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Excavating America: Historical Archaeology of the Modern World
ANTH 225
Fall 2011
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: ARCP 225, AMST 285

This course covers the archaeology of approximately the last 500 years in the Americas. By its very nature, historical archaeology deals with material remains from periods for which historical information also exists. In this course, we will focus on understanding how material remains can be used as a rich source of history in and of themselves and how archaeological data can also be blended with historical sources to produce rich interdisciplinary narratives of the past.

The period covered by historical archaeology in the Americas has been a time of upheaval, most notably from settler colonialism, the forced diaspora of enslaved Africans to work on plantations, and from the move into industrialization that changed conditions of life and labor for many. We will address all of these changes, paying particular attention to how archaeology informs our understanding of resistance and hybridity in colonial contexts, the contribution of archaeology to understanding processes of racialization, and the commitment of historical archaeologists to furthering social justice in the present through their work on the past.

Sites studied will include those relating to Spanish settlement in California and the Caribbean; Native sites that intersected with periods of settler colonialism; British plantations in the Chesapeake; domestic sites of enslaved Africans and free black communities; industrializing cities, including New York City and Lowell, MA; mining settlements in the American West; overseas Chinese communities in California; sites of institutional confinement; and brothels in 19th-century cities. Our study of these sites will focus on social interpretations of ethnic, racialized, gender, sexual, and class identities.

The course will also introduce students to archaeology through a day-trip to the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and via a hands-on lab session in the Cross Street Archaeology Lab.

Essential Capabilities: Interpretation
Students will learn how to interpret material culture as a resource for understanding the historical past.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS ANTH
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)(ARCP)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on APR-23-2024
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