Material Legacies: Archaeological Anthropology.

Our material pasts, the objects and built environments we create, can endure long after we fade away. This course examines the material legacies of humans, beginning with the corporeal remains of our earliest hominin ancestors, and ending with the deluge of possessions and waste that go hand-in-hand with 21st century hyper-consumerism. Throughout, we apply the analytical lenses of archaeological anthropology to probe the human condition. What does it mean to be human, and are we fundamentally different - biologically, behaviorally - from other bipedal primates? In what ways do we create our material worlds, and how do these material worlds shape our everyday lives? Can the most enduring of human material legacies provide insights into variable expressions of culture that, ultimately, affect how we think about our own futures? Along the way, we explore the concepts, methods, and practices of archaeology: how the material record is formed and transformed; how to read and map geological and cultural strata; the significance of provenience and context; how human behavior and culture can be inferred from objects; and how archaeologists think about and measure time. 




This course is initially open to first-year and sophomore students. It will be open to all students after first-year students have pre-registered. 

Registration Restrictions

Open to First-Years and Sophomores. Students may not receive credit for this course and Course 102.

Enrollment Limit

Enrollment limited to 38 students.