Courses - Spring 2021

ARKEO 1702 Archaeology-Great Discoveries

This introductory course surveys the archaeology of the ancient Greek and Roman Mediterranean. Each week, we will explore a different archaeological discovery that transformed scholars' understanding of the ancient world. From early excavations at sites such as Pompeii and Troy, to modern field projects across the Mediterranean, we will discover the rich cultures of ancient Greece and Rome while also exploring the history, methods, and major intellectual goals of archaeology.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Caitlin Barrett (ceb329)
Full details for ARKEO 1702 : Archaeology-Great Discoveries
ARKEO 2201 Early Agriculture

Throughout most of the human career, people survived by hunting and gathering wild foods. The advent of food production is one of the most profound changes in history and prehistory. This course examines the current evidence for the appearance and spread of agriculture - plant and animal domestication - around the world. We will consider definitions of agriculture and domestication, the conditions under which it arises, the consequences for those who adopt it, and why it has spread over most of the world. 

Distribution: (HA-AS, GLC-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Nerissa Russell (nr29)
Full details for ARKEO 2201 : Early Agriculture
ARKEO 2522 Drinking through the Ages: Intoxicating Beverages in Near Eastern and World History

This course examines the production and exchange of wine, beer, coffee and tea, and the social and ideological dynamics involved in their consumption. We start in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, and end with tea and coffee in the Arab and Ottoman worlds. Archaeological and textual evidence will be used throughout to show the centrality of drinking in daily, ritual and political life.

Distribution: (CA-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christopher Monroe (cmm253)
Full details for ARKEO 2522 : Drinking through the Ages: Intoxicating Beverages in Near Eastern and World History
ARKEO 2661 Ancient Ships and Seafaring: Introduction to Nautical Archaeology

A survey of the history and development of ships and seafaring as revealed by shipwrecks, boat burials, texts, art, and other evidence. The role of nautical technology and seafaring among the maritime peoples of the ancient Mediterranean world-Canaanites, Minoans, Mycenaeans, Phoenicians, Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans-and the riverine cultures of Mesopotamia and Egypt is addressed. The survey stretches from the earliest evidence for Mediterranean seafaring around 10,000 bce to the first transatlantic voyages in the 15th century, including Arab, Viking, and European explorers, and the birth of modern capitalism in the Italian Maritime Republics. Along the way, economics, war, exploration, cult, life at sea, and colonization are discussed.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christopher Monroe (cmm253)
Full details for ARKEO 2661 : Ancient Ships and Seafaring: Introduction to Nautical Archaeology
ARKEO 2688 Cleopatra's Egypt: Tradition and Transformation

Following the conquests of Alexander, the ancient civilization of Egypt came under Greek rule. This period is best known for its famous queen Cleopatra, the last independent ruler of ancient Egypt. But even before Cleopatra's life and death, the Egypt that she governed was a fascinating place – and a rich case study in cultural interactions under ancient imperialism. This course explores life in Egypt under Greek rule, during the three centuries known as the Ptolemaic period (named after Cleopatra's family, the Ptolemaic dynasty). We will examine the history and culture of Ptolemaic Egypt, an empire at the crossroads of Africa, the Near East, and the Mediterranean. We will explore the experiences of both Egyptians and Greeks living in this multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-linguistic society. Finally, we will investigate the ways that Ptolemaic Egypt can shed light on modern experiences of imperialism, colonialism, and globalization.

Distribution: (HA-AS, GLC-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Caitlin Barrett (ceb329)
Full details for ARKEO 2688 : Cleopatra's Egypt: Tradition and Transformation
ARKEO 2712 The Ancient Economy

Ancient economies were very different to our modern economy: there were no banks, transport and communication were difficult, and the discipline of economics did not yet exist. Yet there are also striking similarities between the ancient and modern economic worlds: many people liked luxuries, production was increasingly standardized, and buyers and sellers came together on market days. This course introduces the key characteristics of ancient economies, with a focus on ancient Rome but also looking at classical Athens and further afield. It is structured around themes such as trade and exchange, craft, consumption, and money. Its aim is to probe the nature of the ancient economy, both for students interested in the ancient world and for students keen to put the modern economy in historical perspective.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Astrid Van Oyen (av475)
Full details for ARKEO 2712 : The Ancient Economy
ARKEO 2812 Hieroglyphs to HTML: History of Writing

An introduction to the history and theory of writing systems from cuneiform to the alphabet, historical and new writing media, and the complex relationship of writing technologies to human language and culture. Through hands-on activities and collaborative work, students will explore the shifting definitions of "writing" and the diverse ways in which cultures through time have developed and used writing systems. We will also investigate the traditional divisions of "oral" vs. "written" and consider how digital technologies have affected how we use and think about writing in encoding systems from Morse code to emoji.

Distribution: (LA-AS, ALC-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Athena Kirk (aek238)
Stephen Sansom (sas688)
Full details for ARKEO 2812 : Hieroglyphs to HTML: History of Writing
ARKEO 3000 Undergraduate Independent Study in Archaeology and Related Fields

Undergraduate students pursue topics of particular interest under the guidance of a faculty member.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Annetta Alexandridis (aa376)
Full details for ARKEO 3000 : Undergraduate Independent Study in Archaeology and Related Fields
ARKEO 3042 Paleoethnobotany

This course will prepare students to identify, analyze, and interpret plant remains gathered from archaeological sites. We will build a conceptual framework to explain how human behavior relates to plant patterning, drawing on case studies from around the world. Through hands-on laboratory activities, we will study aspects of plant anatomy and explore methods for the sampling and identification of plant remains, including charred seeds and wood, phytoliths, starch grains, and pollen. We will analyze paleoethnobotanical datasets using database and statistical programs to present evidence in varying formats. Final projects will involve the first-hand study of plant remains sampled from archaeological sites.

Distribution: (PBSS-AS, BIO-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Maia Dedrick (mcd225)
Full details for ARKEO 3042 : Paleoethnobotany
ARKEO 3090 Introduction to Dendrochronology

Introduction and training in dendrochronology (tree-ring dating) and its applications in archaeology, art history, climate and environment through lab work and participation in ongoing research projects using ancient to modern wood samples from around the world. Supervised reading and laboratory/project work. Possibilities exists for summer fieldwork in the Mediterranean, Mexico, and New York State.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Sturt Manning (sm456)
Full details for ARKEO 3090 : Introduction to Dendrochronology
ARKEO 3230 Humans and Animals

Human-animal relationships are often seen in utilitarian, nutritional terms, particularly in archaeology. But animals and meat have significance far beyond their economic value. This course focuses on a broad range of these non-dietary roles of animals in human societies, past and present. This includes the fundamental shift in human-animal relations associated with domestication; the varied meanings of wild and domestic animals; as well as the importance of animals as wealth, as objects of sacrifice, as totems or metaphors for humans, and as symbols in art. Meat can be used in feasting and meat sharing to create, cement, and manipulate social relationships. This course is open to students of archaeology, cultural anthropology, and other disciplines with an interest in human-animal relations.

Distribution: (CA-AS, GLC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Nerissa Russell (nr29)
Full details for ARKEO 3230 : Humans and Animals
ARKEO 3738 Identity in the Ancient World

Have you ever been asked 'who are you' or 'which group do you belong to'? You would have noted how the answer shifts according to who is asking, in which context, etc. While everyone is unique, the possible replies in any one situation are largely defined at the level of society. What is less often realized, however, is that identity shows in particular in ways of doing: what and how one eats; what one wears and when; how one moves in a space. Archaeology is in a unique position to investigate these questions, and the Greek and Roman worlds offer a fruitful test ground, both because of their varied evidence, and because of their peculiar echoing in the modern world and its manifold identities. This course will address current theories about identity and its formation, discuss the various facets of identity (e.g. gender, citizenship, ethnicity) in the Greek and Roman worlds, and introduce tools for studying identity in the past.

Distribution: (CA-AS, HST-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Astrid Van Oyen (av475)
Full details for ARKEO 3738 : Identity in the Ancient World
ARKEO 4235 Meaningful Stuff: Interpreting Material Culture

Res ipsa loquitur -- the thing speaks for itself. This common expression captures a widespread belief about objects' roles in human lives, but deciphering what objects have to say is actually a complex cultural process. An object rarely has a single meaning; they are read variously in different cultural settings, and even by different individuals within a cultural system. How does one know, can one know, the meanings of an object? How are objects strategically deployed in social interaction, particularly in cross-cultural interactions where each side may have radically different understandings? How does one even know what an object is? We will explore the history and variety of ways that material culture and its meanings have been studied, using archaeological and ethnographic examples.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Frederic Gleach (fwg1)
Full details for ARKEO 4235 : Meaningful Stuff: Interpreting Material Culture
ARKEO 4250 Archaeological Research Design

This studio-style seminar provides an in-depth examination of the principles and practices of archaeological research design. We will examine all aspects of the research process, from concept formation, to methodology, to ethical practice and data management. Over the course of the semester, students will undertake a series of projects that will build incrementally into a research proposal. We will focus on developing the skills vital to designing archaeological research, starting with the formulation of a question and continuing through the exploratory process of defining proper sites, assemblages, analytical techniques, and presentation of findings. Class sessions will focus on designing research projects examining case studies drawn from world archaeology and student research projects.

Distribution: (HA-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Adam Smith (ats73)
Full details for ARKEO 4250 : Archaeological Research Design
ARKEO 4353 Sardis, A City at the Crossroads

Situated at the crossroads between the Mediterranean in the West and the Anatolian plateau in the East, Sardis successively belonged to the Lydian, Persian, Seleucid, Roman, and Byzantine empires. An urban center from at least the 7th century BCE onwards, the city developed a very particular fabric of peoples and traditions over the long time of its existence. The seminar follows the history of the site and the changing relationship of city and hinterland from the bronze age to the Byzantine period, focusing on its major civic, religious, military and funerary monuments. Debates in heritage and a critical analysis of the site's exploration and excavation in modern times, including the first expedition organized by Princeton University and the current Harvard-Cornell led excavations, form an integral part of the class. The seminar includes excursions to the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Sardis Archive at Harvard University.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Annetta Alexandridis (aa376)
Benjamin Anderson (bwa32)
Full details for ARKEO 4353 : Sardis, A City at the Crossroads
ARKEO 4981 Honors Thesis Research

Independent work under the close guidance of a faculty member.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Annetta Alexandridis (aa376)
Full details for ARKEO 4981 : Honors Thesis Research
ARKEO 4982 Honors Thesis Write-Up

The student, under faculty direction, will prepare a senior thesis.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Annetta Alexandridis (aa376)
Full details for ARKEO 4982 : Honors Thesis Write-Up
ARKEO 6000 Graduate Independent Study in Archaeology

Graduate students pursue advanced topics of particular interest under the guidance of a faculty member(s).

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Annetta Alexandridis (aa376)
Full details for ARKEO 6000 : Graduate Independent Study in Archaeology
ARKEO 6042 Paleoethnobotany

This course will prepare students to identify, analyze, and interpret plant remains gathered from archaeological sites. We will build a conceptual framework to explain how human behavior relates to plant patterning, drawing on case studies from around the world. Through hands-on laboratory activities, we will study aspects of plant anatomy and explore methods for the sampling and identification of plant remains, including charred seeds and wood, phytoliths, starch grains, and pollen. We will analyze paleoethnobotanical datasets using database and statistical programs to present evidence in varying formats. Final projects will involve the first-hand study of plant remains sampled from archaeological sites.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Maia Dedrick (mcd225)
Full details for ARKEO 6042 : Paleoethnobotany
ARKEO 6100 The Craft of Archaeology

This course engages students in Archaeology and related fields in a semester-long discussion of the craft of archaeology with the faculty of the Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies. Each week, a different faculty member will moderate a conversation on the professional skills vital to the modern practice of archaeological research and the tools key to professionalization. Seminar topics include developing a research project and working with museum collections to matters of pedagogy and career development.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Lori Khatchadourian (lk323)
Full details for ARKEO 6100 : The Craft of Archaeology
ARKEO 6230 Humans and Animals

Human-animal relationships are often seen in utilitarian, nutritional terms, particularly in archaeology. But animals and meat have significance far beyond their economic value. This course focuses on a broad range of these non-dietary roles of animals in human societies, past and present. This includes the fundamental shift in human-animal relations associated with domestication; the varied meanings of wild and domestic animals; as well as the importance of animals as wealth, as objects of sacrifice, as totems or metaphors for humans, and as symbols in art. Meat can be used in feasting and meat sharing to create, cement, and manipulate social relationships. This course is open to students of archaeology, cultural anthropology, and other disciplines with an interest in human-animal relations.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Nerissa Russell (nr29)
Full details for ARKEO 6230 : Humans and Animals
ARKEO 6250 Archaeological Research Design

This studio-style seminar provides an in-depth examination of the principles and practices of archaeological research design. We will examine all aspects of the research process, from concept formation, to methodology, to ethical practice and data management. Over the course of the semester, students will undertake a series of projects that will build incrementally into a research proposal. We will focus on developing the skills vital to designing archaeological research, starting with the formulation of a question and continuing through the exploratory process of defining proper sites, assemblages, analytical techniques, and presentation of findings. Class sessions will focus on designing research projects examining case studies drawn from world archaeology and student research projects.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Adam Smith (ats73)
Full details for ARKEO 6250 : Archaeological Research Design
ARKEO 6755 Archaeological Dendrochronology

An introduction to the field of Dendrochronology and associated topics with an emphasis on their applications in the field of archaeology and related heritage-buildings fields. Course aimed at graduate level with a focus on critique of scholarship in the field and work on a project as part of the course.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Sturt Manning (sm456)
Full details for ARKEO 6755 : Archaeological Dendrochronology
ARKEO 7235 Meaningful Stuff: Interpreting Material Culture

Res ipsa loquitur -- the thing speaks for itself. This common expression captures a widespread belief about objects' roles in human lives, but deciphering what objects have to say is actually a complex cultural process. An object rarely has a single meaning; they are read variously in different cultural settings, and even by different individuals within a cultural system. How does one know, can one know, the meanings of an object? How are objects strategically deployed in social interaction, particularly in cross-cultural interactions where each side may have radically different understandings? How does one even know what an object is? We will explore the history and variety of ways that material culture and its meanings have been studied, using archaeological and ethnographic examples.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Frederic Gleach (fwg1)
Full details for ARKEO 7235 : Meaningful Stuff: Interpreting Material Culture
ARKEO 7353 Sardis, A City at the Crossroads

Situated at the crossroads between the Mediterranean in the West and the Anatolian plateau in the East, Sardis successively belonged to the Lydian, Persian, Seleucid, Roman, and Byzantine empires. An urban center from at least the 7th century BCE onwards, the city developed a very particular fabric of peoples and traditions over the long time of its existence. The seminar follows the history of the site and the changing relationship of city and hinterland from the bronze age to the Byzantine period, focusing on its major civic, religious, military and funerary monuments. Debates in heritage and a critical analysis of the site's exploration and excavation in modern times, including the first expedition organized by Princeton University and the current Harvard-Cornell led excavations, form an integral part of the class. The seminar includes excursions to the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Sardis Archive at Harvard University.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Annetta Alexandridis (aa376)
Benjamin Anderson (bwa32)
Full details for ARKEO 7353 : Sardis, A City at the Crossroads
ARKEO 8902 Master's Thesis

Students, working individually with faculty member(s), prepare a master's thesis in archaeology.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Annetta Alexandridis (aa376)
Full details for ARKEO 8902 : Master's Thesis