Archaeology Minor

Archaeology is the interdisciplinary study of the past through its material remains, situated in their cultural and environmental context. The core and supporting courses of the Archaeology Minor at Carleton are designed to give students a methodological and theoretical introduction to these three elements of materials, culture and environment. In course projects, students take an interdisciplinary view, analyzing and interpreting material remains in a variety of ways. The range of supporting courses provides students with the flexibility to plan their own programs. In addition to Archaeology courses, several other department offer classes that count toward the Archaeology Minor; these include Classical Languages, Geology, Art History, History, and Sociology and Anthropology.

Students from any major may participate in the Archaeology Minor. Students interested in the minor are encouraged to consult with the minors early in the sophomore year in order to plan ahead and retain as much freedom of choice as possible in meeting the requirements of the program expecially because two required courses are offered only every other year.

Requirements for the Archaeology Minor

A total of eight courses are required for the minor, including:

  • Core Courses (4 courses required) 

    • ARCN 246 Archaeological Methods  (Not offered 2017-18)
    • CLAS 122 The Archaeology of Mediterranean Prehistory (Not offered 2017-18)

              or CLAS 123 Greek Archaeology and Art (Not offered 2017-18)
              or CLAS 124 Roman Archaeology and Art (Not offered 2017-18)

    • GEOL 210 Geomorphology (Not offered 2017-18)

              or GEOL 258 Geomorphology of Soils (Note: there is a prerequisite of one 100-level geology courses to enroll in either of these courses)

    • SOAN 110 Introduction to Anthropology
  • Supporting Courses (3 courses required):

Supporting courses may be drawn from any of the core courses listed above (beyond the four required), or from selected other ARCN pertinent courses (listed below). In each course the student must (at a minimum) complete a project with an explicit focus on the interpretation of archaeological materials. In certain circumstances another course (one not listed as ARCN pertinent) may be substituted with the approval of the Archaeology Program co-directors, provided the requirement of completing an archaeological project of sufficient scale is also fulfilled. An archaeological field school or independent study may also count toward one of the required supporting courses, if Carleton course credit is granted or a follow-up independent student is undertaken with the Program co-directors.

The minor co-directors can advise students about which courses may fulfill these requirements. These courses are in many college departments and include courses conducted by visiting professors. Students are encouraged to consult with the minor co-directors, who are available to help students and instructors of supporting courses. The following courses with ARCN pertinent designations can be applied to the minor:

  • ARCN 200 The Past and Legitimatizing the Present: Poltiics of Archaeology and Heritage Management
  • ARTH 101 Introduction to Art History I
  • CLAS 267 Political Landscapes: Archaeologies of Territory and Polity (not offered in 2017-18)
  • HIST 246 The Material World of the Anglo-Saxons
  • SOAN 241 Guatemala Program: Mesoamerican Cultures (not offered in 2017-18)
  • Independent Study resulting from a summer field project
  • Capstone Seminar (1 course required):
    • ARCN 395 Archaeology: Science, Ethics, Nationalism and Cultural Property

Field Experience

Students are highly encouraged to become involved in archaeological fieldwork beyond the context of their coursework at Carleton. The Archaeological Institute of America's Fieldwork Bulletin (https://www.archaeological.org/fieldwork/afob) is an excellent resource for locating opportunities. Enrolling in an external program of fieldwork is not a formal requirement of the concentration, but can count toward supplementary coursework. Again, students are encouraged to discuss possible opportunities with the concentration co-directors.

Archaeology Courses

ARCN 200 The Politics of Archaeology and Heritage Management: The Past and Legitimizing the Present This course examines the ideological bases and modalities of ordering the past by pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial societies. We will study how ancient material culture, written and oral traditions, and a range of other symbols of cultural pasts were and are being used in the construction or destruction of histories. We focus especially on issues of heritage ethics and museum presentation, as well as non-parochial knowledge dissemination as a source of conflict resolution and inclusive peace education. Case studies will be drawn from Australasia, South Asia, West Asia, Africa, Nazi Germany, Post-Communist Europe, and North and South America. 6 credits; HI, IS; Fall; Sudharshan D Seneviratne
ARCN 246 Archaeological Methods & Lab As a field that is truly interdisciplinary, archaeology uses a wide range of methods to study the past. This course provides a hands-on introduction to the entire archaeological process through classroom, field, and laboratory components. Students will participate in background research concerning local places of historical or archaeological interest; landscape surveying and mapping in GIS; excavation; the recording, analysis, and interpretation of artifacts; and the publication of results. This course involves real archaeological fieldwork, and students will have an opportunity to contribute to the history of the local community while learning archaeological methods applicable all over the world. 6 credits; LS; Not offered 2017-18
ARCN 250 Digital Archaeology The practice of archaeology in the twenty-first century is an inevitably digital undertaking: from the way we record data, process finds, map distributions, analyze patterns, and even publish our interpretations, it all passes through a ‘digital filter.’ This hands-on course will explore the different approaches that digital archaeologies take--from 3D imaging of objects and structures, spatial analysis in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing initiatives in contested or inaccessible landscapes, to modeling in Virtual Reality (VR) environments--while also reading about and discussing the implications and challenges of digital approaches and technologies for the theory and practice of archaeology.  3 credits; NE, QRE; Winter; Sarah E Craft
ARCN 395 Archaeology: Science, Ethics, Nationalism and Cultural Property This seminar course will focus on a wide range of contemporary issues in archaeology, including case studies from many continents and time periods that shed light on archaeological theory and practice. Specific course content varies. The course serves as the capstone seminar for the Archaeology Concentration; enrollment is also open to non-concentrators. 6 credits; NE; Not offered 2017-18; Mary E Savina

Pertinent Courses

  • ARCN 200 The Politics of Archaeology and Heritage Management: The Past and Legitimizing the Present
  • ARTH 101 Introduction to Art History I
  • CLAS 122 The Archaeology of Mediterranean Prehistory: From the Beginning to the Classical Age (not offered in 2017-18)
  • CLAS 123 Greek Archaeology and Art
  • CLAS 124 Roman Archaeology and Art (not offered in 2017-18)
  • CLAS 127 Ancient Technology
  • CLAS 135 Food and Drink in the Ancient World
  • CLAS 267 Political Landscapes: Archaeologies of Territory and Polity (not offered in 2017-18)
  • GEOL 110 Introduction to Geology & Lab
  • GEOL 115 Climate Change in Geology & Lab
  • GEOL 120 Introduction to Environmental Geology & Lab
  • GEOL 210 Geomorphology & Lab (not offered in 2017-18)
  • GEOL 245 “When the Earth Shook…” Earthquakes in Human History & Lab
  • GEOL 258 Geology of Soils & Lab
  • HIST 100 Migration and Mobility in the Medieval North
  • HIST 238 The Viking World (not offered in 2017-18)
  • HIST 246 The Material World of the Anglo-Saxons
  • SOAN 110 Introduction to Anthropology
  • SOAN 241 Guatemala Program: Mesoamerican Cultures (not offered in 2017-18)