ARC 455: Historical and Theoretical Perspectives in Archaeology
Throughout its history, archaeology has been characterized by spectacular discoveries, ingenious methodological innovations, charismatic and eccentric scholars, and sometimes irresponsible and dangerous interpretations. As with all social sciences, archaeology has been significantly influenced by the broader social and intellectual contexts in which it developed. This course traces the history of archaeology from its antiquarian past to the present focusing on the theoretical developments of the field and the social and intellectual contexts in which those developments occurred. As a student in this class you will learn how archaeologists from different times and places have interpreted past human behavior, you will explore the origins of various schools of archaeological thought, and you will critically examine current theoretical approaches to archaeological interpretation. In so doing, you will gain perspective on how the discipline of archaeology has gotten to where it is now, and you will acquire an awareness of the factors that color your own interpretation of the past.
This course is offered every third semester.