courses
courses

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Below is an overview of courses that are part of the Archaeology program. For specific degree/specialization requirements for course selection and more detailed course information, please consult the Undergraduate Calendar.

First Year Courses
2000-Level Courses
3000-Level Courses
4000-Level Courses
Field Courses

First Year Courses

ANTH 1001H: General Anthropology (Sc)
Anthropology is the study of humankind and anything to do with humans across time and space. This course surveys anthropology as a whole, emphasizing how biological, archaeological, linguistic, and cultural anthropology’s topics, methods, and findings combine to create a holistic understanding of humanity’s origins, prehistory, languages, and ways of life. Offered only in Durham.

ANTH 1002H: Applied Anthropology
This course surveys uses of anthropology to solve problems and achieve goals in business, sustainability, technology, development, health, education, forensics, politics, and careers. It explores ways anthropological research can improve the effectiveness of anything people set out to achieve, since humans are always part of the process. Offered only in Durham.

AHCL 1001H: Case studies in Classical archaeology
This course explores the origin, development, challenges, and lessons of archaeological practice in the Classical world, with a focus on specific, illustrative case studies drawn from the history of the discipline.

ANTH 1010H: Biological Anthropology and Archaeology (Sc)
An introduction to the aspects of biological anthropology and anthropological archaeology. Topics covered include human evolution, the biology of peoples past and present, archaeological method, the development of culture, the domestication of plants and animals, and the rise of civilization and the state.

ANTH 1020H: An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Covers topics such as the idea of culture and its role in shaping the way we see the world; the relationship between society and culture; and the role fieldwork plays in cultural anthropology. Students will read classic and/or contemporary ethnographies.

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2000-Level Courses


ANTH 2001H: Cultural Anthropology
An introduction to the history, theory, methods, and findings of cultural anthropology, the ethnographic study of contemporary peoples’ ways of living and thinking. This course surveys systems of exchange, kinship, politics, and belief across cultures.

ANTH 2050H: Introduction to Ontario historic archaeology field and laboratory methods
See Field Courses

AHCL 2102H: History of Ancient Rome
In the eyes of ancient Romans, Rome’s growth from a humble village to the greatest empire of the Mediterranean and beyond (ca. 1000 BCE–476 CE) was manifest destiny. In this course, we look past the propaganda to the underlying political, socio-cultural, and economic developments that fuelled Rome’s expansion.

AHCL 2105H: History of Ancient Greece
From the late Bronze Age to the end of the Hellenistic Period (ca. 1200–30 BCE), the history of ancient Greece is the story of great kingdoms and empires, the rise of democracy, and the flourishing of intellectual and artistic expression.

 

ANTH 2121H: Old World Archaeology (Sc)
Archaeology is a science that attempts to reconstruct and explain the evolution of cultural behaviour in humans. This course surveys major topics in Old World archaeology beginning with the evolution of the first hominins 6 million years ago, continuing through to the complex societies of the later Holocene.

ANTH 2122H: Archaeology of the Americas (Sc)
Covers the archaeology of the Americas, from the peopling of the Americas to contact between indigenous groups and European explorers. We will cover a wide range of topics, including political and social organization, settlement, burial practices, subsistence, gender, disease, prestige, belief systems, and art.

ANTH-AHCL 2201H: Introduction to Egyptian Archaeology from the Pharaohs to the Romans
The methods and achievements of archaeologists and the art history of Egypt from the period of the Pharaohs, through the Persians and the Greeks to the Romans.

ANTH-AHCL 2205H: Archaeology and Art History of Ancient Greece

An introduction to Greek material culture from the Bronze Age through the Hellenistic Period. Topics include the birth of Western art, the formation of a Greek identity, the relationship to contemporary social
developments, and the lasting legacy of Greece in the modern world (including theatres, sculpture, coins, and city-planning).

ANTH-AHCL 2206H: Archaeology and Art History of Ancient Rome
An introduction to Roman material culture from the Iron Age through the Late Empire. Topics include the development of a distinctively Roman culture, the influence of the Greek world, the spread of Roman
imperialism, the impact of Christianity, and the continuing relevance of Roman institutions in modern society.

ANTH-AHCL-GEOG 2230H: The Ancient City
The developments, innovations and achievements of the city in the Greek and Roman world from the Bronze Age to the Late Empire.

ANTH-MDST 2311H: Anthropology of Language
Covers the basic issues involved in situating diverse languages within diverse cultures and societies, placing the study of genres or ways of speaking in socio-cultural contexts of use, attending to the way people’s ideas about what language is and what it is for shape the ways they speak.

ANTH-MDST 2312H: Anthropology of Media
As media proliferate globally, people are developing culturally-specific understandings of how these media shape communication and what kinds of utterances belong to which media. This course is a linguistic and cultural anthropological exploration of the way people’s ideas about different communicative media shape the ways they use these media.

ANTH 2410H: Biological Anthropology (Sc)
The study of the genetics, evolution, growth, and development, and biology of human and non-human primates.

ANTH 2450H: Plagues and People (Sc)
Focuses on the origins of plagues and the biological and social impact of major epidemics, past and present, on human societies. Themes explored include the role of human behaviour in the outbreak of disease, responses to epidemics, and human evolution and disease.

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3000-Level Courses


ANTH 3000Y: Field Methods and Techniques in Anthropology (Sc)
See Field Courses

ANTH 3100Y: Key Ideas in Archaeology and Bioarchaeology (Sc)
The lecture component of this course will outline the history of archaeological thought. The seminar component will provide a hands-on exploration of how method and theory are applied within archaeological interpretation. Key ideas in bioarchaeology, such as evolution, race, ethnicity, and repatriation will also be addressed.

AHCL 3101H: Ancient Warfare
An in-depth study of the practice of ancient warfare from the Bronze Age to the Arab Invasions. Themes examined for each era include logistics, recruiting, intelligence, strategy, and naval warfare.

ANTH 3112H: North American Archaeology (Sc)
Covers the archaeology of North America, from Paleoindians through the nineteenth century. Subjects include the shift from hunting and foraging to agriculture, the development of complexity, trade relationships and interregional interaction, shifting religious beliefs and practices, and the consequences of European contact and settlement.

ANTH 3121H: Archaeology of Ancient Mesoamerica (Sc)
A survey of the ancient Native civilizations of Mexico and Central America from the earliest settlement to the European conquest. Includes a study of Aztecs, Maya, Olmec, and other societies of Mesoamerica. Prerequisite: ANTH 2121H and 2122H (or 2120Y or 212) or permission of instructor. Excludes ANTH 4120Y (412).

ANTH 3151H: Lab Methods: Lithics and Bone (Sc)
The description and analysis of materials from archaeological contexts, including stone tools, bone tools, shell, and ecofacts. This course focuses on hands-on analysis of materials. Fundamental techniques of recording and cataloguing, such as drawing and photography of artifacts, will be taught throughout. Prerequisite: ANTH 2121H and 2122H (or 2120Y or 212), or permission of instructor. Excludes ANTH 3150Y (315).

ANTH 3152H: Lab Methods: Ceramics and Historics (Sc)
Introduces students to basic methods for analyzing of archaeological ceramics and historic artifacts, focusing on ceramic technology and the production of glass and metal artifacts as technologies that transform raw materials into new substances. Prerequisite: ANTH 2121H and 2122H (or 2120Y or 212), or permission of instructor. Excludes ANTH 3150Y (315).

ANTH 3155H: Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (Sc)
Builds students’ understanding of and confidence in the appropriate use and application of quantitative methods to archaeological data. Topics include sampling theory, univariate tests of significance, multivariate analysis, spatial analysis, and quantitative modelling.

ANTH 3180H: Paleolithic Archaeology (Sc)
Explores the archaeological record of the Old World prior to the adoption of agriculture. Students will become familiar with cultural change during the Plio-Pleistocene and will learn, among others, about the expansions out of Africa, the Middle/Upper Paleolithic transition, and the rise of the first sedentary societies.

ANTH-ERSC-GEOG 3185H: The Archaeology of Climate Change (Sc)
Lectures and readings examine the science of climate change, outline how climate change influenced cultural development in the past, and assess how human perceptions of the environment conditioned the varying responses to climate change. Seminars focus on key methodological and/or theoretical issues, and specific case studies from the archaeological record.

AHCL-ANTH-HIST 3221H: State Religion in Ancient Greece & Rome
Offers critical examination of the structure, function, and practices of official religion between the late Iron Age and the rise of monotheism in the late antique Mediterranean. Archaeological remains and ancient texts demonstrate how state-sponsored cults served to bind the populace and codify social and political behaviour.

AHCL-ANTH-HIST 3222H: Mystery Cults and Restricted Rituals in the Ancient Mediterranean
In ancient Greece and Rome, exclusionary rituals and secretive initiation cults like those of Dionysos, Mithras, Isis, and Christianity overturned entrenched social norms and threatened the cohesion of the state. Archaeological and written evidence provide evidence for the origins,
impact, and legacy of such practices in the ancient Mediterranean.

 

AHCL-ANTH 3240H: Etruscan Archaeology, ca. 1000–200 BCE

The material culture of the Etruscans, who rivalled the major Mediterranean powers in trade and warfare and whose art, architecture, and beliefs profoundly influenced ancient Roman culture.

AHCL-ANTH 3250H: Aegean Bronze Age Archaeology

An exploration of the material culture of the Aegean Basin from the Neolithic Period through the Late Bronze Age (ca. 8000–1100 BCE), focusing on such topics as the built environment, art and symbolism, trade and exchange, religion and burial customs, and social stratification and state formation.

AHCL-ANTH 3251H: The Archaeology of Ancient Athens
Examines the material culture of ancient Athens from the Neolithic Period to the Slavic Invasions in the sixth century CE, focusing on changes in the socio-political structure of the city throughout its history by exploring
art and architecture, trade and exchange, ritual and mortuary customs, and state formation.

AHCL-ANTH 3252H: From Palace to Polis: The Archaeology of the Greek Iron Age
Examines the archaeological record of the Aegean basin from the collapse of the Mycenaean palaces (ca. 1200 BCE) to the rise of the Greek polis (ca. 600 BCE), focusing upon such topics as art and architecture, trade and exchange, ritual and mortuary customs, economics, and state formation.

ANTH-BIOL-FRSC 3420H: Human Osteology and Forensic Anthropology (Sc)
An introduction to forensic anthropology, a subfield of biological anthropology that focuses on the recovery, identification, and evaluation of human skeletal remains within a medico-legal context. Students learn the basic principles of human osteology as well as methods of determining age, sex, stature, and other identifying characteristics of skeletal remains. Limited enrolment.

ANTH-FRSC 3430H: Human Bioarchaeology (Sc)
Human bioarchaeology is the examination of human remains from archaeological settings in order to reconstruct health, subsistence practices, biological relatedness, physical activity, warfare, occupation, political economy, and social organization. This course will emphasize the methods used to study human remains and the types of information that can be obtained.

ANTH 3650H: Landscape and Settlement Archaeology (Sc)
Explores the spatial dimension of archaeological data and its relationship to ecology and human behaviour. Approaches to the distributions of artifacts and sites, the organization of buildings and settlements, and the interactions between cultures will be discussed. Both techniques of analysis and interpretative concepts will be presented.

ANTH-ERSC 3680H: Environmental Archaeology (Sc)
Focuses on the concepts and methods used by archaeologists to investigate the long-term interactions between humans and the environment. Explores the wide diversity of approaches (geomorphology, paleobotany, archaeozoology, paleoentomology, and isotopic analyses) developed over the years in order to sharpen our understanding of past human–environment dynamics.

ANTH 3731H: Archaeozoology (Sc)
Introduces the analysis and interpretation of animal remains in archaeological sites. Students will become familiar with the interpretation of faunal assemblages and will learn through hands-on practice and discussions to think critically about the implications that can be drawn from these remains. Limited enrolment.

ANTH 3750H: Archaeology of the Southwest (Sc)
An introduction to the prehistory of the Southwest United States, from the Paleoindian to the protohistoric. Includes case studies of complexity in Chaco Canyon and of violence in the Mesa Verde area. Labs focus on methods of interpreting archaeological data from a series of Southwestern sites.

AHCL 3850Y: Field Course in Ancient Mediterranean Archaeology
See Field Courses

ANTH 3995H: Art and Archaeology (Sc)
Explores archaeological approaches to prehistoric artwork, from studies of art objects to ancient artists and their audiences. Drawing on examples from Upper Paleolithic cave paintings to plaza performances in ancient Peru, we consider topics such as creativity and tradition, art as material culture, and ancient art in the contemporary marketplace.

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4000-Level Courses

AHCL 4001H, 4002H, 4003H: Senior Seminar
Students gain practical experience in the processes of scholarly investigations and dissemination of findings by engaging in the ongoing research project of the instructor. Only applies to Archaeology degree when topic is archaeological; consult with Program Coordinator for more information.

ANTH 4150H: Cultural Heritage Management (Sc)
An introduction to the approaches archaeologists use to address challenges and solve problems in the identification, evaluation, conservation, management, and interpretation of archaeological sites. Emphasis will be placed on examples from southern Ontario.

ANTH-CAST-INDG 4155H: Archaeology of Northeast North America (Sc)
Offers an archaeological survey of the archaeology of Northeastern North America, from the earliest evidence of human presence to interaction with Europeans. Lectures address archaeological evidence and interpretations of technology, subsistence, settlement, trade and exchange, socio-political organization, and cosmology.

ANTH 4170H: Archaeology and Popular Culture
Provides a critical assessment of ways in which archaeology and archaeologists are portrayed in various forms of popular culture, including films, television dramas, documentaries, cartoons, fiction novels, magazines, video and board games, and science fiction.

ANTH-AHCL-ERSC 4180H: Collapse of Complex Societies (Sc)
Using anthropological theory and archaeologically-generated data sets, this course explores the characteristics of, and reasons for, the “collapse” of complex societies. The focus is on the last two phases of the “Adaptive Cycle”: release and reorganization. Implications for the contemporary world are also discussed.

ANTH-AHCL-ERSC 4185H: Human Impact on Ancient Environments (Sc)
Using archaeological and environmental theory and diverse data sets, lectures and student research projects explore human impacts on ancient environments. The focus is on the first two phases of the “Adaptive Cycle”: exploitation and conservation. Seminars concentrate on contemporary environmental issues.

ANTH 4190H – The archaeology of inequality (Sc)
Using broader theoretical perspectives from the social sciences and archaeological data sets from around the world, this course explores the factors leading to the emergence and exacerbation of social inequalities amongst pre-state societies. Prerequisite: ANTH 2120Y (212) or permission of instructor.

ANTH-AHCL 4410H: Mortuary Archaeology (Sc)
Examines the act of burial from an archaeological perspective. We focus on temporal trends in mortuary customs from Neandertals to modern humans. Gender, age, ethnic, and social differences in burial patterns will also be explored.

ANTH 4420H: Palaeopathology (Sc)
Focuses on the study of disease in human skeletal remains. Emphasis is placed on the description and diagnosis of bone pathology, theoretical issues underlying the reconstruction of the health of past populations, and recent molecular and microscopic approaches to the study of disease in bone.

ANTH 4710H: The Maya (Sc)
Survey of the ancient and modern Maya of Central America. Examines the culture of the contemporary Maya, one of the largest Indigenous groups of the Americas, as well as the archaeology of pre-Columbian Maya civilization.

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Field Courses

Should student interest exceed the number of spaces available in a field school, we can help students find a comparable experience via another institution’s archaeological project. There are specific criteria governing what counts as a ‘comparable experience.’ Please see the Degree Requirements and contact the Program Coordinator for more details before taking action.

ANTH 2050H: Introduction to Ontario Historic Archaeology Field and Laboratory Methods (Sc)
An introduction to basic excavation and laboratory techniques at an historic site in the Oshawa area. Work will be divided between field and classroom settings. Students must be available for both components. Summers only—confirm with department office. Limited enrolment.


ANTH 3000Y: Field Methods and Techniques in Anthropology (Sc)
An introduction to methods and techniques of discovery, analysis, and interpretation in a field situation in any one sub-discipline (archaeology, cultural, physical or linguistic anthropology). Summers only—confirm with the department office. Limited enrolment.

AHCL 3850Y: Field Course in Ancient Mediterranean Archaeology
A field course in archaeological methods and techniques at a Classical or Near Eastern site in the Mediterranean. Spring/summers only—confirm with the department office.

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