ARCH 3594: Archaeology of Sport

Sep 2nd, 2015

Dept. of Archaeology

Indigenous figurine playing a sport from ARCH 3594: Archaeology of Sport
ARCH 3594: Archaeology of Sport

ARCH 3594, Archaeology of Sport: surveys the rich global archaeological record of past sporting practices. While sports associated with Classical Mediterranean civilizations have been well-described by Classics scholars, archaeology hints at a much wider – indeed, cross-culturally universal - record of sports and athletic games.  Archaeologists themselves have been slow to consider this evidence but an archaeology of sport is beginning to emerge as a vibrant subfield. 

ARCH 3594 explores the full human record of sport, beginning with the emergence of a modern human body equipped for running and other forms of athleticism, and exploring the evidence – sporting equipment, competition venues, artistic depictions, skeletal traces  and more - from diverse times and places.

Some of the topics we will explore include:

  • evolution of athletic physiology
  • bioarchaeological traces of sport
  • playing facilities (stadia, courts, tracks etc.)
  • animal sports (chariot racing, falconry, cockfighting, etc.)
  • sporting equipment
  • ethnoarchaeology of sport
  • sport and society
  • sporting landscapes (including one cutting through the heart of St. John’s)

Time: TR 2:00-3:15pm
Prerequisite: ARCH 1030 or permission of instructor
Instructor: Peter Whitridge,