Course Descriptions

221 — Archaeological Methods and Theory
Archaeological Methods and Theory – Archaeology is the study of the human past through material remains. This course covers the theory and methods of archaeology. Topics include the responsibilities of the archaeologist, stewardship of cultural remains, and research design. Specific tasks such as site identification, survey, excavation, and artifact conservation are practiced in a laboratory and field setting. Special emphasis is on applied sciences such as archaeological chemistry, bioarchaeology, geoarchaeology, and analyses of artifacts for the purposes of determining dates and provenance. The course is not limited to any specific cultures or past discoveries; the methods and approaches presented here are widely used by archaeologists in all areas of the world. This course involves field work, and has a laboratory component. Partially fulfills the Area of Knowledge requirement as a natural science with laboratory. Cross-listed with CLAS 221. Offered alternate years. Four hours.

320 — Archaeology, Art, and Cultural Heritage Ethics and Laws
Who owns the past? Who should profit from archaeological discoveries? Where should antiquities be stored or displayed? Who should pay for the safety, conservation, and preservation of sites and artifacts? Should modern descendants have the option to prevent archaeological research aimed at their ancestors or museum exhibition of their ancestral material culture? Who should interpret the past of a culture or group of people? This course covers the current international and US laws which govern historic preservation, cultural resource management, archaeology, and commerce in antiquities; considers numerous case studies which have led to the creation of codes of ethics and professional standards for archaeologists and museums; and debates some of the diverse points of view concerning archaeological ethics and practice. Cross-listed with CLAS 320. Offered alternate years. Three hours.

450 — Field Studies in Archaeology
This course is an excavation, field research, or museum experience. The student will gain experience with archaeological techniques for survey, excavation, analysis, conservation, classification and recording on an approved excavation or in a museum or laboratory setting. A minimum of four weeks or 130 hours of participation in an excavation, field school, or museum program is required. If a student participates during the summer in an excavation or field school which is not part of the Randolph-Macon College Summer Session, the student should take ARCH 450 in the next term of residency at Randolph-Macon College. Permission of instructor required. Cross-listed with CLAS 450. Offered as needed. Three hours each.

487-88 — Departmental Honors
Offered as needed.

495 — Research Project in Archaeology
For students who are unable to excavate for any reason, a senior project may be undertaken in either Fall or Spring term. The project should be directed primary research which results in a significant paper with original content. Archaeological case law, linking of material culture with historical documents, or primary source language studies tied to archaeological research (using sources in the original, native language, such as Greek, Latin, Spanish, or Hebrew) are possible areas of focus for the Research Project. This project may be completed jointly with a project in another appropriate discipline. Permission of Archaeology Council required. Offered as needed. Three hours.