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HARC 0300 Archaeological Method and Theory

This tutorial is an introduction to archaeological method and theory. How do archaeologists work? What methods did they employ traditionally, and how have recent developments in remote sensing techniques such as LiDAR revolutionised field exploration? How do archaeologists then ‘translate’ the mass of data gathered in the field into a coherent story about the past, and how have such theoretical and interpretative frameworks changed over time? Can archaeological theory really help us to elucidate the past, or does it tell us more about contemporary trends in philosophy? This course provides an overview of archaeological investigation practices as well as the main developments in theoretical thinking that have taken place since the middle decades of the 20th century, and will provide students with a critical understanding of archaeological method and theory necessary to understand the discipline.

Sample reading

Barker, P. A. 1993. Techniques of Archaeological Excavation. 3rd ed. Batsford.

Berger, A. A. 2014. What objects mean: an introduction to material culture. Left Coast Press.

Bintliff, J. and Pearce, M. 2011. The Death of Archaeological Theory? Oxbow.

Carver, M. 1987. Underneath English Towns: interpreting English archaeology. Batsford.

Carver, M. 2009. Archaeological Investigation. Routledge.

Johnson, M. 2010. Archaeological Theory: an introduction. 2nd ed. Wiley-Blackwell.

Lucas, G. 2012. Understanding the Archaeological Record. Cambridge University Press.

Wiseman, J. and El-Baz, F. (eds), Remote sensing in archaeology. Springer.

One Semester... not nearly enough
After only one semester at CMRS I found I hadn’t had nearly enough.  The academic experience itself was incredibly engaging and I felt like my wri...
Mrig Mehra, Spring Semester 2012, Middlebury College