The undergraduate concentration in Archaeology and the Ancient World provides students with an opportunity to explore the multi-faceted discipline of archaeology, and encourages an interdisciplinary approach to engaging with the ancient world. While the core focus of Archaeology and the Ancient World at Brown University is archaeology and art of the ancient Mediterranean, Egypt, and the Near East, this concentration encourages students to reach beyond this geographic area, to engage with Brown’s many strengths in history, epigraphy, art, ethics, engineering, religious studies, and the sciences – to name just a few.

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. All three tracks begin with the same foundation. Students are then expected to experiment with and define their own areas of specialty, establishing expertise in topics such as cultural heritage, archaeological theory, or materials analysis, or in particular regions or time periods.  The concentration is also designed to allow students to build progressively upon what they have learned, moving from introductory courses to upper-level seminars.  

It is expected that, in completing the requirements for this concentration, students will incorporate courses that offer new perspectives on the complex dynamics of social inequity, exclusion, and difference, and which encourage engagement with the community – both by enrolling in classes designated as Diverse Perspectives in Liberal Learning (DPLL) and through non-DPLL classes that explore similar themes.  Research opportunities, through summer fieldwork, internships, museum experience, or independent study projects, are strongly encouraged.

Within this concentration, the three tracks are:

  • Archaeology and the Ancient World: the most flexible of the concentration tracks, allowing students to explore any region or time period, and to develop their own areas of focus, such as museum studies, ethics and politics of the past, engineering and materials analysis, cultural heritage, or environmental studies.
  • Classical Archaeology: for those interested chiefly in the ‘classic’ civilizations of the Mediterranean (especially Greece and Rome), as well as for those interested in both earlier (prehistoric) and later (medieval) periods in that geographic region.
  • Egyptian and Near Eastern Archaeology: for those interested chiefly in the cultures of Egypt and the ancient ‘Near East’ – Anatolia, the Levant, Mesopotamia – from prehistoric through Islamic times.

If you have questions about the concentration, after reviewing the information on this page, please contact Sarah Sharpe, who can also offer advice on whether specific courses may help to fulfill the concentration requirements.


Required Courses:

*Note: All formally cross-listed courses, regardless of home department, can be considered ARCH courses and can fulfill the relevant concentration requirement(s).  There is no limit on the number of cross-listed courses that can count toward the completion of a concentration.  Also, students who are doing a double concentration are allowed up to two courses that are also counted toward (i.e., overlap with) their second concentration to fulfill Archaeology concentration requirements.


Archaeology and the Ancient World:
(Concentration Declaration Form Code: ARAN)

The student must take a total of 10 courses, including:

Two introductory courses providing an overview of archaeology’s two central aspects: field methodologies, and art history:

1) One introductory course in archaeological methodology and/or scientific approaches (preferably, ARCH 0100 Field Archaeology in the Ancient World; but also ARCH 1900 The Archaeology of College Hill, ANTH 0500 Past Forward: Discovering Anthropological Archaeology, or other appropriate courses with advisor permission).

2) One introductory course in ancient art history (preferably, ARCH 0030 Art in Antiquity: An Introduction; but also ARCH 0150 Introduction to Egyptian Archaeology and Art, ARCH 0520 Roman Art and Architecture, or appropriate other courses with advisor permission).

Two introductory courses in the core geographical focus of the Joukowsky Institute: Classical/Mediterranean archaeology and Egyptian/Near Eastern archaeology:

3)  One introductory ARCH course in Egyptian or Near Eastern archaeology, art, and/or architecture (e.g., ARCH 0152 Egyptomania: Mystery of the Sphinx and Other Secrets of Ancient Egypt, or ARCH 0360 East Meets West: Archaeology of Anatolia).

4)  One introductory ARCH course in Classical or Mediterranean­ archaeology, art, and/or architecture (e.g., ARCH 0270 Troy Rocks! Archaeology of an Epic, or ARCH 0420 Archaeologies of the Greek Past).

Two courses, of any level, that reach beyond the Institute’s core region, to other parts of the world and other theoretical or methodological topics:

5)  One ARCH course, of any level, that focuses on a part of the world OTHER than Mediterranean, Egyptian, or Near Eastern (e.g., ARCH 0160 Buried History, Hidden Wonders: Discovering East Asian Archaeology or ANTH 0066U An Archaeology of Native American Art).

6)  One ARCH course, of any level, that focuses on a particular thematic or theoretical topic pertaining to archaeology (e.g., ARCH 0315 Heritage In and Out of Context, or ARCH 1800 Contemporary Issues in Archaeological Theory).

The remaining four required courses are deliberately flexible, in order to allow students to explore a particular archaeological interest, region, or theme in more depth.  Students are encouraged to use these upper-level courses to define a particular core specialty or track, such as a focus on archaeological theory, museum studies, archaeological ethics, materials analysis, cultural heritage, or climate change, as a just a few of the many possible examples:

7-8)  Two additional ARCH courses, on any aspect of archaeology and art, at the 1000 level (or above) (e.g., ARCH 1550 Who Owns the Classical Past?, or ANTH 1720 The Human Skeleton).

9-10)  Two non-ARCH courses which EITHER relate to the study of the ancient world OR to the discipline of archaeology. Outside courses are chosen with the approval of the Concentration Advisor from appropriate 1000 level (or above) offerings in other departments such as, but not limited to: Anthropology, Classics, Egyptology and Assyriology, Environmental Studies, Geological Sciences, History, History of Art and Architecture, Religious Studies. One term of language study, in any relevant (usually ancient) language, may also be counted toward this requirement.


Classical Archaeology:
(Concentration Declaration Form Code: ARAN, Track Code: CLSS)

The student must take a total of 10 courses, including:

Two introductory courses providing an overview of archaeology’s two central aspects: field methodologies, and art history:

1)  One introductory course in archaeological methodology and/or scientific approaches (preferably, ARCH 0100 Field Archaeology in the Ancient World; but also ARCH 1900 The Archaeology of College Hill, ANTH 0500 Past Forward: Discovering Anthropological Archaeology, or other appropriate courses with advisor permission).

2)  One introductory course in ancient art history (preferably, ARCH 0030 Art in Antiquity: An Introduction; but also ARCH 0150 Introduction to Egyptian Archaeology and Art, ARCH 0520 Roman Art and Architecture, or other appropriate courses with advisor permission).

Two introductory courses in the core geographical focus of the Joukowsky Institute: Classical/Mediterranean archaeology and Egyptian/Near Eastern archaeology:

3)  One introductory ARCH course in Egyptian or Near Eastern archaeology, art, and/or architecture (e.g., ARCH 0152 Egyptomania: Mystery of the Sphinx and Other Secrets of Ancient Egypt, or ARCH 0360 East Meets West: Archaeology of Anatolia).

4)  One introductory ARCH course in Classical or Mediterranean­ archaeology, art, and/or architecture (e.g., ARCH 0270 Troy Rocks! Archaeology of an Epic, or ARCH 0420 Archaeologies of the Greek Past).

One course, of any level, that reaches beyond the Institute’s core region, to other parts of the world and other theoretical or methodological topics:

5)  One ARCH course, of any level, that focuses on a part of the world OTHER than Mediterranean, Egyptian, or Near Eastern (e.g., ARCH 0160 Buried History, Hidden Wonders: Discovering East Asian Archaeology or ANTH 0066U An Archaeology of Native American Art) OR focuses on a particular thematic topic pertaining to archaeology (e.g., ARCH 0315 Heritage In and Out of Context, or ANTH 1720 The Human Skeleton).

The remaining five required courses are intended to encourage students to explore an aspect or region of Classical archaeology in more depth:

6)  One course in ancient Greek or Roman history (such as CLAS 1210, CLAS 1220, CLAS 1310, CLAS 1320).

7)  One course in either Ancient Greek or Latin, at a level beyond the first year of study (such as GREK 0300, GREK 0400, LATN 0300, or LATN 0400).

8-9)  Two courses in Mediterranean (prehistoric, Greek, Roman, medieval) archaeology and art, at the 1000 level (or above).

10)  One non-ARCH course which EITHER relates to the study of the ancient world OR to the discipline of archaeology. Outside courses are chosen with the approval of the Concentration Advisor from appropriate 1000 level (or above) offerings in other departments such as, but not limited to: Anthropology, Classics, Egyptology and Assyriology, Environmental Studies, Geological Sciences, History, History of Art and Architecture, Religious Studies.


Egyptian and Near Eastern Archaeology:
(Concentration Declaration Form Code: ARAN, Track Code: EGAS)

The student must take a total of 10 courses, including:

Two introductory courses providing an overview of archaeology’s two central aspects: field methodologies, and art history:

1)  One introductory course in archaeological methodology and/or scientific approaches (preferably, ARCH 0100 Field Archaeology in the Ancient World; but also ARCH 1900 The Archaeology of College Hill, ANTH 0500 Past Forward: Discovering Anthropological Archaeology, or other appropriate courses with advisor permission).

2)  One introductory course in ancient art history (preferably, ARCH 0030 Art in Antiquity: An Introduction; but also ARCH 0150 Introduction to Egyptian Archaeology and Art, ARCH 0520 Roman Art and Architecture, or other appropriate courses with advisor permission).

Two introductory courses in the core geographical focus of the Joukowsky Institute: Classical/Mediterranean archaeology and Egyptian/Near Eastern archaeology:

3)  One introductory ARCH course in Egyptian or Near Eastern archaeology, art, and/or architecture (e.g., ARCH 0152 Egyptomania: Mystery of the Sphinx and Other Secrets of Ancient Egypt, or ARCH 0360 East Meets West: Archaeology of Anatolia).

4)  One introductory ARCH course in Classical or Mediterranean­ archaeology, art, and/or architecture (e.g., ARCH 0270 Troy Rocks! Archaeology of an Epic, or ARCH 0420 Archaeologies of the Greek Past).

One course, of any level, that reaches beyond the Institute’s core region, to other parts of the world and other theoretical or methodological topics:

5)  One ARCH course, of any level, that focuses on a part of the world OTHER than Mediterranean, Egyptian, or Near Eastern (e.g., ARCH 0160 Buried History, Hidden Wonders: Discovering East Asian Archaeology or ANTH 0066U An Archaeology of Native American Art) OR focuses on a particular thematic topic pertaining to archaeology (e.g., ARCH 0315 Heritage In and Out of Context, or ARCH 1800 Contemporary Issues in Archaeological Theory).

The remaining five required courses are intended to encourage students to explore an aspect or region of Egyptian/Near Eastern archaeology in more depth:

6-7)  Two courses in Egyptian and Near Eastern archaeology and art at the 1000 level (or above).

8-9)  Two terms of course work in a pertinent ancient language (such as Akkadian, Coptic, Classical Hebrew, Middle Egyptian).

10)  One non-ARCH course which EITHER relates to the study of the ancient world OR to the discipline of archaeology. Outside courses are chosen with the approval of JIAAW's Assistant Director from appropriate 1000 level (or above) offerings in other departments such as, but not limited to: Anthropology, Classics, Egyptology and Assyriology, Environmental Studies, Geological Sciences, History, History of Art and Architecture, Religious Studies.

Fieldwork, Study Abroad, and Capstone Experiences

Students are strongly encouraged to consider participating in a field project, most typically after sophomore or junior year.  JIAAW's Assistant Director and faculty members can provide suggestions about how to explore and fund possible field projects. For each of the tracks, a capstone experience may be substituted for one of these required courses. With the permission of JIAAW's Assistant Director, up to three successfully completed courses, from relevant and accredited study abroad programs, may be counted towards the concentration requirements.  Field school courses that provide formal university transfer credit, and official transcripts, may also be used to fulfill concentration requirements.

Transfer Credit for Fieldwork or Study Abroad

In certain cases, it may be possible for undergraduate students to receive transfer credit for fieldwork experience or courses taken at other universities, in the United States and abroad. For more information, reference the section of the Registrar's website regarding transfer credit for study elsewhere and the Office of International Programs' website on Credit Transfer Policies and on the Process for Credit Transfer.

Generally, to receive a full credit for fieldwork, students must participate daily in a project sponsored by a college or university for a minimum of four weeks. Upon their return to Brown, students must complete the Transfer Credit Approval form, and meet with JIAAW's Assistant Director to discuss whether it would be appropriate to assign credit for an equivalent course at Brown.


Double Concentration

Students who are doing a double concentration are allowed only two courses from their second concentration to fulfill Archaeology and the Ancient World concentration requirements.


Honors Concentrations

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 JIAAW's Assistant Director and faculty members 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

The Honors thesis is an extended essay, usually of between 40 and 60 pages in length, researched and written under the supervision of a faculty advisor and second reader during the senior year (during which the student must be enrolled in ARCH 1970 in the Fall and ARCH 1990 in the Spring semester).

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.

A preliminary title and one page outline of the proposed Honors thesis is due to JIAAW's Assistant Director and the thesis advisor by May 15th of the junior year.

The deadlines for thesis drafts, and for final thesis submission, will be agreed between the student and the faculty advisors. It is expected that students will have submitted at least one full chapter by the end of the student's penultimate semester. The deadline for final thesis submission typically should be on or before April 15th, and must be no later than the first day of Reading Period in the final semester of senior year.  Both a bound and an electronic version of the final thesis must be submitted to the Joukowsky Institute by May 1, via email to [email protected].

The completed thesis will be evaluated by the advisor and second reader, who will discuss its strengths and weaknesses in a joint meeting with the student; they will then make a recommendation concerning Honors, and also agree a grade for ARCH 1990.

The Honors concentrators will be asked to make a short public presentation about their work; this event will be organized by Sarah Sharpe, and usually occurs during or shortly after Reading Period.

Evaluation

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.


How to Declare a Concentration

We would recommend that all students who are considering concentrating in Archaeology and the Ancient World meet with Sarah Sharpe.

New concentrators should declare their concentration by filling out the online declaration form in ASK. The form can be accessed via the "Concentrations" tab at ask.brown.edu. All students declare a concentration no later than the middle of their fourth semester, before pre-registering for semester five (usually spring semester of sophomore year).
 

Preparation for Graduate Work in Archaeology

Any student interested in relevant graduate study should speak to the Director of Undergraduate Studies 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 both ancient and modern languages, which students should begin work on as early as possible. This website's pages on Life After Graduating from Brown with an Archaeology Degree may also be helpful.

 

Click here to see previous concentration requirements.

(Revisions Approved by CCC as of January 2017)