700-level courses

GRS AR701 Intellectual History of Archaeology
Prerequisite: graduate standing and at least two prior courses in sociocultural anthropology.
The historical development of archaeological methods and theory from the Renaissance to the present day, including consideration of major developments in Western Europe and the Americas, with comparative developments in other regions. Basic concepts in archaeological record and society.

GRS AR702 Contemporary Theory in Archaeology
Prerequisite: GRS AR701.  Explore aspects of contemporary theory in archaeology, including post-modern critiques of contemporary practice, new approaches to archaeology of ritual, personhood, identity, and the body; indigenous and public archaeology; politics and archaeology.

GRS AR703 Materials in Ancient Society
Seminar. Topic to be announced. Offered through the Center for Materials Research in Archaeology and Ethnology.  (MIT Materials in Ancient Societies: course #3.984)

GRS AR704 Materials in Ancient Society
Seminar. Topic to be announced. Offered through the Center for Materials Research in Archaeology and Ethnology. (MIT Materials in Ancient Societies: course #3.989)

GRS AR705 Pre-Urban Development
Cultural development from the origins of humankind through the establishment of food production, with emphasis on models for reconstructing successive changes in adaptation among early populations.  (Program core course.  Offered in the Fall.)

GRS AR706 Archaeology of Complex Societies
Core concepts of archaeological research on the formation, cultural development, and decay of complex societies as well as their introduction into other cultures. Coverage emphasizes research design rather than simply survey.  (Program core course.  Offered in the Spring.)

GRS AR707 Scientific Applications in Archaeology
This seminar explores new ways of addressing archaeological questions through the application of scientific techniques, focusing on cutting-edge methodologies and the most recent literature in the field.  Students pursue questions of individual interest through readings, discussions, presentations, and research papers. (Program core course.  Offered in the Spring.)

GRS AR708 Processes in the Formation of Archaeological Sites
Considers in detail geological, biological and anthropogenic depositional and post-depositional processes that result in formation of archaeological sites. Initial focus on basic principles/processes, then their application to site-evaluation in New and Old World. Field trips in area.

GRS AR709 Research Methods in Geoarchaeology
This seminar deals with a variety of topics concerned with the earth and archaeological sciences. Such themes are related to quaternary environments; methods of studying archaeological sediments and materials; scientific methods in the study of archaeological sites.

GRS AR712 Seminar in Old World Prehistory
Selected problems or topics in prehistoric archaeology of the Old World.

GRS AR727 Archaeology and Colonialism
Theoretical and methodological approaches to the comparative archaeology of colonialism in ancient and early modern worlds; considers case studies from ancient Greece, Roman Empire, & European colonial projects in South Africa, Australia, and the Americas.

GRS AR730 Seminar: Old World Historical Archaeology
Selected problems or topics in historical archaeology of the Old World.

GRS AR731 Seminar: Greek Archaeology
Topics vary.

GRS AR734 Seminar: Archaeology of the Roman Provinces
Topics vary.

GRS AR735 Topics in the Materiality of Ancient Mediterranean Religions
Pre requisite: Prior coursework in Archaeology or in ancient religions (Classics/RN/Hist/STh), or permission of the instructor.  Investigates manifestations and contexts of religion in the Greco-Roman world, including iconographic, architectural, votive, magical, and archaeological remains, and drawing on theories of space, image, and ritual performance.   Individual topics will address historical periods or specific themes in religious materiality. Cross-listed with AR435, RN490, and RN790.

GRS AR741 Archaeology of Mesopotamia
Seminar. Studies this core area of the ancient Near East, from the introduction of agriculture to the Hellenistic era. Examines the genesis of the first urban society and its transformation under the Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, and Persians. Meets with CAS AR341.

GRS AR742 Archaeology in the Holy Land
In Israel, archaeology is part of current events. We study remains from the Israelite to the Moslem conquests (c. 1200 BCE – 640 CE) to learn how material evidence created and still plays a role in a larger historical drama.  Meets with CAS AR342.  Cross lists with CAS RN390/690 & STH TX815.

GRS AR743 Anatolian Archaeology
A historically oriented survey of the material remains of the ancient cultures of Turkey and northwest Iran from the Neolithic to the Hellenistic period. Emphasis is on the Hittite Empire and civilizations that succeeded it in the first millennium. Meets with CAS AR343.

GRS AR746 Archaeology of Ancient Egypt
Seminar. Survey and analysis of sites from Egypt’s prehistory and the major periods of Pharaonic civilizations. Problems such as changing social and political organization, demography, and the economic system will be studied, as interpreted from the archaeological evidence.  Meets with CAS AR346.

GRS AR747 Egypt and Northeast Africa: Early States in Egypt, Nubia and Eritrea/Ethiopia
This course focuses on early states in northeast Africa, in Egypt, Nubia, and Eritrea/Ethiopia.  Comparative analyses include socio-economic institutions, kingship, burial practices and religions of these early states, concentrating on archaeological as well as textual evidence.  Meets with CAS AR347.

GRS AR751 Seminar: Mesoamerica Archaeology
It is a seminar on the archaeology of prehispanic Mesoamerica (much of modern Mexico and Central America), and is intended to provide students with an in depth understanding of major issues in studying the Mesoamerican past, with relative emphases changing by semester.

GRS AR770 New World Historical Archaeology: Colonial America
Seminar. Material culture of the people who colonized North America. Architecture, artifacts, and a variety of sites – domestic, military, commercial, sepulchral – are studied. Uses of archival evidence as factual and ethnographic documentation for archaeological interpretation are discussed.  Meets with CAS AR370.

GRS AR771 New World Historical Archaeology: Post-Colonial America
Seminar. The archaeological study of America since the Revolution. Focus is on the archaeological and artifactual evidence for the development of plantation systems and slavery, industrial and urban centers, ethnicity, and modern popular culture.  Meets with CAS AR371.

GRS AR772 Archaeology of Boston
Boston’s buried history revealed through excavated artifacts and features. Tours of archaeological laboratories, Boston’s neighborhoods, burying grounds, waterfront, and Harbor Islands. “Big Dig” finds in Charlestown, Mill Pond, North End; Fanueil Hall, Blackstone Block, Boston Common, and Paul Revere House.  Meets with CAS AR372.

GRS AR775 Oral History and Written Records in Archaeology
Comprehensive survey of use of oral and written documentary history by archaeologists. Specific topics, sources, techniques of recording and analysis. Special attention to archaeological applications of African and American oral history projects; case studies involving documentation in New World historical archaeology.  Meets with CAS AR375.

GRS AR780 Archaeological Ethics and the Law
In this course students examine archaeology and professional ethics; archaeology as a public interest; legal organization of archaeology; international approaches to heritage management; looting, collecting, and the antiquities market; maritime law and underwater archaeology; cultural resource management in the United States.  Meets with CAS AR480.  (Program core course.)

GRS AR782 Zooarchaeology
Introduction to archaeological analysis of animal bones. Provides a basis for the use of faunal remains in the investigation of paleoecology, analysis of archaeological site formation histories, and techniques for interpreting human subsistence activities.  Lecture and Lab.  Meets with CAS AR382.  (Course fulfills department technical requirement.)

GRS AR790 The Archaeology of Southeast Asia
Examines the prehistoric and historic cultures of Southeast Asia, including the first arrival of humans, regional neolithic and Bronze Age communities, early states, maritime trading networks, as well as political motivations in archaeology and the illicit Asian antiquities trade. Meets with CAS AR390.

GRS AR793 Out of the Fiery Furnace: Metallurgy of the Asian World
Technology is a central part of the human experience, and the development of metallurgy stands out as one technology that was mastered by some cultures, and virtually ignored by others. This course explores all aspects of the development of copper, bronze, gold, silver, iron, and other metals among the prehistoric and early historic cultures across Asia. By first providing an understanding of the technical aspects of mining, smelting, casting, alloying, and finishing, the course then looks at this technology within a much broader context, examining its varied roles and impact in the ritual, military, symbolic, and economic aspects of these cultures. Its prominence in the modern antiquities trade is also examined, as is its manipulation as a potent tool in modern nationalistic debates. Open to all interested students in all departments.  Meets with CAS AR393.

GRS AR795 Politics, Nationalism, and Archaeology
Explores how archaeology is shaped by and manipulated for political purposes. Case studies from Asia and around the world trace the development of archaeology during colonial empire-building and post-colonial nationalism, and the importance of archaeological heritage in regional politics.

GRS AR796 Cultural Heritage and Diplomacy
Course considers place of heritage in archaeology and cultural diplomacy; art architecture as cultural ambassadors; culture representation in museums and cultural landscapes; international art law; cultural affairs in U.S. embassies; the State Department; strategic impact of heritage in promoting U.S. foreign policy.  Cross listed with IR396/796 meets with CAS AR396.