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Graduate Courses

ARCH 6040. Human Osteology The human skeleton reflects genetic environmental and cultural influences. This course stresses the identification of individual bones in the skeleton, techniques for obtaining size and shape differences both in individual bones and the entire skeleton, estimation of group numbers and death rates, and diagnosis of disease and other abnormal conditions. Use of these techniques provides a means of assessing all of these influences on past human populations.

ARCH 6095. Advanced Studies in Ethnohistory. (same as Hist 6095). This course will be taught in a lecture format and will trace the ethnohistory of North American Native peoples from European contact to the loss of their independence. The course will focus upon Northeastern North America from what is now New York-New England, to the eastern Arctic, although examples from further south will also be discussed. For most of the peoples studied, the time frame will encompass the period from about 1500 to the end of the 18th century. In the case of the eastern Arctic and Subarctic, the time period will extend to the 19th century.

ARCH 6151. Paleoethnobotany. A directed readings/laboratory course concerning the recovery and analysis of archaeobotanical remains. Readings will focus on recent advances in paleoethnobotanical research. The laboratory component will involve the identification and interpretation of recently recovered specimens from an archaeological site in the Atlantic region. Each student will expected to compile an annotated bibliography based on assigned readings and produce a short research report based on laboratory work.

ARCH 6181. Palaeoeskimo Cultures of the Eastern Arctic. This is a reading course designed to familiarize the student with the research problems and culture history of the eastern Arctic, with an emphasis on the theoretical context of each topic. Each week the student will be responsible for a set of readings which he or she will report on in the regular weekly meeting. The student will write a half page to one page abstract of each reading, which will be passed in on the meeting following the discussion of that topic. Each abstract should summarize the research question, the theoretical orientation (if any), and the results of the paper or monograph; the student is strongly encouraged to add critical evaluation. Collectively, these abstracts or summaries will constitute an annotated bibliography, on which the grade will be based.

ARCH 6182. Advances in Material Culture Analysis. A directed readings course on new techniques of material culture analysis. Emphasis will be placed on current trends in chemical, engineering, microscopic and experimental approaches to the study of prehistoric materials (e.g., lithics, ceramics, metals, textiles). Weekly topics will include provenance (source) studies, design analysis, manufacturing techniques, replication studies, microrefuse analysis, reconstruction (refitting) techniques, chemical alterations, use-wear and residue analyses. Students will be expected to compile an annotated bibliography on assigned readings.

ARCH 6187. Readings in Maritime Provinces Prehistory. A directed readings course on the prehistory of the Maritime Provinces and adjacent areas of Maine. Selected topics that will include (1) aspects of the regional geology that are relevant to cultural adaptation in this region (e.g., glacial retreat and changes in climate, forest regimes and sea level) (2) the earliest human presence in the region and evidence for megafauna exploitation (3) the diversity of Archaic Indian cultures in the region in terms of their distribution, interactions, technology and social systems (4) biological anthropology of the prehistoric native populations (5) the potential of prehistoric shell midden sites as sources of information on maritime adaptation, site seasonality and dietary composition (6) the transition from Late Archaic to Early Ceramic, in terms of significant changes in subsistence practices and technology and (7) the prehistoric roots of sociopolitical organization and cultural complexity among the protohistoric and historic Micmac.


ARCH 6189. Palaeopathology. This course focuses on the understanding of the bio-mechanics of disease development in light of epidemiological evidence. Both endemic and epidemic diseases will be considered. Topics will cover host (intrinsic) factors and environmental (extrinsic) factors as they relate to the increased frequency of specific diseases. Case studies on specific diseases, such as syphilis, tuberculosis and leprosy, will be employed to exemplify the multiplicity of factors or interacting causes of a given disease. The role of palaeopathology in gathering epidemiological evidence from the past and evidence on changes of disease through time will be discussed.

ARCH 6191. Approaches to Early Modern Material Culture. The course is designed to train students in the identification and analysis of the material culture of the early modern North American world (i.e., 1500-1800). We will consider various classes of artifacts, including metals, wood, ceramics, clay tobacco pipes, glass and clothing. Through the course, students will work with the artifact collection to familiarize themselves with each class of artifact. At successive stages of the course students will be expected to expand their skills in library research, artifact illustration and interpretation.

ARCH 6192. Conservation Method and Theory. This course is designed to introduce students to the processes of deterioration, methods of preservation of archaeological materials as well as to principles and techniques of field conservation. The course consists of three four-week sections that (1) introduce students to techniques for identifying materials commonly found in archaeological excavations and to basic techniques of field conservation, (2) consider the deterioration and field conservation of these materials and (3) provide hands-on laboratory experience.

ARCH 6290. Newfoundland and Labrador Prehistory. A seminar and reading course on the culture history of Newfoundland and Labrador from about 9,000 years ago until the time of European settlement. Particular attention will be paid to the interactions among the several ethnic and cultural groups upon whose history this course focusses.

ARCH 6310. Economic Analysis in Archaeology. This is a seminar course in which various books/papers are evaluated and the issues discussed. Some of these topics are: the various concepts of 'economy' which are employed by archaeologists and their theoretical and methodological implications; on-site and off-site methods of reconstructing, understanding, and predicting past economic systems; processes of economic change and how these apply to various environmental situations.

ARCH 6320. Ethnoarchaeology. Ethnoarchaeology is a growing subfield of archaeology that focuses on the use of recent ethnographic information for interpreting and explaining past human behaviour and organization. Ethnoarchaeological fieldwork involves informant interviews, active participation, still photography, videotaping and the excavation of recent abandoned activity areas and structures. Such contemporary ethnographic descriptions produced by archaeologists are believed to be sensitive to the kinds of variability and spatial patterning of material culture recovered from prehistoric sites. In practice, archaeologically relevant data (i.e., on familiar objects, features and processes) collected in ongoing areas are used to generate ethnographic models, which are assumed to be comparable to those generated from archaeological data, for the development of testable hypotheses concerning archaeological phenomena.

ARCH 6330. Archaeological Field Conservation. This course will give practical on site field training for students and graduates of Art Conservation programs. Students will be required to work a regular work week for the duration of the six week course. A series of lectures will be held that will address the past and current theoretical approaches of field conservation. Participants will also be instructed on the materials, manufacturing techniques and deterioration of excavated artifacts. The last week will focus on field support for fragile objects and packing for transport back to the main conservation facility.

ARCH 6409. History of Archaeology. This course consists of an intensive study of the emergence and maturation of archaeology as a discipline within the social sciences, particularly in North America and Western Europe, in the 19th and 20th centuries. The history of archaeology is often presented as little more than the development of new techniques of excavation and analysis, major discoveries that have attracted public interest, and the gradual improvement of our understanding on the past. The present course will focus instead on the evolution of basic theoretical concepts that underlie the discipline and their relationship to contemporary theoretical and philosophical developments in the sciences, social sciences and philosophical developments in the sciences, social sciences and humanities. There is no appropriate central text for the course; students will be guided through an extensive reading list of archaeological project reports and synthetic articles.

ARCH 6411. Theory and Method in Archaeology and Prehistory. A seminar course focussing on recent theoretical and methodological developments in archaeological research.

ARCH 6500. Special Topics in Historical Archaeology. The course will explore the analysis and interpretation of European and North American artifact assemblages of the early modern period (1500 to 1800). This course assumes familiarity with shifts in artifact typologies over several centuries and is designed to place these changes in historical and anthropological context. Prerequisite: ARCH 6191.

ARCH 6680-6699. Special Topics in Archaeology and Prehistory.

ARCH 6700-6701. Interpretative Methods in Archaeology and Interpretive Methods in Historical Archaeology. The Archaeology Unit requires graduate students to complete one of these seminar courses that feature the interpretative methods applicable to the two major subfields of prehistoric and historical archaeology. Archaeologists have developed a wide variety of methods for making sense of archaeological data. The latter includes raw empirical data on artifacts, ecofacts, human remains, features, and components, as well as the classes defined by these data, such as artifact types, minimum numbers of individuals, and numbers of inferred vessels. Interpretative methods allow the archaeologist to move from these data to a consideration of past populations, site formation, and past environments; from components to archaeological cultures; features and activity areas to settlement and mobility patterns; bones, seeds, and residues to past diet, and artifacts and human remains to behaviour and ideology.

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