Archaeological Studies (ARCG)

ARCG 110a / HSAR 110a, Introduction to the History of Art: Global Decorative ArtsStaff

Global history of the decorative arts from antiquity to the present. The materials and techniques of ceramics, textiles, metals, furniture, and glass. Consideration of forms, imagery, decoration, and workmanship. Themes linking geography and time, such as trade and exchange, simulation, identity, and symbolic value.  HU0 Course cr

ARCG 172b / ANTH 172b, Great Hoaxes and Fantasies in ArchaeologyWilliam Honeychurch

Examination of selected archaeological hoaxes, cult theories, and fantasies; demonstration of how archaeology can be manipulated to authenticate nationalistic ideologies, religious causes, and modern stereotypes. Examples of hoaxes and fantasies include the lost continent of Atlantis, Piltdown man, ancient giants roaming the earth, and alien encounters. Evaluation of how, as a social science, archaeology is capable of rejecting such interpretations about the past.  SO

* ARCG 242a / NELC 244a, Ancient Egyptian Materials and Techniques: Their Histories and Socio-Economic ImplicationsGregory Marouard

This seminar investigates in detail ancient Egyptian materials, techniques, and industries through the scope of archaeology, history, and socioeconomical, textual as well as iconographic data. When possible ethnoarchaeological and experimental approaches of the antique chaîne-opératoire are discussed in order to illustrate skills and professions that have now completely disappeared. This class is organized according to various themes within a diachronical approach, from the 4th millennium BC to the Roman Period. Copper and precious metals, construction stones, hard stones and gems, glass and faience production, imported wood or ivory, we explore multiple categories of materials, where and how they were collected or exchanged, the way these products were transported, transformed, refined or assembled and the complex organization of the work involved and administration that was required in order to satisfy the tastes of Egyptian elites or their desires to worship their gods. Some other vernacular savoir-faire linked to the everyday life and the death is explored, through food production and mummification practices. The aim of this seminar is not only to give an overview of the history of techniques for this early civilization but, beyond how things were made, to acquire a more critical view of ancient Egyptian culture through the material culture and as well the strong economic and sociologic implications linked to their objects and constructions―rather than the usual focus on its temples and tombs.  HU
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

ARCG 243a / CLCV 160a / HSAR 243a, Greek Art and ArchitectureMilette Gaifman

Monuments of Greek art and architecture from the late Geometric period (c. 760 B.C.) to Alexander the Great (c. 323 B.C.). Emphasis on social and historical contexts.  HU
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

* ARCG 255a / ANTH 255a / LAST 255a, Inca Culture and SocietyRichard Burger

The history and organization of the Inca empire and its impact on the nations and cultures it conquered. The role of archaeology in understanding the transformation of Andean lifeways; the interplay between ethnohistoric and archaeological approaches to the subject.  SO
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

ARCG 294b / ANTH 294b, The Ancient MayaOswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos

Introduction to the archaeological study of ancient Maya civilization in southern Mexico and northern Central America. Maya origins and modes of adaptation to a tropical forest environment; political history of the Classic Maya and competing theories about their collapse; overviews of Maya art, calendar, and writing.  SO
MW 1pm-2:15pm

* ARCG 301a / ANTH 301a, Foundations of Modern ArchaeologyRichard Burger

Discussion of how method, theory, and social policy have influenced the development of archaeology as a set of methods, an academic discipline, and a political tool. Background in the basics of archaeology equivalent to one introductory course is assumed.  SO0 Course cr
F 1:30pm-3:20pm

ARCG 316La / ANTH 316La, Introduction to Archaeological Laboratory SciencesEllery Frahm

Introduction to techniques of archaeological laboratory analysis, with quantitative data styles and statistics appropriate to each. Topics include dating of artifacts, sourcing of ancient materials, remote sensing, and microscopic and biochemical analysis. Specific techniques covered vary from year to year.  SC
W 1:30pm-4:30pm

* ARCG 336b / ANTH 336b / EPS 336b, GeoarchaeologyEllery Frahm

A survey of the numerous ways in which theories, approaches, techniques, and data from the earth and environmental sciences are used to address archaeological research questions. A range of interfaces between archaeology and the geological sciences are considered. Topics include stratigraphy, geomorphology, site formation processes, climate reconstruction, site location, and dating techniques. Prior introductory coursework in archaeology or geology (or instructor permission) suggested.  SC, SO
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

* ARCG 354a / ARCG 000 / EVST 354a / NELC 324a, The Ancient State: Genesis and Crisis from Mesopotamia to MexicoHarvey Weiss

Ancient states were societies with surplus agricultural production, classes, specialization of labor, political hierarchies, monumental public architecture and, frequently, irrigation, cities, and writing. Pristine state societies, the earliest civilizations, arose independently from simple egalitarian hunting and gathering societies in six areas of the world. How and why these earliest states arose are among the great questions of post-Enlightenment social science. This course explains (1) why this is a problem, to this day, (2) the dynamic environmental forces that drove early state formation, and (3) the unresolved fundamental questions of ancient state genesis and crisis, law-like regularities or a chance coincidence of heterogenous forces? Previously HIST 204J.  HU, SO
Th 3:30pm-5:20pm

* ARCG 372b / ANTH 372b, The Archaeology of UrbanismOswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos

Archaeological studies of ancient cities and urbanism. Topics include the origin and growth of cities; the economic, social, and political implications of urban life; and archaeological methods and theories for the study of ancient urbanism. Case studies include ancient cities around the world.   SO
M 9:25am-11:15am

* ARCG 379b / ANTH 375b, Anthropology of Mobile SocietiesWilliam Honeychurch

The social and cultural significance of the ways that hunter-gatherers, pastoral nomads, maritime traders, and members of our own society traverse space. The impact of mobility and transport technologies on subsistence, trade, interaction, and warfare from the first horse riders of five thousand years ago to jet-propulsion tourists of today.  SO
F 9:25am-11:15am

* ARCG 385a / ANTH 385a, Archaeological CeramicsAnne Underhill

Archaeological methods for analyzing and interpreting ceramics, arguably the most common type of object found in ancient sites. Focus on what different aspects of ceramic vessels reveal about the people who made them and used them.  SO
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

* ARCG 399b / EVST 399b, Agriculture: Origins, Evolution, CrisesHarvey Weiss

Analysis of the societal and environmental drivers and effects of plant and animal domestication, the intensification of agroproduction, and the crises of agroproduction: land degradation, societal collapses, sociopolitical transformation, sustainability, and biodiversity.  SO
Th 3:30pm-5:20pm

* ARCG 417a / ANTH 417a, Maya Hieroglyphic WritingOswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos

Introduction to the ancient Maya writing system. Contents of the extant corpus, including nametags, royal and ritual commemorations, dynastic and political subjects, and religious and augural subjects; principles and methods of decipherment; overview of the Maya calendar; comparison with related writing systems in Mesoamerica and elsewhere in the ancient world.  SO
MW 9am-10:15am

* ARCG 450a / ANTH 450a, Analysis of Lithic TechnologyOswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos

Introduction to the analysis of chipped and ground stone tools, including instruction in manufacturing chipped stone tools from obsidian. Review of the development of stone tool technology from earliest tools to those of historical periods; relevance of this technology to subsistence, craft specialization, and trade. Discussion of the recording, analysis, and drawing of artifacts, and of related studies such as sourcing and use-wear analysis.  SO
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

ARCG 464a or b / ANTH 464a or b / E&EB 464a or b, Human OsteologyEric Sargis

A lecture and laboratory course focusing on the characteristics of the human skeleton and its use in studies of functional morphology, paleodemography, and paleopathology. Laboratories familiarize students with skeletal parts; lectures focus on the nature of bone tissue, its biomechanical modification, sexing, aging, and interpretation of lesions.  SC, SO0 Course cr

* ARCG 473a / EVST 473a / NELC 373a, Climate Change, Societal Collapse, and ResilienceHarvey Weiss

The coincidence of societal collapses throughout history with decadal and century-scale abrupt climate change events. Challenges to anthropological and historical paradigms of cultural adaptation and resilience. Examination of archaeological and historical records and high-resolution sets of paleoclimate proxies.  HU, SO0 Course cr
Th 9:25am-11:15am

* ARCG 491a or b, Senior Research Project in ArchaeologyOswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos

Required of all students majoring in Archaeological Studies. Supervised investigation of some archaeological topic in depth. The course requirement is a long essay to be submitted as the student's senior essay. The student should present a prospectus and bibliography to the director of undergraduate studies no later than the third week of the term. Written approval from the faculty member who will direct the reading and writing for the course must accompany the prospectus.

* ARCG 492b / ANTH 492b / NELC 321b, Imaging Ancient Worlds in Museum CollectionsAgnete Lassen and Klaus Wagensonner

What is Digitization of Cultural Heritage? What are its merits, challenges, and best practices? The course highlighst the documentation and interpretation of archaeological artifacts, in particular artifacts from Western Asia. The primary goal of the course is the use of new technologies in computer graphics, including 3D imaging, to support current research in archaeology and anthropology. The course does put particular emphasis on the best practices of digitizing artifacts in collections. The prime study subjects are the artifacts housed in the Yale Babylonian Collection ( For some background information on the Collection see here. Students engage directly with the artifacts while practicing the various imaging techniques.  HU0 Course cr
MW 11:35am-12:50pm