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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Peter V Lape
ARCHY 469
Seattle Campus

Special Studies in Archaeology

Consideration in detail of specific archaeological topics, either methodological or substantive in content, of current interest. Offered occasionally by resident, new, or visiting faculty. For advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Prerequisite: ARCHY 205.

Class description

Archaeology of Sustainability in Socio-Environmental Systems

This research-oriented class is designed to introduce students to the integration of paleo-environmental science and the study of the human past with a focus on how such studies can contribute to current issues of human-environmental sustainability. Every two weeks students will explore an archaeological research question implicating environmental causes for cultural change and/or human causes for environmental change. With an introduction and guidance from the instructors to each topic, students will then break into teams to explore different facets of the problem. They will explore and synthesize information from professional literature in archaeology, geology, oceanography, climatology, paleoecology and written history to evaluate proposed scenarios current in the professional literature. A combination of online summaries and in-class discussions will seek to integrate the different domains of information and explore its relevance to the problem at hand. Effective topics will lead to additional research and further synthesis. Through the class, students will learn effective hypothesis formulation and the requirements and limitations of rigorous empirical evaluation. The overall goal of the course is to provide students interested in archaeological and/or environmental sciences experience in interdisciplinary research strategies. A unifying theme will be the connection of past human-environmental study to issues of contemporary concern in human-environmental sustainability.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

This course will be co-taught by Peter Lape and Ben Fitzhugh.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Peter V Lape
Date: 05/13/2013