Courses of Study 2022-2023 
    Jun 16, 2024  
Courses of Study 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ANTHR 2016 - Archaeologies of Africa

(crosslisted) ARKEO 2016  
(GB) (HA-AS, HST-AS, SSC-AS)      
Fall or Spring. 3 credits. Student option grading.

J. Haines.

The longest archaeological record in the world is found on the continent of Africa. Our goal for this course is to delve into the diversity and complexity of transformations that shaped life in Africa and beyond. As the birthplace of humankind African archaeology extends back at least 2.5 million years, however our story starts in the Middle and Late Stone Age when we see some of the earliest evidence of symbolic thought, art, and shifts in food procurement strategies at the beginning of the Holocene 10,000 years ago. We will examine Africa’s rich archaeological past from the development of food production, metallurgy, monumental architecture, urbanism and social and political complexity, religious movements, large-scale webs of trade and exchange and through the forceful absorption into European and Arab colonial empires, and trans-oceanic diasporas. Africa’s past and Africa today is often misrepresented and misunderstood in popular news media and in our imaginations. Throughout the course we will be discussing the politics and ethics of doing archaeology in post-colonial Africa for African archaeologists and local communities and for archeologists coming from Euro-western countries. Our archaeological course materials includes both theory—the big ideas, models, questions, debates—and specific archaeological finds and sites on which analysis takes place, new methods are created, and theory is built.

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