Middletown Materials: Theory and Practice|
Fall 2009 not offered
ARCP 227, AMST 262|
Buried beneath you as you walk the streets of Middletown is the residue of former residents. Mostly consisting of fragments of ceramics, glass and other objects, these hold the potential to begin to unlock the day-to-day history of their past owners and users. In this course, we will use collections from excavations in Middletown, with sites dating from the 18th through 20th centuries, to begin to unearth these narratives.
We shall do this in two ways; a practical side will address artifact identification and classification. In half of classes, all students will participate in learning to catalog and identify artifacts from the Middletown historical archaeological collections, building an ongoing database. Previous research notes from the original site excavators will also be consulted to help this recording process.
To help form interpretations, the theoretical side this course addresses artifact studies within archaeology, particularly historical archaeology in North America. We will address specific issues about the social role of artifacts; how can we interpret their relation to ethnic, racialized, class, and gendered identities? The question of increasing mass production of goods and their relation to modern consumer society will also be examined.
The combination of data and theory will then form the basis of original student interpretation papers and presentations.
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|Course Format: Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)(SISP-Anth Conc)