AP/ANTH 2140 3.00
Introduction To Archaeology & Palaeoanthropology
ANCILLARY COURSE. This course explores the biological evolution of human beings and historical development of human societies; the methods that palaeoanthropologists and archaeologists use to study the past; and the social context of such endeavours to know the past.
The course begins with a brief introduction to basic anthropological principles and archaeological methods. We then very briefly consider human biological evolution, and modern human variation. This course then becomes primarily concerned with culture, rather than biology, and proceeds to cover certain key events and processes in human history, including farming, the emergence of complex technology, sedentism and social stratification.
The course concludes by comparing several ancient societies (e.g. pre- contact North America, Neolithic Europe, and Easter Island), and discussing how archaeology is used to understand recent historic events and contemporary life. Throughout the course, we maintain a careful awareness of the social contexts in which archaeology is done. Topics covered include: popular representations of archaeology, political uses of archaeology, disputes over human origins, issues surrounding the ownership of archaeological objects and the study of archaeological human remains, and conflicts and collaborations between archaeologists and indigenous peoples.