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Historical Archaeology

ANTH 2040

Because it is the archaeology of periods for which there is also written history, historical archaeology is a dynamic and interdisciplinary field. It also has a distinct set of concerns and methods that builds upon, but does not replicate, those of prehistoric archaeology. This course is designed to engage students in the practice of historical archaeology through readings, discussions and the hands-on analysis of archaeological materials. The first class of each week is a discussion of readings in historical archaeology. The readings introduce students to theoretical and methodological issues in the discipline, as well as important case studies. Many of the readings have a North American focus but also address international practice. The second class of each week has a hands-on focus. Backed by readings on historic materials analysis, we discuss and practice the types of research historical archaeologists perform on actual materials, focusing on different material types each week. Students in the course each process and analyze a set of materials excavated from a historic site.