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Salem, Oregon 97301
The study of archaeology provides students with a unique opportunity to analyze ancient cultures from an interdisciplinary perspective. The interpretation of archaeological data requires a solid understanding of the variety of methods used for the study of material culture as well as a familiarity with those disciplines essential for understanding the development of human culture. Thus, the archaeology program provides students with a broad overview of the current state of archaeological research around the world, while at the same time encouraging students to specialize in specific methodologies, geographical regions and/or periods (for example, Archaeology of the Americas or of the Eastern Mediterranean, or Environmental Archaeology). The program seeks to emphasize the practical and intellectual value of archaeology as a means for better understanding our ancient past, as well as shedding light on our present circumstances and our prospects for the future by tracing the development of human culture and the interactions between various civilizations and the natural environment. Because of its interdisciplinary nature, archaeology is a quintessential Liberal Arts major that requires students to integrate their understanding of the natural and social sciences, the arts, and the humanities.
The archaeology major is designed both to teach students standard excavation and recording techniques, and to encourage the study of anthropology, art history, classical studies, earth sciences, history, religious studies, statistics, and a variety of other related fields. Students are also strongly advised to study one or more ancient or modern languages related to their geographical area of interest. For example, students of Syro-Palestinean or classical archaeology are well advised to study Hebrew, Greek, and/or Latin, in addition to French and/or German, that is, the languages in which much of the essential secondary literature is written. Finally, Archaeology majors are encouraged to take advantage of the many opportunities for travel and foreign study offered by Willamette programs around the world, but especially in places that offer coursework and/or fieldwork in local archaeology.
Willamette University's Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology (CASA), established in 2007, provides archaeology students with significant resources including grants to fund field experiences or museum internships at Willamette’s Hallie Ford Museum of Art. In concert with CASA, the Salem Society of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), also located at Willamette University, offers a dynamic annual lecture series that enables students to interact with internationally renowned archaeologists on a formal and informal basis.
Students are encouraged to develop a chronological, regional or methodological focus among their electives. Listed below are approved electives, divided into three emphases designed to offer students depth as well as breadth in their archaeological studies. Students are free to design an individual course of study with the assistance of the student’s major advisor. The student’s major advisor can also approve additional electives not listed below. Such electives may be relevant transfer courses, relevant courses from approved study abroad programs, or other Willamette courses related to the student’s regional or methodological focus.
An introduction to the history and current directions of archaeological research in the Holy Land, concentrating on modern Jordan, Israel and Syria. Particular emphasis will be placed on the relationship between archaeological research and biblical studies. This course is a prerequisite for ARCH 337 Archaeological Methodology.
General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered; Fourth Semester Language Requirement
An overview of the current state of archaeological research in the Middle East, concentrating on the techniques used in surveys, excavations and the interpretation of archaeological material. The course is designed to introduce students to the more technical side of archaeological research and provide the background needed for participation in a middle eastern archaeological field project.
General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing Centered
Prerequisite: ARCH 237
This four- to six-week summer archaeology field school provides intensive, on-site training in the archaeological methods and techniques in conjunction with the Ness of Brodgar archaeology project, a joint project led by the Orkney Research Center for Archaeology, Orkney College, and Willamette University. The Ness of Brodgar sites is a Neolithic ceremonial complex situated on a thin promontory between two lakes and the megalithic stone circles of the Ring of Brodgar and Stones of Stenness. The excavation emphasizes a holistic approach to archaeological inquiry. As such, in addition to daily instruction on excavation theory, technique and recovery, course lectures and fieldwork will emphasize a variety of topics including topographical and geophysical survey techniques, stratigraphy, ceramic typology, geomorphology, paleobotany, and the archaeology of the Orkney Islands. Visits to regional archaeological sites and museums will provide a broad cultural and historical background of the archaeology of the region.
This course provides an opportunity to conduct a major research project which cannot be satisfied through any existing course in the major’s curriculum. The project must be supervised by a Willamette faculty member. Proposed projects must be submitted to the Archaeology Program Coordinator and must be approved by the Archaeology Program’s core faculty.
This course is designed to promote student involvement in the community and to create opportunities for students to conduct archaeological investigations. The faculty-supervised internships will provide students with opportunities to interpret archaeological data within a professional context. Interns will be placed in organizations utilizing archaeological skills in academic or non-academic settings including government agencies, cultural resource management firms, non-profit organizations, tribal governments and museums. Interns are expected to work 12 hours a week, meet regularly with the instructor and write a final research paper that concerns some aspect of the material culture that was processed during the internship.
This four- to six-week course offers advanced training in archaeological field techniques, theory and recording. Students may participate in either the Ness of Brodgar excavation or another archaeological excavation. Students will work closely with senior excavation staff to coordinate, manage and supervise excavations and/or survey teams. Students are responsible for the daily upkeep of field books, recording logs, section drawings, and data entry. Students will develop and write summaries for each context they oversee. In many instances, participants will work alongside first-year field archaeology students and assists in the training of basic field techniques and methodology. Students will be required to keep a journal of their experience and write a substantial research paper relating their excavation to an important and relevant archaeological question. Students must consult with their advisor before enrolling in the Advanced Archaeology Field School.
This capstone course provides students with the framework to design, collect data, interpret and compose an independent senior research thesis. Each student will consult with his or her thesis advisor to develop a suitable research topic, methodology and timetable to effectively carryout the research goals. At the end of the semester students will complete their thesis and deliver a public presentation of their work.