Office of the Registrar
Faculty of Arts (2010/2011)
8.3 Archaeology

The Undergraduate Coordinator assists all Archaeology majors and minors in planning their academic programs. For this purpose students should register with the Department at an early stage of their studies.

8.3.1 General Degree
  1. First Courses

    Archaeology 1030 is required of all students wishing to concentrate in Archaeology.

    Archaeology 2480 is a prerequisite for most 3000 and 4000-level Archaeology courses and Archaeology 2430 is a prerequisite for all 3000 and 4000-level Bioarchaeology courses.

  2. Major

    The Student majoring in Archaeology must meet the requirements listed under Degree Regulations, Regulations for the General Degree of Bachelor of Arts. Under these Regulations, a minimum of 36 credit hours in Archaeology is required. Students wishing to concentrate in this option must take 15 credit hours from Group 1 (Core Courses) which must include 1030, 2480, 4182 and 4411; 9 credit hours from Group 2 (Field and Laboratory Courses); 3 credit hours from Group 3 (Regional Courses); 6 credit hours from Group 4 (Topical Courses). The remaining 3 credit hours may be in any other Archaeology course, except 2491, 2492 or 2493.

    Course Groupings for the Archaeology Program:

    Group 1 (Core Courses): 1030, 2430, 2450, 2480, 2582, 2590, 4182, 4411.

    Group 2 (Field and Laboratory Courses): 3583, 3585, 3586, 3587, 3591, 3650, 3710, 3800, 3850, 3900, 4041, 4151, 4152, 4153, 4171, 4191.

    Group 3 (Regional Courses): 2481, 3290, 3291, 3500, 3505, 3510, 3515, 3520, 3525, 3580, 3588, 3592, 3651.

    Group 4 (Topical Courses): 3001, 3020, 3040, 3561, 3584, 3590, 3593, 3750, 3860, 4015, 4043, 4150, 4170, 4172, 4173, 4500, 4994.

  3. Minor

    A minor in Archaeology may be achieved by completing the following courses: Archaeology 1030 and 2480; 6 credit hours in Archaeology courses at the 3000-level; 3 credit hours in Archaeology courses at the 4000-level, 9 credit hours chosen from Archaeology courses at any level, except Archaeology 2491, 2492 or 2493.

8.3.2 Honours Degree
  1. Students intending an Honours program are required to be majors and must complete 60 credit hours in Archaeology, including Archaeology 4994 and Archaeology 4995 (or Archaeology 4996). Students must also meet the Regulations for the General Degree of Bachelor of Arts, and Regulations for the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Arts.

8.3.3 Regulations for Joint Honours, Archaeology and Another Major Subject
  1. Candidates must fulfill the Regulations for the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Arts.

  2. Candidates must complete

    1. Archaeology 1030;

    2. Archaeology 2480 and 3 other credit hours in Archaeology at the 2000 level;

    3. Fifteen credit hours in Archaeology courses at the 3000 level, chosen in consultation with a supervisor; and

    4. Archaeology 4182 and 4411 and 9 other Archaeology credit hours at the 4000 level, with a grade of “B” or better.

8.3.4 Course Descriptions

In accordance with Senate's Policy Regarding Inactive Courses, the course descriptions for courses which have not been offered in the previous three academic years and which are not scheduled to be offered in the current academic year have been removed from the following listing. For information about any of these inactive courses, please contact the Head of the Department.

Students should note that credit may not be obtained for an Archaeology course if, prior to 2007, the student received credit for that course when it was designated as an Anthropology course.

Archaeology courses are designated by ARCH.


Introduction to Archaeology and Bioarchaeology

is a broad overview of Archaeology and Bioarchaeology introducing the concepts of human biological and cultural evolution and the methods and techniques by which these are investigated. The course is designed to provide the basis for further study in the disciplines.


Principles of Bioarchaeology

investigates the human animal as we exist now and as we developed through time. Students will discover how the study of fossil remains, living and extinct primates, and the applications of the principles of genetics, adaptation and variation of human evolution help to provide an understanding of how biology and culture have interacted to produce modern humans.

Prerequisite: ARCH 1030


Principles of Archaeological Science

introduces the student to a broad range of scientific approaches used in archaeology. The course provides an overview of the historical development of archaeological science and a survey of the current techniques used to investigate materials recovered from archaeological contexts, including biomolecular methods, paleoethnobotany, zooarchaeology, geoarchaeology, dating techniques, remote sensing and conservation.

Prerequisite: ARCH 1030


Principles of Archaeology

is an introduction to archaeological techniques, methodology and theory. Lectures cover the development of the discipline, techniques of survey and excavation, methods of analysis and the interpretation of prehistory.

Prerequisite: ARCH 1030


Ancient Civilizations of the Americas

is a survey course introducing the archaeology and ethnohistory of various pre-contact civilizations of North, Central and South America. Archaeological Evidence will be used to explore the rise of civilizations in the Americas and particular civilizations will be examined and compared based on idealogy, economy and administration.

Prerequisite: ARCH 1030


Popular Archaeology

is a course on how human history is reconstructed from archaeological remains. Methods and techniques of archaeology are illustrated through discussion of archaeological research currently in progress, both in Newfoundland and Labrador and elsewhere in the world.


This course may not be used for credit toward a major or minor in Archaeology.


Forensic Archaeology

is an examination of procedures and techniques used by Biological anthropologists and archaeologists to obtain data pertinent to investigations by law enforcement and medical authorities; evidence concerning the identification of human remains and the cause, time and manner of death.


This course may not be used for credit toward a major or minor in Archaeology.


Archaeology on Film

explores the use of archaeology as a popular backdrop to many films and documentaries. Yet, the manner in which archaeology is represented in modern film is hardly realistic, or is it? The portrayal of archaeology in popular film will be discussed in order to determine what movies convey to the public about archaeological method and theory as well as the historical stories that archaeologists investigate.


This course may not be used for credit toward a major or minor in Archaeology.


Principles of Historical Archaeology

(same as History 2582) will introduce students to historical archaeology, with special reference to the North Atlantic, 1000 to 1900 AD. The archaeology of specific sites will be examined in order to raise issues about theory and method. Students will be introduced to palacography; historic maps; documentary archaeology; the survey, excavation and analysis of complex sites; material culture and subsistence studies; cultural resource management and theoretical approaches including historical anthropology, ethnohistory, world systems and consumer studies.

Prerequisite: ARCH 1030


Credit may be obtained for only one of ARCH 2582, the former ARCH 3582, Anthropology 3582, or History 2582.


Basic Research and Writing about the Archaeological Past

is aimed at introductory level students who are curious about how archaeologists uncover evidence about the past. It is also designed to help students to become better researchers and writers. Readings will explore a variety of short classics in archaeology, from debates about when and where humans first evolved to recent research on the historical archaeology of Newfoundland. This course qualifies as a research writing course.


Art, Architecture and Medieval Life

(same as Medieval Studies 3001, History 3020, Folklore 3001) is an examination of the development of medieval art and architecture and of the ways in which they mirror various aspects of life in the Middle Ages. This course will include a discussion of art and architecture in the countryside, in the town, in the castle, in the cathedral and in the cloister.

Prerequisite: It is recommended but not obligatory, that students should have successfully completed one of the following courses: ARCH 2480, ARCH 2582, Folklore 1000 or 2000, History 2320 Medieval Studies 2001, History 2330/Medieval Studies 2002, or Medieval Studies 2000.


Credit may be obtained for only one of ARCH 3001, the former ARCH 3589, Anthropology 3589, Medieval Studies 3001, History 3020, Folklore 3001


What is Human?

discusses how humans have long considered themselves unique. Through readings, discussions and presentations this seminar will explore exactly how distinctive humans are in their biological, behavioural, and intellectual traits and whether there is, in fact, something which sets us apart from all other creatures.

Prerequisite: ARCH 2430


The Human Skeleton

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

Prerequisite: ARCH 2430


Newfoundland and Labrador Prehistory

is 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 focuses.

Prerequisite: ARCH 1030


Maritime Provinces Prehistory

is cultural developments in the area which today includes the Maritime Provinces and northern Maine, from the entry of humans into the region until the time of European contact. Emphasis is placed on cultural adaptations to a changing regional environment and the evidence for intercultural contact.

Prerequisite: ARCH 1030


Prehistory of Africa, Asia and Europe I

examines the early stages of cultural evolution in the Old World. Topics include: earliest human origins in Africa; the dispersal of humans throughout the Old World: the appearance of modern-type humans during the last ice age.

Prerequisite: ARCH 1030


Prehistory of Africa, Asia and Europe II

is a survey of the more recent stages of human cultural evolution in the Old World. Topics include: complex behaviour of modern-type hunter-gatherers of the last ice age; the domestication of plants and animals in early farming communities.

Prerequisite: ARCH 3500


Prehistory of the New World

is a survey of cultural development in the Americas from the entry of humans until the time of European contact. Topics include: the earliest human migrations and the dispersal of human groups throughout the New World; the development of complex hunting-gathering societies; the origins of agriculture and sedentism.

Prerequisite: ARCH 1030


Prehistory of Mesoamerica

(same as History 3515) discusses the Spanish explorers arriving in Mesoamerica i.e. Mexico and Guatemala of today, and how they discovered rich and complex civilizations that had developed independently of European or Asian influence. This course traces the development of Mesoamerican civilizations from their known origins to the point at which growth was terminated by Spanish intervention.

Prerequisite: ARCH 1030


Credit may be obtained for only one of ARCH and History 3515.


The Early Ethnohistory of North America’s Native People

- inactive.


The Later Ethnohistory of North America’s Native People

- inactive.



is a subfield of archaeology that uses recent ethnographic information to interpret and explain the material remains of past human behaviour. This course compares the goals and methods of ethnoarchaeologists with those of ethnographers and archaeologists. Case studies are used to illustrate the different approaches and concerns of ethnoarchaeologists working in different regions of the world.

Prerequisite: ARCH 2480, or permission of instructor.


Bronze Age Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean

(same as Classics 3580) examines the archaeological evidence that underlies the current reconstruction of the Bronze Age in the eastern Mediterranean. The Bronze Age of the Aegean and the island of Cyprus is essentially prehistoric and inaccessible except through the methods of archaeology; physical dating techniques, geoarchaeology, residue studies, palaeoethnobotany, zooarchaeology, forensic anthropology, underwater archaeology and cultural resource management. Pieced together these give us a compelling picture of the cultural history, lifeways and the dynamics of cultural change during this important period. Emphasis is placed on the role of Cyprus as a physical and cultural link between peoples of the Aegean and the Near East.

Prerequisite: ARCH 1030 or permission of instructor.


Credit may be obtained for only one of ARCH 3580 and Classics 3580.


Archaeological Field School Orientation

is designed to familiarize students with field and laboratory techniques. Students will learn about research design and the methodologies involved in archaeological site survey and mapping. Students will be instructed in the identification of archaeological sites, completion of site inventory forms, the use of surveying instruments, and the creation of accurate site maps, using these instruments as well as the concepts associated with archaeological excavation, mapping, recording and photography. Finally, students will be given basic instruction in artifact identification, processing and cataloguing. This course is intended to be a precursor to Arch 3585 and 3586 (Archaeology Field School).

Prerequisite: ARCH 2480


Historical Anthropology

(same as Anthropology 3584 and History 3535) will explore selected issues in historical anthropology, with special reference to the Mediterranean and North Atlantic worlds. Students will read specific case studies in order to explore the theoretical issues raised by the attempt to understand historically-documented past cultures. In order to give practical examples of methodology classes will analyse primary source material. Students will be introduced to the textual analysis of myth and legal records, to the interpretation of images and to the analysis of patterns in material culture. The course will consider specific current interpretive issues, particularly the rise of individualism, the consumer revolution and the cultural construction of gender.

Prerequisite: ARCH 2582, or any 2000-level History course.


Credit may be obtained for only one of ARCH 3584, Anthropology 3584, History 3535.


Archaeology Field School

offers students practical introduction to archaeological fieldwork (3585) and laboratory techniques (3586). These courses provide instruction and experience in site mapping, sampling strategies, the recovery and conservation of archaeological materials (i.e., artifacts and ecofacts) and the cleaning, cataloguing and cultural interpretation of artifacts and features. The students will also receive an introduction to archaeological research concerning prehistoric and/or historic cultures of a selected region.

Prerequisite: ARCH 3583


Archaeological Conservation

is an introduction to principles and techniques for the preservation of archaeological materials, with an emphasis on conservation in the field.

Prerequisite: ARCH 2480 or ARCH 2450


Arctic Archaeology

- inactive.


Hunter-Gatherer Studies

(same as Anthropology 3590) examines past and present hunting and gathering societies from various areas of the world, both from an ethnographic and an archaeological perspective.

Prerequisite: ARCH 1030 or Anthropology 1031


Credit may be obtained for only one of ARCH 3590 and Anthropology 3590.


Collections Management

(same as Folklore 3591) will introduce students to the problems of collections storage with respect to environment, materials and artifact access. Students will become familiar with the materials encountered in archaeological and ethnographic collections. The storage of specific historic and prehistoric collections from Newfoundland and Labrador will be examined with the purpose of providing practical examples of methodology.

Prerequisite: One of ARCH 2450, 2480 or 2582


Credit may be obtained for only one of ARCH 3591 and Folklore 3591.


Norse Archaeology

explores the influence of the Vikings on the medieval world and the place of L'Anse aux Meadows within this cultural milieu. Students will be introduced to Viking-Age archaeological and literary texts to gain knowledge of specific questions and problems concerning multicultural contact within the Viking-Age world, specifically the North Atlantic region. They will also gain an appreciation of the challenges associated with using interdisciplinary evidence as well as migration and multicultural issues in the past and present.

Prerequisite: ARCH 1030


Credit may be obtained for only one of ARCH 3592 and former ARCH 3685.


Archaeology of Children

examines emerging archaeological and bioarchaeological research on children and childhood. Topics include play, learning work, embodiment, identity, death, narrative approaches to children’s lives, and the paleoanthropology of childhood.

Prerequisite ARCH 2480


Credit may be obtained for only one of ARCH 3593 and former ARCH 3684.


Artifacts of Colonial North America

provides students with practical experience in the analytical methods used to identify, date and interpret the different types of artifacts encountered on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century archaeological sites in Colonial North America. In depth discussions on manufacture, technology, form and function provide the necessary background for a better understanding of concepts relating to artifact identification, provenance, dating techniques, theoretical approaches and other current issues. Practical, hands-on exercises will help reinforce weekly topics and teach students the fundamentals required to interpret artifact assemblages from the historic period.

Prerequisite: ARCH 2480, or ARCH 2582


Archaeology of Colonial North America

focuses on the history and archaeology of North American colonization and covers the period of European exploration and settlement from approximately 1500 to 1700. A diverse range of topics will be discussed including: contracts and interaction with native peoples; early colonies and seasonal outposts; established settlements; war, trade and economics; the material record; the built landscape; daily life in colonial society and maritime archaeology.

Prerequisite: ARCH 1030


Credit may be obtained for only one of ARCH 3651, the former ARCH 3862, or Anthropology 3682.


Studies in Archaeology and Prehistory

will include the consideration of current developments in methods, techniques and theory as applied to selected areas of the world.

Prerequisite: ARCH 2480, or equivalent


Museums and Historic Sites

(same as Folklore 3700) is an introduction to museums and historic sites, their work, and their role in societies past and present. Various types of museums and historic sites will be discussed using local, national and international examples, looking at their collections and exhibitions policies. Practical issues will also be discussed; these include museum exhibit display techniques, public programming, virtual museums, and the museum profession.

Prerequisite: ARCH 2480 or ARCH 2582


Credit may be obtained for only one of ARCH 3710 and Folklore 3700.


Archaeology of Warfare

is a broad overview of archaeological research conducted at sites associated with human conflict spanning from ancient Greece to World War II. Weekly lectures will provide students with a solid background on the various means by which archaeologists study and excavate sites relating to war, conflict and subjugation. A broad range of topics will be covered including remote sensing and field survey techniques, the changing technology and tactics of war, battlefield sites, POW camps, sunken naval vessels, aviation sites, fortifications and frontier outposts.

Prerequisite: ARCH 2480 or ARCH 2582


Fieldwork in Vernacular Architecture: Drawings and Photography

- inactive.


Material Culture

(same as Folklore 3850) is an examination of various interpretive theories of objects as cultural products. Problems of defining the artifact will be discussed, as well as the strengths and limitations of using objects in historical and ethnographic research. Questions discussed include form, design, decoration, diffusion, and the role of the creator of the object. Besides, folkloristic work on material culture, a variety of interdisciplinary approaches will be considered. Emphasis will be on the material folk culture of Newfoundland and its European antecedents.


Credit may be obtained for only one of ARCH 3850 and Folklore 3850.


Vernacular Architecture

(same as Folklore 3860 and History 3860) is a historical survey of vernacular architectural forms in various regions of North America, with attention to Newfoundland materials. Issues discussed include the relationship of house form and culture, the concepts of antecedents, diffusion, innovation and evolution of building forms and technologies, and the siting of buildings in the landscape. Dwelling houses, outbuildings, churches and industrial vernacular architecture will be included.


Credit may be obtained for only one of ARCH 3860, Folklore 3860, and History 3860.


Newfoundland Vernacular Furniture

(same as Folklore 3900) is an introduction to the furnishings of the Newfoundland domestic interior, involving case studies from public and private collections. The focus of the course will be on furniture, looking at both urban and outport forms. The cultural context of typical furnishings will be discussed, as well as details of furniture form and construction. While furniture will be emphasized, other objects of domestic material culture may be included; glass, ceramics, metalware and textiles.


Credit may be obtained for only one of ARCH 3900 and Folklore 3900.


Cultural Resource Management

(same as Folklore 4015 and Geography 4015) is a study of cultural resource management: the definition and recognition of cultural resources, the application of policy in managing cultural resources, and the identification and consideration of contemporary issues in cultural resource management. Three hours of lecture and three hours of seminar per week.

Prerequisite: ARCH 2480 or ARCH 2582


Credit may be obtained for only one of ARCH 4015, Folklore 4015, and Geography 4015.



looks at disease, diet, genetics, accidents and maternal health factors as contributors to variations in the human skeleton. In this lecture and laboratory course these factors are diagnosed from bones, and aspects of the culture, health, economy and environment of the skeletal individuals are examined.

Prerequisites: ARCH 2430 and ARCH 3040


Biomolecular Archaeology

is a rapidly developing, multidisciplinary subfield of archaeology concerned with unraveling aspects of human behaviour and adaptation from ancient biomolecules preserved in artifacts and biological remains. Through lectures, directed readings and seminars this course aims to review and critically assess the many facets of biomolecular archaeology, including how biological and (geo)chemical methods can be used to address questions of diet, migration and ancestry in the past.

Prerequisite: ARCH 2430 or ARCH 2450


Special Projects in Bioarchaeology

includes directed reading, seminars and lab analysis of various skeletal collections. Topics to be covered may include primate behaviour, forensic anthropology, stable and radiogenic isotape analysis and various aspects of human evolution.

Prerequisite: ARCH 2430 or ARCH 2450


Environmental Change and Quaternary Geography

(same as Geography 4150) examines methods of reconstructing Quaternany environments, effects of Quaternany environmental changes on landform, with special reference to North America, development and characteristics of glacial and nonglacial climates. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week.

Prerequisite: Six credit hours in physical geography or in archaeology at the 3000-level; or permission of the instructor.


Credit may be obtained for only one of ARCH 4150 and Geography 4150.



is a combined directed readings/laboratory course on palaeoethnobotany. Palaeoethnobotany concerns the recovery and analysis of archaeological plant remains as a basis for understanding human and plant interactions in the archaeological record. This course focuses on recent palaeobotanical research in northeastern North America.

Prerequisite: ARCH 2450, ARCH 2480, or the permission of the instructor.



aims to introduce the student to the wide range of information that can be gleaned about past human groups from the animal remains they left behind after butchery, meals, toolmaking and other activities. Students will also gain practical experience in the identification and analysis of faunal remains.

Prerequisite: ARCH 2450 or ARCH 2480


Credit may be obtained for only one of ARCH 4152, the former ARCH 4195, or Anthropology 4195.


Lithic Analysis

explores the range of techniques used to study stone tools, including material and provenance identification, morphology and functional analysis, temporal and cultural typology, measurement, illustration, experimental manufacture, use wear and breakage patterns, refitting, debitage analysis and spatial distribution.

Prerequisite: ARCH 2450 or ARCH 2480


Credit may be obtained for only one of ARCH 4153, the former ARCH 4196, or Anthropology 4196.


Special Projects in Archaeology

are courses which may be offered from time to time as demand arises. They may involve readings, seminars and actual analysis of archaeological collections on, for example: The Neolithic of Western Asia; the Rise of Civilization in Western Asia Scandinavian Prehistory; Palaeoethnobotany; and Technology and Material Culture.

Prerequisite: One of ARCH 2450, 2480, 2481, 2582 or permission of the instructor.


Settlement and Subsistence Studies in Archaeology

- inactive.


Iroquoian Archaeology

is a lecture course examining the culture developments of the Iroquoian peoples of Northeastern Canada and the USA. Using both archaeological and ethnohistoric materials, this course will outline and explain the changing social, political and economic traditions of this culture group from their origins through the early contact period.

Prerequisite: ARCH 2480


Credit may be obtained for only one of ARCH 4171 and former ARCH 4190.


Postcolonial Archaeology

critically explores the history and contemporary practice of archaeology in light of the political claims of (formerly) subjugated groups. Topics to be discussed include archaeological antecedents of a postcolonial perspective (postprocessualism, critical archaeology), political economy of archaeology, interests of indigenous and other descendant groups, repatriation, national and transnational archaeologies, and community archaeology.

Prerequisite: ARCH 2480 or ARCH 2582


Credit may be obtained for only one of ARCH 4172, the former ARCH 4192, or Anthropology 4192.


Archaeology of the Body

explores the possibility of a more encompassing archaeology of embodied experience, starting from archaeological work on gender and recent reconceptualizations of the body in social, cultural and feminist theory. Topics to be discussed include the notion of bodily practice, biopolitics, sexuality, hybridity, violence, identity, sensory experience, disability and aging.

Prerequisite: ARCH 2480


Credit may be obtained for only one of ARCH 4173, the former ARCH 4191, or Anthropology 4191.


History of Archaeology

is an intensive study of the emergence and maturation of archaeology as a discipline within the social sciences, particularly in Western Europe and North America, during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Prerequisite: ARCH 2480


Selected Topics in Archaeology and Prehistory

is a seminar course focusing on recent theoretical and methodological developments in archaeological research.

Prerequisite: One of ARCH 2450, 2480, or 2582


Theory and Method in Archaeology and Prehistory

is a seminar course focusing on recent theoretical and methodological developments in archaeological research.

Prerequisites: ARCH 2480 and ARCH 4182


Special Topic in Historical Archaeology

is a consideration of current developments in methods, techniques, and theory in Historical Archaeology.

Prerequisite: ARCH 2582, or permission of instructor.


Past Material - Advanced Research and Writing

is a directed reading course and is a prerequisite for the Honours Essay in Archaeology (ARCH 4995). Readings will be chosen to complement students’ specialization and to prepare them for the honours essay. Assignments will emphasize short essays and will provide students with the opportunity to improve their professional writing skills in the fields of archaeology, material culture and heritage.

Prerequisite: ARCH 2480


Honours Essay

is required as part of the Honours program.

Prerequisite: ARCH 4994


Comprehensive Examination

is an alternate option to the Honours Essay.