Christina M. Giovas
Introduces perspectives from archaeology on the long term history of the diversity and the dynamics of human life. Examines how archaeologists gather and use data and how that information is relevant to contemporary society. Concepts and methods introduced through readings focus around a theme that varies such as environmental issues, warfare, and migration.
Archy 101:Pseudoarchaeology and Science
Why was the fossil jaw of an orangutan found in England in 1912 so celebrated by British scientists studying early man? Did extraterrestrials really build the pyramids of Egypt? Is the James Ossuary the last resting place of the remains of Jesus' brother? This class examines famous mysteries and frauds in archaeology to explore how we know what we know about the past. In doing so we will separate fact from fiction and science from pseudoscience using the methodological and intellectual tools employed by archaeologists to reliably interpret the past. Students will develop a strong understanding of the scientific method and its application in archaeology. Students will also discover how archaeology is more than just a story about the past as we explore the ways in which history is presented and sometimes manipulated by institutions, governments and special interests to achieve various ends.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading