Skip over navigation
Brown shield Brown shield Brown University Brown shield Brown shield Brown University Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World

Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World Course Offerings 2014-2015


Fall Term
(Jump to Spring Term)

Primarily for Undergraduates

ARCH 0150  Introduction to Egyptian Archaeology and Art   [CRN: 16142]
An introductory survey of the archaeology, art and architecture of ancient Egypt, ranging in time from the prehistoric cultures of the Nile Valley through the period of Roman control.  While the course will examine famous features and characters of ancient Egypt (pyramids, mummies, King Tut!), it will also provide a wide-ranging review of the archaeology of this remarkable land. MWF 1:00-1:50. Instructor: Laurel Bestock.

ARCH 0201L  Who Owns the Classical Past? (CLAS 0210 L)   [CRN: 15475]
Interested students must register for CLAS 0210 L.
This course offers a forum for informed discussion of a variety of difficult questions about access to the classical past, and its modern-day ownership and presentation, seen primarily from the perspective of material culture (archaeology, art, museum displays, etc.). Enrollment limited to 20 first year students. FYS. TTh 10:30-11:50. Instructor: John Cherry.

ARCH 0220  Fake! History of the Inauthentic   [CRN: 16487]
What is a fake? Who gets to decide what is authentic? Greek statues, Chinese bronzes, Maya glyphs. Have fraudulent objects always existed? Galileo’s signature, a centaur’s skeleton, Buddhas bearing swastikas. Are all fakes the same? If not, how are they different? Why do people make forgeries? This course revolves around the history of the inauthentic through a diachronic exploration of objects. WRIT. FYS. TTh 9:00-10:20. Instructor: Felipe Rojas.

ARCH 0351  Introduction to the Ancient Near East   [CRN: 15154]
Interested students must register for AWAS 0800.
This course offers an introduction to the study of the political, social and cultural history of the ancient Near East, from prehistory to the end of the Iron age (ca. 330 BC). Both literary sources and archaeological evidence are examined as relevant. Near East is understood here in its widest geographic extent, including primarily the Mesopotamian lowlands, Iranian and Syro-Anatolian highlands, as well as the Levantine coast. The course not only offers a foundational survey of the historical developments in the region, but also addresses the broader methodological and historiographic problems involved in Near Eastern studies. State formation and the development of complex societies, cult practices and cuneiform literary traditions, art, architecture and material culture, issues of landscape and settlement systems, agricultural production, regional and interregional trade, and craft production will constitute the central issues in the course. WRIT. TTh 2:30-3:50. Instructor: Omur Harmansah.

ARCH 0725  Great Migrations: Mobility, Displacement and Material Culture in the Ancient Mediterranean   [CRN: 16330]
Migrations are the stuff that (pre)history was made of. This course will track some of the largest and most momentous displacements and movements around the Mediterranean, from earliest prehistory to the Middle Ages. Not all migrations consisted of marauding hordes, so this course will run the gamut from pastoral mobility to island colonization. MWF 10:00-10:50. Instructor: Peter van Dommelen.

ARCH 0800  Alexander the Great and the Alexander Tradition   [CRN: 16133]
This course focuses on a single historical figure, Alexander the Great, using him as a point of depar­ture for exploring a wide range of problems and approaches that typify the field of Classical Studies. How knowledge of Alexander has been used and abused provides a fascinating case study in the formation and continuous reinterpretation of the western Classical tradition. MWF 11:00-11:50. Instructor: John Cherry.


For Undergraduates and Graduates

ARCH 1128  The Long Fall of the Roman Empire (HIST 1030)   [CRN: 14867]
Interested students must register for HIST 1030.
Once thought of as the "Dark Ages," this period of western European history should instead be seen as a fascinating time in which late Roman culture fused with that of the Germanic tribes, a mixture tempered by a new religion, Christianity. Issues of particular concern include the symbolic construction of political authority, the role of religion, the nature of social loyalties, and gender roles. TTh 10:30-11:50. Instructor: Jonathan Conant.

ARCH 1161   Museum Collecting and Collections (AMST 1904U-S02)   [CRN: 15276]
Interested students must register for AMST 1904U-S02.
This course will examine critically the collection of ancient objects. Through functional, historical, material and aesthetic lenses an analysis of the relationships between the cultural contexts of objects will be examined. Case studies, guest lectures and site visits (virtual and real) will be used to demonstrate evolving theory, practice, law and ethical implications of collecting archaeological objects. TTh 9:00-10:20.

ARCH 1170  Community Archaeology in Providence and Beyond   [CRN:16580]
Modern archaeology is about far more than just digging in the dirt. During this seminar, we will discuss how archaeologists can engage with the public -- including collaborations with indigenous and local communities, increased multivocality in interpretations, the mass media, museums, educational outreach programs, and the use and abuse of the past by governments and others in power. The second half of this course will involve a hands-on project in the Providence public school system. Enrollment limited to 15. TTh 10:30-11:50. Instructor: Katherine Harrington.

ARCH 1212  Charlemagne: Conquest, Empire, and the Making of the Middle Ages (HIST 1976Z)   [CRN: 14879]
Interested students must register for HIST 1976Z.
The age of Charlemagne sits at the nexus of antiquity and the middle ages. For two hundred years Charlemagne's family, the Carolingians, welded together fragments of the splintered Roman imperial tradition and elements from the Germanic world to forge a new, medieval European civilization. This seminar examines that process by exposing students to the primary sources, archaeological evidence, and modern scholarly debates surrounding the Carolingian age. Topics include the Carolingians' rise to power; Charlemagne's imperial coronation; interactions with the Islamic and Byzantine worlds; the revival of classical learning; the Church; warfare; the economy; Vikings; and the collapse of the Carolingian Empire. Enrollment limited to 20. Not open to first year students. Th 4:00-6:20. Instructor: Jonathan Conant.

ARCH 1283  Society and Population in Ancient Greece (CLAS 1130)   [CRN: 16015]
Interested students must register for CLAS 1130.
This interdisciplinary course stresses the importance of social and demographic themes for our understanding of ancient Greek socio-economic history. The course addresses topics that are fundamental to historical demography (mortality, birth rates, and factors that affect them). It draws directly on primary sources (documentary, literary and archaeological) and readings of modern historians that allow us respectively to analyze evidence and contextualize the issues relating to social history and historical demography. The course takes a longue durée approach and incorporates ancient Greek communities in Greece, the Balkans, Asia Minor, and the Black Sea, from the Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman periods. WRIT. TTh 10:30-11:50. Instructor: Graham Oliver.

ARCH 1441  Ancient Synagogues, Churches, and Mosques in Palestine (JUDS 1440)   [CRN: 15104]
Interested students must register for JUDS 1440.
Reviews the discoveries and related scholarship of ancient synagogues, churches, and mosques in ancient Palestine. Focuses on their architectural and decorational as well as their spiritual and religious characteristics, and examines how those institutions influenced each other throughout their history of development. T 4:00-6:20. Instructor: Katharina Galor.

ARCH 1475  Petra: Ancient Wonder, Modern Challenge   [CRN: 16138]
The rose-red city of Petra in southern Jordan is a movie star (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade). It is a tourist mega-hit (over half a million visitors annually). It was recently voted one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. This class will explore the history and archaeology of Petra and debate how best to present and preserve the site, as well as discussing (and planning!) Brown's ongoing fieldwork at this beautiful, but fragile, place. Th 4:00-6:20. Instructor: Susan Alcock.

ARCH 1536   Archeological Ethnographies: Heritage and Community in the Mediterranean (ANTH 1126)   [CRN: 16442]
Interested students must register for ANTH 1126.
Archaeologists study objects and (socio-cultural) anthropologists investigate culture is how stereotype and conventions have long had it. As material culture studies have increasingly blurred these boundaries, the distinction is entirely meaningless when it comes to archaeological heritage. Taking its cue from material culture studies, this course explores how local communities experience the material remains from the past and (re)incorporate them into their contemporary lives. DPLL LILE. M 3:00-5:20. Instructor: Peter van Dommelen.

ARCH 1840  Ceramic Analysis for Archaeology   [CRN: 16293]
The analysis and the interpretation of ceramic remains allow archaeologists to accomplish varied ends: establish a time scale, document interconnections between different areas, and suggest what activities were carried out at particular sites. The techniques and theories used to bridge the gap between the recovery of ceramics and their interpretation within anthropological contexts are the focus of this seminar. Registration limited to Archaeology and Egyptology concentrators. Others can enroll with permission of instructor, given on the first day of class. F 3:00-5:20. Instructor: Laurel Bestock.

ARCH 1882  Introduction to Geographic Information Systems for Environmental Applications (GEOL 1320)   [CRN: 16049]
Interested students must register for GEOL 1320.
Introduction to the concepts of geospatial analysis and digital mapping. The principles of spatial data structures, coordinate systems, and database design are covered. Related work in image databases also discussed. Extensive hands-on training in ESRI-based geographic information system software will be provided. Focal point of class is the completion of student-selected research project employing GIS methods. TTh 1:00-2:20. Instructor: Lynn Carlson.

ARCH 1884  Remote Sensing of Earth and Planetary Surfaces (GEOL 1710)   [CRN: 16055]
Interested students must register for GEOL 1710.
Geologic applications of remotely sensed information derived from interaction of electromagnetic radiation (X-ray, gamma-ray, visible, near-IR, mid-IR, radar) with geologic materials. Applications emphasize remote geochemical analyses for both terrestrial and extraterrestrial environments. Several spectroscopy and image processing labs. GEOL 0230, PHYS 0060, or equivalent recommended. TTh 1:00-2:20. Instructor: Ralph E. Milliken.

ARCH 1900  The Archaeology of College Hill   [CRN: 16134]
A training class in field and laboratory techniques.  Topics include the nature of field archaeology, excavation and survey methodologies, archaeological ethics, computer technologies (such as GIS), and site and artifact analysis and conservation.  Students will act as practicing archaeologists through the investigation of local historical and archaeological sites in the College Hill area  (e.g. the First Baptist Church of America and the John Brown House). M 3:00-5:20. Instructor: Andrew Dufton.


Primarily for Graduates

ARCH 2112  Roman Epigraphy (LATN 2120A)   [CRN: 15493]
Interested students must register for LATN 2120A.
A practical introduction to the study of Latin inscriptions, with emphasis on the reading, editing, and interpretation of texts on stone. Class time will be divided between discussion of various categories of texts in the light of the 'epigraphic habit', literacy, and the sociology of reading in antiquity and hands-on experience with editing inscriptions on stone. M 3:00-5:20. Instructor: John Bodel.

ARCH 2410  Archaeologies of Place   [CRN: 16137]
The concept of place, as a site of human practice in and with the material world, has become foregrounded in humanities and social sciences. This course explores how archaeological and ethnographic research addresses material complexities and cultural meanings of places in the broader context of landscapes. We will investigate critical theories of place and landscape, while working with fieldwork data from the ancient Near East. W 3:00-5:20. Instructor: Omur Harmansah.

ARCH 2553   Introduction to Public Humanities (AMST 2650)   [CRN: 15098]
Interested students must register for AMST 2650.
This class, a foundational course for the MA in Public Humanities with preference given to American Studies graduate students, will address the theoretical bases of the public humanities, including topics of history and memory, museums and memorials, the roles of expertise and experience, community cultural development, and material culture. Enrollment limited to 20 graduate students. W 3:00-5:20. Instructor: Steven Lubar.



Spring Term
(Jump to Fall Term)

Primarily for Undergraduates

ARCH 0030  Art in Antiquity: An Introduction   [CRN: 25388]
What went into the creation of the Parthenon? Who lived in the Tower of Babel? Why do we still care? This course offers an introduction to the art, architecture, and material culture of the ancient world. Things of beauty and of power will be explored, from Egyptian pyramids and Near Eastern palaces, to the 'classical' art of Greece and Rome. MWF 12:00-12:50.

ARCH 0033  Past Forward: Discovering Anthropological Archaeology (ANTH 0500)   [CRN: 25479]
Interested students must register for ANTH 0500.
This course offers a broad journey through the human past, from material culture crafted by our evolutionary ancestors to the remnants of the recent historic past. To facilitate this journey, the class explores the methods, concepts, and theories that anthropologists employ in the study of past peoples, places, and things. Case studies stretch across the globe. As a hands-on endeavor, archaeology focuses on tangible evidence. In this course, small-group discussion, laboratory, and field exercises will complement lectures, leading to an understanding of how anthropologists study the past and how that knowledge affects the present. MWF 1:00-1:50. Instructor: Andrew Scherer.

ARCH 0201  Sport in the Ancient Greek World (CLAS 0210 O)   [CRN: 25136]
Interested students must register for CLAS 0210O.
Athletics and sports were as popular and significant in the ancient Greek world as they are today, and so offer an excellent introduction to its archaeology and history. This class will discuss the development of Greek athletics, the nature of individual events, the social implications of athletic professionalism, women and athletics, and the role of sport in Greek education. MWF 2:00-2:50. Instructor: John Cherry.

ARCH 0203  Who Owns the Past? (ANTH 0066D)   [CRN: 24422]
Interested students must register for ANTH 0066D.
Examines the role of the past in the present. Using examples from the U.S. and other parts of the world, we will look at how archaeological evidence is implicated in contemporary cultural and political issues. Students will learn that the past is not just the focus of archaeologists' interest and scientific inquiries, but is also a subject romanticized by antiquarians, mobilized in nation-building, marketed for profit, re-enacted as entertainment, consumed by tourists, and glorified in commemoration. Understanding these different and competing valuations, claims, and uses of the archaeological past will provide an introduction to why the past matters in the present and to the future. Enrollment limited to 20 first year students. FYS. M 3:00-5:20. Instructor: Patricia Rubertone.

ARCH 0520  Roman Archaeology and Art   [CRN: 25378]
Anyone who has ever watched “Gladiator”, “Spartacus”, “Life of Brian”, or “Bugs Bunny: Roman Legion Hare” has some image of Rome, the Romans and their empire.  This course, while exploring and assessing these influential popular preconceptions, introduces a more balanced view of Roman archaeology and art, examining not only the “eternal city” of Rome, but its vast and diverse imperial domain. MWF 11:00-11:50. Instructor: Susan Alcock.

ARCH 0530  Hannibal ad Portas! Fact and Fiction on Carthage and the Punic World   [CRN: 25452]
"Hannibal stands at the gates": Roman parents would terrify their children with these words. And many others have been haunted by Hannibal Barca: the Carthaginian general still fascinates the European imagination, not least his epic trek over the Alps with three dozen elephants. This course explores fact and fiction about Hannibal and his world, holding up historical and mythical records against hard archaeological evidence. MWF 10:00-10:50. Instructor: Peter van Dommelen.


For Undergraduates and Graduates

ARCH 1150  Cities and Urban Space in the Ancient World   [CRN: 25380]
This course investigates ancient cities from a comparative perspective. Using contemporary approaches to cities and the production of urban space, we will explore the cities of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and the Roman Empire with comparisons drawn from regions such as Mesoamerica and China. How were the cities planned in the past and their monumental architecture shaped? How did urban landscapes become layered over time and saturated with shared cultural memories? Enrollment limited to 20. WRIT. TTh 10:30-11:50. Instructor: Omur Harmansah.

ARCH 1155  Cities, Colonies and Global Networks in the Western Mediterranean  
Urban life as we know it in the Mediterranean began in the Iron Age, a period that witnessed the rise of long-distance networks and the foundation of colonies by several Mediterranean powers. What happened when new settlers, visiting traders, and local inhabitants came into direct and unprecedented contact? This course will explore this and other transformations in the West Mediterranean during the first half of the first millennium BC. W 3:00-5:20. Instructor: Peter van Dommelen.

ARCH 1213  The Medieval Monastery (HIAA 1440B)   [CRN: 25134]
Interested students must register for HIAA 1440B.
The seminar examines the medieval and early modern monastery as a research problem. The course examines the development of the monastery, and investigates the religious and functional aspects of monastic architecture. We will explore historical, art historical and archaeological approaches to monasticism. Instructor permission required. Enrollment limited to 20. W 3:00-5:20. Instructor: Sheila Bonde.

ARCH 1214  The Viking Age (HIST 1031)   [CRN: 24188]
Interested students must register for HIST 1031.
For two centuries, Viking marauders struck terror into the hearts of European Christians. Feared as raiders, Norsemen were also traders and explorers who maintained a network of connections that stretched from North America to Baghdad and who developed a complex civilization that was deeply concerned with power and its abuses, the role of law in society, and the corrosive power of violence. This class examines the tensions and transformations within Norse society between AD 750 and 1100 and how people living in the Viking world sought to devise solutions to the challenges that confronted them as their world expanded and changed. MWF 1:00-1:50. Instructor: Jonathan Conant.

ARCH 1437  The Archaeology of Palestine (JUDS 1400)
Interested students must register for JUDS 1400.
Traces the prehistory of Palestine (modern Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan) from its beginnings in the Paleolithic to the end of the Byzantine period. Surveys history of archaeological research in this area, em­phasizing significant excavations and their artifacts. Develops an understanding of the art, architec­ture, and modes of life of humankind from age to age, the changes introduced from one period to an­other, and causes and effects of those changes. T 4:00-6:20. Instructor: Katharina Galor.

ARCH 1606   Imagining the Gods: Myths and Myth-making in Ancient Mesopotamia (AWAS 1100)   [CRN: 25595]
Interested students must register for AWAS 1100.
Creation, the Flood, the Tower of Babel--well-known myths such as these have their origins in ancient Mesopotamia, the land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Using both ancient texts in translatioin and archaeology, this course will explore categories of Mesopotamian culture labeled "myth" and "religion" (roughly 3300-300 BCE), critically examining the ancient evidence as well as various modern interpretations. Topics will include myths of creation and the flood, prophecy and divination, death and the afterlife, ritual, kingship, combat myths and apocalypses, the nature and expression of ancient religious experience, and representations of the divine. MWF 2:00-2:50. Instructor: Matthew Rutz.

ARCH 1635   The Great Heresy: Egypt in the Amarna Age   [CRN: 25451]
At the height of Egypt’s power in the New Kingdom, King Amenhotep IV initiated a religious revolution that affected all aspects of Egyptian high culture. Declaring the sun-disc, Aten, to be the sole god, this king changed his name to Akhenaten and moved the capital city to a new site at Amarna. Along with this move came massive shifts in everything from temple worship to art, international relations to funerary religion. This course will set the Amarna period in its context, examining remains from the reign before Akhenaten to the restoration of traditional Egyptian religion under his immediate successors, including King Tutankhamun. TTh 10:30-11:50. Instructor: Laurel Bestock.

ARCH 1772  The Human Skeleton (ANTH 1720)   [CRN: 24434]
Interested students must register for ANTH 1720-S01.
More than simply a tissue within our bodies, the human skeleton is gateway into narratives of the past--from the evolution of our species to the biography of individual past lives. Through lecture and hands-on laboratory, students will learn the complete anatomy of the human skeleton, with an emphasis on the human skeleton in functional and evolutionary perspective. We will also explore forensic and bioarchaeological approaches to the skeleton. By the course conclusion, students will be able to conduct basic skeletal analysis and will be prepared for more advanced studies of the skeleton from medical, forensic, archaeological, and evolutionary perspectives. Enrollment limited to 20. Not open to first year students. Instructor permission required. MWF 11:00-11:50. Instructor: Andrew Scherer.

ARCH 1810  Under the Tower of Babel: Archaeology, Politics, and Identity in the Modern Middle East   [CRN: 25382]
Present-day political ideologies profoundly impact our understanding of the past. Here we will explore the use and abuse of archaeological pasts in the modern nation states of the Middle East. What do pharaohs mean to modern Egyptians? Why did Saddam Hussein consider himself the last Babylonian king? This course will explore the role of imagined ancient pasts and cultural heritage in the making of collective identities and state ideologies. TTh 2:30-3:50. Instructor: Omur Harmansah.

ARCH 1835  Inventing the Past: Amulets, Heirlooms, Monuments, Landscapes   [CRN: 25381]
Long before archaeology and art-history were academic disciplines, individuals and communities manipulated the physical traces of the past in order to imagine and explain their own antiquity. Who cared about these objects and why? What did pre-modern excavations, catalogues, and collections look like and what do they tell us about our own engagements with antiquities? This course delves into the origins of antiquarianism and archaeology, from pre-history to the Renaissance. TTh 1:00-2:20. Instructor: Felipe Rojas.


Primarily for Graduates

ARCH 2006  Principles of Archaeology (ANTH 2501)   [CRN: 24439]
Interested students must register for ANTH 2501.
Examines theoretical and methodological issues in anthropological archaeology. Attention is given to past concerns, current debates, and future directions of archaeology in the social sciences. F 9:00-11:30. Instructor: Robert Preucel

ARCH 2010B  Approaches to Archaeological Survey in the Old World   [CRN: 25386]
Recent decades have witnessed a marked development of interest in regional approaches to the ancient world and its landscapes. This seminar will explore the history of this development, as well as survey’s impact on the work of both ancient historians and archaeologists. Topics to be covered include survey design and methodology, and the wider implications and lessons of regional analysis. Th 4:00-6:20. Instructor: John Cherry.

ARCH 2335  In the Wake of Empire: Anatolia after the Hittites, before Alexander
Kings Croesus, Midas, and the much lesser known Warpalawas… Who were these people, when and where did they rule, and why does any of this matter? During the first millennium BCE, Anatolia was an astonishingly varied, multicultural and multilingual environment. This course will tackle head on the myriad archaeological, historical, and even linguistic challenges posed by this fascinating, but often-overlooked period in the history of the region. M 3:00-5:20. Instructor: Felipe Rojas.

ARCH 2407  Lived Bodies, Dead Bodies: The Archaeology of Human Remains (ANTH 2560)   [CRN: 24440]
Interested students must register for ANTH 2560.
Bioarchaeology is the study of human remains from archaeological contexts. We will survey the "state of the art" in bioarchaeology, while exploring its relevance and application to the archaeology of complex societies. We will study a range of bioarchaeological methods and applications, including paleopathology, stable isotope analysis, population affinity/ancient DNA, perimortem trauma, and body modification. In turn, we will explore how bioarchaeology can be used to approach a wide range of archaeological problems relative to complex societies, including subsistence, economy, migration, urbanism, social inequality, conflict and warfare, and identity. Open to graduate students only. S/NC. LILE. M 5:30-8:00. Instructor: Andrew Scherer.

ARCH 2501A   Problems in Archaeology: Culture, Contact and Colonialism (ANTH 2500A)   [CRN: 24438]
Interested students must register for ANTH 2500A.
Explores the theoretical discourses shaping anthropological approaches and defining archaeological projects on culture contact and colonialism. Attention will be given to examining colonial encounters between Europeans and indigenous peoples as ongoing processes rather than particular historical moments, and to looking at recent efforts at decolonizing archaeological practice. Th 4:00-6:20. Instructor: Patricia Rubertone.

ARCH 2743  Egyptian Art in New England Museums (EGYT 2900)   [CRN: 24468]
Interested students must register for EGYT 2900.
This seminar will be an in-depth, in-person study of Egyptian art from before the New Kingdom focusing on the entire life-history of Egyptian art in all available media and genres. The course will alternate between meeting in the classroom and meeting in museums. Classroom days will be devoted to discussion of the contexts, meanings, and uses of Egyptian art. Museum days will be devoted to the close observation of that art, and discussion of both its formal properties and the technological processes that were used in its creation. Consideration of conservation and display will also be of paramount importance. Th 1:00-3:50. Instructor: Laurel Bestock.



Additional Resources

You may also visit Banner listings for up-to-date information on courses and room assignments. Check under: Area of Study: "Archaeology and the Ancient World

For a listing of all courses ever taught in Archaeology and the Ancient World or in Old World Archaeology, please visit the "All Courses" page on this website. To browse the wiki pages for recent courses, including syllabi, please visit the JIAAW Classroom Wiki.