Courses - Spring 2020

ARKEO 1702 Great Discoveries in Greek and Roman Archaeology

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)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Caitlin Barrett (ceb329)
Full details for ARKEO 1702 : Great Discoveries in Greek and Roman Archaeology
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 (pre)history. 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)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Nerissa Russell (nr29)
Full details for ARKEO 2201 : Early Agriculture
ARKEO 2465 Global Heritage

"Heritage" typically conjures images of a glorified human past, and evokes sentiments of care for lost or endangered cultures that symbolize humanity's diversity. But heritage is also the foundation for a multi-billion dollar tourist industry and a basis for claims to national sovereignty. A closer look at heritage reveals institutions, places, and things possessed of extraordinary power. Drawing on case studies from around the world, this course attends to the complexities of heritage today. Topics include heritage ethics, tourism and the marketing of the past, approaches to preservation and management, disputed heritage and violence, heritage ideologies from nationalism to universalism, participation and inequality from the grassroots to the global, "counterheritage", and the practice of public archaeology. Students apply insights gained by designing projects as heritage practitioners, engaged with "heritage-scapes" at Cornell and beyond.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Sabrina Papazian (sp625)
Adam Smith (ats73)
Full details for ARKEO 2465 : Global Heritage
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)
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)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christopher Monroe (cmm253)
Full details for ARKEO 2661 : Ancient Ships and Seafaring: Introduction to Nautical Archaeology
ARKEO 2700 Introduction to the Classical World in 24 Objects

Did the Greeks really paint their marble statues? Did the Romans make wax death masks? Should the British Museum return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece? Come and explore all these questions and more in "An Introduction to the Ancient World in 24 Objects". Each class will focus on a single artefact, showing how it is exemplary of key trends and historical moments in Greek and Roman culture, from the temples of ancient Athens to the necropoleis of Roman Egypt and the rainy outposts of Hadrian's Wall. In addition to the history of Greco-Roman art in antiquity, we will explore the influence of Classical art on later Western culture, paying special attention to its complex (and often problematic) political ramifications. While focusing on major monuments from Classical antiquity in class, we will also examine Cornell's collection of plaster casts, ancient objects in the Johnson Museum, and the Greek and Roman collections in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Verity Platt (vjp33)
Full details for ARKEO 2700 : Introduction to the Classical World in 24 Objects
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 3235 Bioarchaeology

Bioarchaeology is the study of human remains from archaeological sites. Like forensic scientists at the scene of the crime, bioarchaeologists search for clues embedded in human bone and mummified tissues to reconstruct how ancient peoples lived and died. As a dynamic living system, the human skeleton responds not only to hormones that govern human development but also to physiological stress brought on by disease, malnutrition, and trauma. The human body is also an artifact molded by cultural understandings of gender, prestige, self-expression, and violence. In this course, students will learn the scientific techniques for estimating skeletal age and sex, diagnosing pathology, and reconstructing diet and migration patterns. This course emphasizes the critical integration of biological and cultural evidence for understanding past individuals and societies.  

Distribution: (PBSS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Matthew Velasco (mcv47)
Full details for ARKEO 3235 : Bioarchaeology
ARKEO 3245 Across the Seas: Contacts between the Americas and the Old World Before Columbus

This course considers the possibility of connections between the America and the Old World before the Spanish "discovery" not only as an empirical question, but also as an intensely controversial issue that has tested the limits of the scholarly detachment that archaeologists imagine characterizes their perspectives. We will consider the evidence for several possible episodes of interaction as well as the broader issue of how long-distance interaction can be recognized in the archaeological record.  Transoceanic contact is a common element in popular visions of the American past, but most professional archaeologists have rejected the possibility with great vehemence.  The issue provides an interesting case study in the power of orthodoxy in archaeology.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: John Henderson (jsh6)
Full details for ARKEO 3245 : Across the Seas: Contacts between the Americas and the Old World Before Columbus
ARKEO 3255 Ancient Mexico and Central America

An introduction to ancient Mesoamerica, focusing on the nature and development of societies that are arguably the most complex to develop anywhere in the precolumbian Americas.  The course provides a summary of the history of the region before the European invasion, but the emphasis is on the organization of Mesoamerican societies: the distinctive features of Mesoamerican cities, economies, political systems, religion.  We begin by considering Mesoamerican societies at the time of the Spanish invasion.  Our focus will be on descriptions of the Aztecs of Central Mexico by Europeans and indigenous survivors, in an attempt to extract from them a model of the fundamental organizational features of one Mesoamerican society, making allowances for what we can determine about the perspectives and biases of their authors.  We then review the precolumbian history of Mesoamerica looking for variations on these themes as well as indications of alternative forms of organization.  We will also look at such issues as the transition from mobile to sedentary lifeways, the processes involved in the domestication of plants and animals, the emergence of cities and states, and the use of invasion-period and ethnographic information to interpret precolumbian societies in comparative perspective.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: John Henderson (jsh6)
Full details for ARKEO 3255 : Ancient Mexico and Central America
ARKEO 3662 Sumerian Language and Culture II

This course continues to expose students to the earliest written language, Sumerian, begun in Sumerian Language and Culture I. It also tackles important historical and cultural questions of third millennium Mesopotamia, especially from 2500-2000 BCE.  Each week will explore the specifics of Sumerian grammar and phonology through increasingly complex Sumerian documents.  This semester focuses on Sumerian business, government, and economic documents as well as the language of Sumerian literature.  Extra readings and discussion will provide a sense of the deep roots of the Sumerian historical memory and the problems and research questions that interest Sumerologists, such as reconstructing trading networks, the working classes, ancient taxation, and scribal training.  Students will also be encouraged to explore the ways that the field of Sumerology has embraced digital technology.

Distribution: (LA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jonathan Tenney (jst229)
Full details for ARKEO 3662 : Sumerian Language and Culture II
ARKEO 4056 Heritage Management: Understanding Techniques and Practices

This seminar course will explore the management structures that define, protect, and defend cultural heritage. The course will train students to conduct ethnographic investigations of heritage institutions in a transnational context. The course will examine the history of global, national, and local cultural heritage. Students in this class will gain a nuanced understanding of how and why heritage is managed, monitored, and preserved by transnational institutions, including UNESCO, national and municipal governments, and local communities. This course is intended to prepare students to work within the heritage industry, both as participants and as critical observers. Students will learn methodologies central to the analysis of cultural heritage as well as how to navigate a wide range of issues concerned with heritage management and preservation.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Sabrina Papazian (sp625)
Full details for ARKEO 4056 : Heritage Management: Understanding Techniques and Practices
ARKEO 4143 Life in Ruins

How do humans live with the ruins we create? What lifeways and lifeforms do ruins sustain? What forces cause the remnants of late modernity to endure or erode? Through the lens of archaeology, anthropology, philosophy, cultural geography, art, and architecture, this interdisciplinary seminar interrogates ruination as a condition of the human experience—one that has intensified in the afterlife of modernity, and one whose study might help us cope with advancing planetary decline, even as we work to curb it. For longer description and instructor bio, visit societyhumanities.as.cornell.edu/courses

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Lori Khatchadourian (lk323)
Full details for ARKEO 4143 : Life in Ruins
ARKEO 4240 Collecting Culture: Museums and Anthropology

Ethnographic and archaeological objects are widely collected, by individuals and by institutions. This course will explore the history and processes of museums and collecting, and issues around working with collections. We will work with materials in the Anthropology Collections, and also draw on other resources on campus and in the area to experience a variety of ways that museums and collections are organized, maintained, conceptualized and presented. We also will consider challenges to collecting, such as its implication in nationalist and imperialist agendas, the problems of archaeological looting and ethnographic appropriation, and indigenous expectations and demands for inclusion in such activities.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Frederic Gleach (fwg1)
Full details for ARKEO 4240 : Collecting Culture: Museums and Anthropology
ARKEO 4260 Analyzing the Archaeological Record: The White Springs Site

This course provides a hands-on introduction to analytical methods in archaeology, focusing on the circa 1688-1715 Onöndowa'ga:' (Seneca) White Springs site, located near Geneva, New York. White Springs was a densely-occupied Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) town of about 8 acres that held as many as 100 longhouses and was home to 1700-2000 people; its residents interacted with European colonists and many other indigenous groups. Students will generate new archaeological interpretations by analyzing artifact assemblages recovered by Cornell excavations undertaken in 2007-2015. Readings provide essential background on the history and material culture of the White Springs era. Students will prepare 15-page analytical papers which can draw on field data, museum collections, historical texts, or a combination of these sources.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kurt Jordan (kj21)
Full details for ARKEO 4260 : Analyzing the Archaeological Record: The White Springs Site
ARKEO 4262 Catalhoyuk and Archaeological Practice

Çatalhöyük, a famous Neolithic site in Turkey, is known for its large size, its spectacular wall paintings and other art, and its highly structured houses.  It is also a nexus of many key issues in current archaeology: the roles of science and the humanities in archaeological theory and practice, public archaeology, and the intersection of politics and archaeology, for example.  It is a key site for the understanding of animal domestication, Neolithic religion, gender relations in the prehistoric Near East, and the effects of aggregated settlement.  In this course, we will use the site as a lens to examine these and other issues in archaeological practice in general and the Neolithic of the Near East in particular.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Nerissa Russell (nr29)
Full details for ARKEO 4262 : Catalhoyuk and Archaeological Practice
ARKEO 4272 Archaeology of Colonialism and Cultural Entanglement

This seminar uses archaeology to examine engagements between settlers and indigenous peoples throughout world history. Archaeology provides a perspective on settler-indigenous encounters that both supplements and challenges conventional models.  We will assess the strengths and weaknesses of various theories of cultural engagement, examine methodologies, and explore a series of archaeological case studies, using examples from both the ancient world and the European expansion over the past 600 years. The seminar provides a comparative perspective on indigenous-colonial relationships, in particular exploring the hard-fought spaces of relative autonomy created and sustained by indigenous peoples. 

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Maia Dedrick (mcd225)
Full details for ARKEO 4272 : Archaeology of Colonialism and Cultural Entanglement
ARKEO 4670 Wealth and Power: Political Economy in Ancient Near Eastern States

Early states emerged when select groups gained control over wealth and power and institutionalized that control. How this was accomplished is a question of political economy that we can approach from archaeological, anthropological, and sociological perspectives. The course introduces students to the intellectual development of historical materialism in Smith, Marx, and Weber, among others, and traces their influence on later socioeconomic historians such as Polanyi and Finley. More recent approaches deriving from world-systems, gender studies, post-colonial studies, game theory, and network theory are then applied to case studies that include the emergence of a Mesopotamian state ca. 3400 BC, the Akkadian and Ur III empires, Old Babylonian and Old Assyrian trade, pharaonic Egypt, the international Late Bronze Age world, Aegean palatial civilization, and the Phoenicians. Students are welcome to present and write on other topics also. Monroe will provide context and clarification to assist with the specialist literature, but prior coursework in ancient studies will be advantageous in critically evaluating and writing about all the course readings.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christopher Monroe (cmm253)
Full details for ARKEO 4670 : Wealth and Power: Political Economy in Ancient Near Eastern States
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 6235 Bioarchaeology

Bioarchaeology is the study of human remains from archaeological sites. Like forensic scientists at the scene of the crime, bioarchaeologists search for clues embedded in human bone and mummified tissues to reconstruct how ancient peoples lived and died. As a dynamic living system, the human skeleton responds not only to hormones that govern human development but also to physiological stress brought on by disease, malnutrition, and trauma. The human body is also an artifact molded by cultural understandings of gender, prestige, self-expression, and violence. In this course, students will learn the scientific techniques for estimating skeletal age and sex, diagnosing pathology, and reconstructing diet and migration patterns. This course emphasizes the critical integration of biological and cultural evidence for understanding past individuals and societies.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Matthew Velasco (mcv47)
Full details for ARKEO 6235 : Bioarchaeology
ARKEO 6245 Across the Seas: Contacts between the Americas and the Old World Before Columbus

This course considers the possibility of connections between the America and the Old World before the Spanish "discovery" not only as an empirical question, but also as an intensely controversial issue that has tested the limits of the scholarly detachment that archaeologists imagine characterizes their perspectives. We will consider the evidence for several possible episodes of interaction as well as the broader issue of how long-distance interaction can be recognized in the archaeological record.  Transoceanic contact is a common element in popular visions of the American past, but most professional archaeologists have rejected the possibility with great vehemence.  The issue provides an interesting case study in the power of orthodoxy in archaeology.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: John Henderson (jsh6)
Full details for ARKEO 6245 : Across the Seas: Contacts between the Americas and the Old World Before Columbus
ARKEO 6255 Ancient Mexico and Central America

An introduction to ancient Mesoamerica, focusing on the nature and development of societies that are arguably the most complex to develop anywhere in the precolumbian Americas.  The course provides a summary of the history of the region before the European invasion, but the emphasis is on the organization of Mesoamerican societies: the distinctive features of Mesoamerican cities, economies, political systems, religion.  We begin by considering Mesoamerican societies at the time of the Spanish invasion.  Our focus will be on descriptions of the Aztecs of Central Mexico by Europeans and indigenous survivors, in an attempt to extract from them a model of the fundamental organizational features of one Mesoamerican society, making allowances for what we can determine about the perspectives and biases of their authors.  We then review the precolumbian history of Mesoamerica looking for variations on these themes as well as indications of alternative forms of organization.  We will also look at such issues as the transition from mobile to sedentary lifeways, the processes involved in the domestication of plants and animals, the emergence of cities and states, and the use of invasion-period and ethnographic information to interpret precolumbian societies in comparative perspective.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: John Henderson (jsh6)
Full details for ARKEO 6255 : Ancient Mexico and Central America
ARKEO 6662 Sumerian Language and Culture II

This course continues to expose students to the earliest written language, Sumerian, begun in Sumerian Language and Culture I. It also tackles important historical and cultural questions of third millennium Mesopotamia, especially from 2500-2000 BCE.  Each week will explore the specifics of Sumerian grammar and phonology through increasingly complex Sumerian documents.  This semester focuses on Sumerian business, government, and economic documents as well as the language of Sumerian literature.  Extra readings and discussion will provide a sense of the deep roots of the Sumerian historical memory and the problems and research questions that interest Sumerologists, such as reconstructing trading networks, the working classes, ancient taxation, and scribal training.  Students will also be encouraged to explore the ways that the field of Sumerology has embraced digital technology.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Jonathan Tenney (jst229)
Full details for ARKEO 6662 : Sumerian Language and Culture II
ARKEO 7056 Heritage Management: Understanding Techniques and Practices

This seminar course will explore the management structures that define, protect, and defend cultural heritage. The course will train students to conduct ethnographic investigations of heritage institutions in a transnational context. The course will examine the history of global, national, and local cultural heritage. Students in this class will gain a nuanced understanding of how and why heritage is managed, monitored, and preserved by transnational institutions, including UNESCO, national and municipal governments, and local communities. This course is intended to prepare students to work within the heritage industry, both as participants and as critical observers. Students will learn methodologies central to the analysis of cultural heritage as well as how to navigate a wide range of issues concerned with heritage management and preservation.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Sabrina Papazian (sp625)
Full details for ARKEO 7056 : Heritage Management: Understanding Techniques and Practices
ARKEO 7143 Life in Ruins

How do humans live with the ruins we create? What lifeways and lifeforms do ruins sustain? What forces cause the remnants of late modernity to endure or erode? Through the lens of archaeology, anthropology, philosophy, cultural geography, art, and architecture, this interdisciplinary seminar interrogates ruination as a condition of the human experience—one that has intensified in the afterlife of modernity, and one whose study might help us cope with advancing planetary decline, even as we work to curb it. For longer description and instructor bio, visit societyhumanities.as.cornell.edu/courses.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Lori Khatchadourian (lk323)
Full details for ARKEO 7143 : Life in Ruins
ARKEO 7240 Collecting Culture: Museums and Anthropology

Ethnographic and archaeological objects are widely collected, by individuals and by institutions. This course will explore the history and processes of museums and collecting, and issues around working with collections. We will work with materials in the Anthropology Collections, and also draw on other resources on campus and in the area to experience a variety of ways that museums and collections are organized, maintained, conceptualized and presented. We also will consider challenges to collecting, such as its implication in nationalist and imperialist agendas, the problems of archaeological looting and ethnographic appropriation, and indigenous expectations and demands for inclusion in such activities.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Frederic Gleach (fwg1)
Full details for ARKEO 7240 : Collecting Culture: Museums and Anthropology
ARKEO 7262 Catalhoyuk and Archaeological Practice

Çatalhöyük, a famous Neolithic site in Turkey, is known for its large size, its spectacular wall paintings and other art, and its highly structured houses.  It is also a nexus of many key issues in current archaeology: the roles of science and the humanities in archaeological theory and practice, public archaeology, and the intersection of politics and archaeology, for example.  It is a key site for the understanding of animal domestication, Neolithic religion, gender relations in the prehistoric Near East, and the effects of aggregated settlement.  In this course, we will use the site as a lens to examine these and other issues in archaeological practice in general and the Neolithic of the Near East in particular.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Nerissa Russell (nr29)
Full details for ARKEO 7262 : Catalhoyuk and Archaeological Practice
ARKEO 7272 Archaeology of Colonialism and Cultural Entanglement

This seminar uses archaeology to examine engagements between settlers and indigenous peoples throughout world history. Archaeology provides a perspective on settler-indigenous encounters that both supplements and challenges conventional models.  We will assess the strengths and weaknesses of various theories of cultural engagement, examine methodologies, and explore a series of archaeological case studies, using examples from both the ancient world and the European expansion over the past 600 years. The seminar provides a comparative perspective on indigenous-colonial relationships, in particular exploring the hard-fought spaces of relative autonomy created and sustained by indigenous peoples. 

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Maia Dedrick (mcd225)
Full details for ARKEO 7272 : Archaeology of Colonialism and Cultural Entanglement
ARKEO 7758 Archaeology of Greek Religion: Theory, Methods, and Practice

What is "religion," and how can we use material culture to investigate ancient beliefs and rituals? This course (1) explores major themes and problems in the archaeology of ancient Greek religion, and (2) compares and critiques selected theoretical and methodological approaches to the "archaeology of cult" more generally. Students will consider and analyze ritual artifacts, cult sites, and other aspects of religious material culture, as well as primary textual sources (in translation). 

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Caitlin Barrett (ceb329)
Full details for ARKEO 7758 : Archaeology of Greek Religion: Theory, Methods, and Practice
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