The undergraduate concentration in Archaeology and the Ancient World provides students with an opportunity to explore the
multi-faceted discipline of archaeology while examining the critical early civilizations of the so-called ‘Old World’ that is, the complex societies of the Mediterranean, Egypt, and Ancient Western Asia (roughly equivalent to the ancient Near East). The concentration, with its three distinct
but overlapping tracks, is intended to allow students flexibility in structuring their own path through this diverse field of study. The concentration is also designed to allow students to build progressively upon what they have learned, moving from introductory courses to upper level seminars. Research opportunities, through summer fieldwork, museum experience, or independent study projects, are strongly encouraged.
With this concentration, the three tracks are: Archaeology and the Ancient World; Classical Archaeology; and Egyptian and Ancient Western Asian Archaeology. Archaeology and the Ancient World is the most exploratory of the concentration tracks, and this option emphasizes material culture studies across the full spectrum of the ancient world. Classical Archaeology is intended for those interested chiefly in the ‘classic’ civilizations of the Mediterranean (Greece and Rome), as well as for those interested in both earlier (prehistoric) and later (medieval) periods in that geographic region. Egyptian and Ancient Western Asian Archaeology is intended for those interested chiefly in the cultures of Egypt and Ancient Western Asia (the ancient ‘Near East’ Anatolia, the Levant, Mesopotamia), from prehistoric through Islamic times.
Each of these tracks shares the following course requirements: the student must take a total of 10 courses, including:
For each of the tracks, a capstone experience may be substituted for one of these required courses. With the permission of the concentration advisor, up to three successfully completed courses, from relevant and accredited study abroad programs, may be counted towards the concentration requirements.
An Honors concentration in any of these tracks requires the successful completion of all the standard requirements with the addition of an Honors thesis. For the preparation of this thesis, students will ordinarily enroll in ARCH 1970 during the first semester of the senior year and ARCH 1990 during the second semester of the senior year (these courses may not be taken S/NC, nor may they be used to satisfy the standard requirements of the concentration). In order to qualify for honors, students must have received more A’s than B’s in concentration courses completed.
Honors concentrations are recommended for students considering graduate work in the discipline of archaeology. Any student interested in a course of graduate study should speak to the undergraduate concentration advisor as soon as possible, not least for advice about additional forms of preparation. Graduate work in the archaeology of the ancient world, for example, requires knowledge of appropriate ancient, as well as modern, languages. Students should start work on acquiring these skills as early as possible.
The Honors thesis is an extended essay, usually of between 40 and 60 pages in length, written under the supervision of a faculty advisor and second reader. (Where appropriate, the advisor or the reader, but not both of them, may be in a unit other than the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World.) The specific topic and approach of the thesis are worked out between the student and the thesis advisor, with assistance from the student's second reader. This process should begin in the latter part of the student's junior year. Details on deadlines for a thesis prospectus, for thesis drafts and for a final public presentation of the work are available on request to the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The completed thesis will be evaluated by the advisor and second reader, who will discuss its strengths and weaknesses with the student; they will also agree a grade for ARCH 1970 and ARCH 1990.
The Director of Undergraduate Studies will review the student’s overall record, in addition to the thesis evaluations. If all requirements have been successfully met, the recommendation will be made that the student graduate with Honors.
Page last reviewed in February, 2011.
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