistoric Art
- ANTH 231 Archaeology of South America
- ANTH 232 Ancestral Maya Civilizations
- ANTH 233 Prehistory of Southwest Asia
- ANTH 250 Archaeology of North America
- ANTH 550 Archaeology of the American South
Method and Theory Courses
- ANTH 220 Principles of Archaeology
- ANTH 420 Public Archaeology
- ANTH 674 Issues in Cultural Heritage
- ANTH 291 Archaeological Theory and Practice
- ANTH 411 Laboratory Methods in Archaeology
- ANTH 413 Archaeobotany Lab Methods
- ANTH 414 Laboratory Methods: Human Osteology
- ANTH 415 Laboratory Methods: Zooarchaeology
- ANTH 416 Bioarchaeology
- ANTH 417 Laboratory Methods: Lithic Seminar
- ANTH 418 Laboratory Methods: Ceramic Analysis
- ANTH 421 Archaeological Geology
- ANTH 451 Field School in North American Archaeology
- ANTH 453 Field School in South American Archaeology
- ANTH 252 Archaeology of Food
- ANTH 412 Paleoanthropology
- ANTH 423 Written in Bone: CSI and the Science of Death Investigation
- ANTH 438 Disease and Discrimination
- ANTH 454 Archaeology of African Diasporas
- ANTH 456 Archaeology and Ethnography of Small-Scale Societies
- ANTH 458 Archaeology of Sex and Gender
- ANTH 468 State Formation
- ANTH 551 Origins of Agriculture
- ANTH 650 Reconstructing Life: Nutrition and Disease in Past Populations
- ANTH 705 Archaeological Theory
- ANTH 726 Quantitative Methods in Archaeology
- ANTH 727 Archaeology of North America
- ANTH 728 Seminar in American Archaeology
- ANTH 729 Research Strategies in Archaeology
- ANTH 766 Seminar in Ethnobotany