HIST195 Historical Archaeology
Department of Social & Behavioral Science: Historic Preservation
- I. Course Number and Title
- HIST195 Historical Archaeology
- II. Number of Credits
- 3 credits
- III. Number of Instructional Minutes
- IV. Prerequisites
- V. Other Pertinent Information
- Students may be required to take an individual and/or group field trip. It may be necessary to arrange personal transportation to and from the field trip destination.
- VI. Catalog Course Description
- This course introduces students to the study of the physical traces left by people in the past, emphasizing methods of identifying, documenting, excavating, and analyzing historical sites and their artifacts. Students study archaeological sites through an anthropological lens via field, lab, and historical research techniques, including new technologies.
- VII. Required Course Content and Direction
Course Learning Goals
- explain what makes archaeological artifacts useful for the study of people, places, and events of the past;
- demonstrate basic archaeological techniques related to recording field observations and conducting laboratory analysis in controlled settings;
- describe how archaeologists locate, collect, analyze, and interpret qualitative and quantitative data in order to document human lifeways and societies;
- evaluate how different groups claim ownership or stewardship of heritage resources and influence modern archaeological practice, legislation, and controversies; and
- explain the major legal and ethical frameworks which seek to preserve archaeological sites for the future.
Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities
The following thematic topics are incorporated into the course:
- History of archaeology as a field; connections to historical and anthropological disciplines, career directions in archaeology.
- Archaeological standards and ethics; legal basis of archaeology, including National Historic Preservation Act: Section 106.
- Archaeological sites as evidence of social, political, economic, and cultural change and exchange.
- Methodology: pre-fieldwork preparation and planning, all phases of fieldwork, laboratory analysis.
- Gathering data: quantitative and qualitative approaches to archaeological evidence, including the use of geospatial technologies (for example, Global Positioning Systems [GPS], Geographic Information Systems [GIS], and remote sensing).
- Ownership vs. stewardship of cultural resources and connections to cultural identity and heritage.
- Interpretation and contextualization of archaeological resources by utilizing spatial, soil, archival, and artifactual data.
- Gender, class, colonialism, race/ethnicity, and/or power in historical archaeology.
- Historical archaeology in practice and its relationship to larger historic preservation concerns, including modern challenges to archaeology.
Assessment Methods for Course Learning Goals
Attainment of course learning goals is assessed by one or more of the following:
- Written assignments
- Discussion responses
- Case study analyses
- Research-based reports
- Field experiences
Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Student:See course syllabus.
Review/Approval Date - 2/99;4/20 New Core 8/2015; Revised 3/2020; Revised 3/2021