2014-2015

Archaeology Program

The study of archaeology provides students with a unique opportunity to analyze ancient cultures from an interdisciplinary perspective. The interpretation of archaeological data requires a solid understanding of the variety of methods used for the study of material culture as well as a familiarity with those disciplines essential for understanding the development of human culture. Thus, the archaeology program provides students with a broad overview of the current state of archaeological research around the world, while at the same time encouraging students to specialize in specific methodologies, geographical regions and/or periods (for example, Archaeology of the Americas or of the Eastern Mediterranean, or Environmental Archaeology). The program seeks to emphasize the practical and intellectual value of archaeology as a means for better understanding our ancient past, as well as shedding light on our present circumstances and our prospects for the future by tracing the development of human culture and the interactions between various civilizations and the natural environment. Because of its interdisciplinary nature, archaeology is a quintessential Liberal Arts major that requires students to integrate their understanding of the natural and social sciences, the arts, and the humanities.

The archaeology major is designed both to teach students standard excavation and recording techniques, and to encourage the study of anthropology, art history, classical studies, earth sciences, history, religious studies, statistics, and a variety of other related fields. Students are also strongly advised to study one or more ancient or modern languages related to their geographical area of interest. For example, students of Syro-Palestinean or classical archaeology are well advised to study Hebrew, Greek, and/or Latin, in addition to French and/or German, that is, the languages in which much of the essential secondary literature is written. Finally, Archaeology majors are encouraged to take advantage of the many opportunities for travel and foreign study offered by Willamette programs around the world, but especially in places that offer coursework and/or fieldwork in local archaeology.

Willamette University's Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology (CASA), established in 2007, provides archaeology students with significant resources including grants to fund field experiences or museum internships at Willamette’s Hallie Ford Museum of Art. In concert with CASA, the Salem Society of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), also located at Willamette University, offers a dynamic annual lecture series that enables students to interact with internationally renowned archaeologists on a formal and informal basis. The Willamette University Archaeology Field School at the Ness of Brodgar in the Orkney Islands of Scotland provides an amazing opportunity for intensive, on-site training in archaeological methods and techniques.

Requirements for the Archaeology Major (12 credits)

The Willamette University Archaeology Field School at the Ness of Brodgar in the Orkney Islands of Scotland provides an amazing opportunity for intensive, on-site training in archaeological methods and technique.

Common Core (5 courses)

  • ARCH 237W (4th Sem Lang) Introduction to Syro-Palestinian Archaeology 
  • ARCH 337W Archaeological Methodology 
  • ERTH 121 (NW; QA) Earth System Science
  • ERTH 351W Archaeological Geology 
  • ERTH 333 (QA) Geographic Information Systems 

Statistics Requirement (1 course from the following)

Field Experience (1 course from the following)

  • ARCH 355 Archaeology Field School
  • ARCH 394 Internship in Archaeological Studies

Senior Year Experience (1 course from the following)

  • ARCH 498 Advanced Archaeology Field School 
  • ARCH 499 Archaeology Senior Experience Project 

Electives (4 courses)

Students are encouraged to develop a chronological, regional or methodological focus among their electives. Listed below are approved electives, divided into three emphases designed to offer students depth as well as breadth in their archaeological studies. Students are free to design an individual course of study with the assistance of the student’s major advisor. The student’s major advisor can also approve additional electives not listed below. Such electives may be relevant transfer courses, relevant courses from approved study abroad programs, or other Willamette courses related to the student’s regional or methodological focus.

Archaeology of the Americas Emphasis

  • ANTH 231 (TH, US) Native North American Cultures
  • ANTH 235 Cultures of Mexico and Ecuador
  • ANTH 303 Museum Studies Seminar

Eastern Mediterranean Emphasis

  • ARTH 270 (TH; 4th Sem Lang) Roman Art and Architecture 
  • ARTH 271 (IT; 4th Sem Lang) Greek Art and Architecture 
  • CLAS 250W (TH; 4th Sem Lang) Greeks, Romans and Barbarians
  • HIST 231 (TH) Greek History From Homer to Alexander
  • HIST 233 (TH) Asian Empires on the Silk Road
  • HIST 251 (TH) Rome: From Republic to Empire
  • IDS 351W Culture of Ancient Greece 
  • REL 341 Religions of the Ancient World

Environmental Archaeology Emphasis

Open Electives

  • ANTH 150 (US) Controversies and Issues in Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 351 (AR) Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights and the Environment
  • ARCH 390 Independent Study
  • REL 116 (IT) Introduction to Major Religious Texts

Requirements for the Archaeology Minor (6 credits)

Common Core (4 courses)

  • ARCH 237W (4th Sem Lang) Introduction to Syro-Palestinian Archaeology
  • ARCH 337W Archaeological Methodology 
  • ERTH 121 (NW; QA) Earth System Science
  • ERTH 351W Archaeological Geology 

Electives (2 courses from the following)

  • ANTH 150 (US) Controversies and Issues in Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 231 (TH, US) Native North American Cultures
  • ANTH 303 Museum Studies Seminar
  • ANTH 351 (AR) Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights and the Environment 
  • ARCH 355 Archaeology Field School
  • ARCH 394 Internship in Archaeological Studies 
  • ARCH 390 Independent Study
  • ARTH 270 (TH; 4th Sem Lang) Roman Art and Architecture 
  • ARTH 271 (IT; 4th Sem Lang) Greek Art and Architecture 
  • BIOL 246 Human Anatomy 
  • BIOL 255 General Ecology 
  • CHEM 230 Environmental Chemistry
  • CLAS 250W (TH) Greeks, Romans and Barbarians 
  • ERTH 333 (QA) Geographic Information Systems
  • HIST 231 (TH) Greek History From Homer to Alexander
  • HIST 233 (TH) Asian Empires on the Silk Road
  • HIST 251 (TH) Rome: From Republic to Empire 
  • IDS 351W Culture of Ancient Greece 
  • REL 116 (IT) Introduction to Major Religious Texts
  • REL 341 Religions of the Ancient World

Indicators of Achievement

The Student Learning Outcomes of the Archaeology Program include

  1. Broad Overview of the Current State of Archaeological Research Around the World (i.e., archaeological literacy, as evidenced by the acquisition of basic geographical, cultural, and historical data)
  2. Familiarity with Disciplines Essential for Understanding the Development of Human Culture (as evidenced by the acquisition of appropriate critical terminology as well as the acquisition of basic disciplinary tools of analysis)
  3. Understanding the Variety of Methods used for the Study of Material Culture (as evidenced by the development of interpretive skills or hermeneutic practice)
  4. Integration of Understanding of the Natural and Social Sciences, the Arts, and the Humanities (as evidenced by the ability to engage meaningfully in an interdisciplinary scholarly dialogue, i.e., metacriticism)
  5. Specialization in a Specific Methodology, Geographic Region, and/or Period (as evidenced by the acquisition of appropriate research tools for in depth analysis in a specific area of interest)
  6. Archaeological Writing (as evidenced by the application of methodologies and interpretive tools in arguing a thesis)

Faculty

  • Ann M. Nicgorski, Professor of Art History and Archaeology; Co-Chair, Archaeology Program
  • David McCreery, Professor of Religious Studies and Archaeology
  • Scott Pike, Associate Professor of Geology and Archaeology; Co-Chair, Archaeology Program

Course Listings

ARCH 237W (4th Sem Lang) Introduction to Syro-Palestinian Archaeology (1)

An introduction to the history and current directions of archaeological research in the Holy Land, concentrating on modern Jordan, Israel and Syria. Particular emphasis will be placed on the relationship between archaeological research and biblical studies. This course is a prerequisite for ARCH 337W Archaeological Methodology.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered; Fourth Semester Language Requirement
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: McCreery

ARCH 337W Archaeological Methodology (1)

An overview of the current state of archaeological research in the Middle East, concentrating on the techniques used in surveys, excavations and the interpretation of archaeological material. The course is designed to introduce students to the more technical side of archaeological research and provide the background needed for participation in a middle eastern archaeological field project.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered
  • Prerequisite: ARCH 237W
  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: McCreery

ARCH 355 Archaeology Field School (1)

This four- to six-week summer archaeology field school provides intensive, on-site training in the archaeological methods and techniques in conjunction with the Ness of Brodgar archaeology project, a joint project led by the Orkney Research Center for Archaeology, Orkney College, and Willamette University. The Ness of Brodgar sites is a Neolithic ceremonial complex situated on a thin promontory between two lakes and the megalithic stone circles of the Ring of Brodgar and Stones of Stenness. The excavation emphasizes a holistic approach to archaeological inquiry. As such, in addition to daily instruction on excavation theory, technique and recovery, course lectures and fieldwork will emphasize a variety of topics including topographical and geophysical survey techniques, stratigraphy, ceramic typology, geomorphology, paleobotany, and the archaeology of the Orkney Islands. Visits to regional archaeological sites and museums will provide a broad cultural and historical background of the archaeology of the region.

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Pike

ARCH 390 Independent Study (variable credits)

This course provides an opportunity to conduct a major research project which cannot be satisfied through any existing course in the major’s curriculum. The project must be supervised by a Willamette faculty member. Proposed projects must be submitted to the Archaeology Program Coordinator and must be approved by the Archaeology Program’s core faculty.

  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Staff

ARCH 394 Internship in Archaeological Studies (1)

This course is designed to promote student involvement in the community and to create opportunities for students to conduct archaeological investigations. The faculty-supervised internships will provide students with opportunities to interpret archaeological data within a professional context. Interns will be placed in organizations utilizing archaeological skills in academic or non-academic settings including government agencies, cultural resource management firms, non-profit organizations, tribal governments and museums. Interns are expected to work 12 hours a week, meet regularly with the instructor and write a final research paper that concerns some aspect of the material culture that was processed during the internship.

  • Offering On demand
  • Instructor: Staff

ARCH 498 Advanced Archaeology Field School (1)

This four-to six-week course offers advanced training in archaeological field techniques, theory and recording. Students may participate in either the Ness of Brodgar excavation or another archaeological excavation. Students will work closely with senior excavation staff to coordinate, manage and supervise excavations and/or survey teams. Students are responsible for the daily upkeep of field books, recording logs, section drawings, and data entry. Students will develop and write summaries for each context they oversee. In many instances, participants will work alongside first-year field archaeology students and assists in the training of basic field techniques and methodology. Students will be required to keep a journal of their experience and write a substantial research paper relating their excavation to an important and relevant archaeological question. Students must consult with their advisor before enrolling in the Advanced Archaeology Field School.

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Pike

ARCH 499 Archaeology Senior Experience Project (1)

This capstone course provides students with the framework to design, collect data, interpret and compose an independent senior research thesis. Each student will consult with his or her thesis advisor to develop a suitable research topic, methodology and timetable to effectively carryout the research goals. At the end of the semester students will complete their thesis and deliver a public presentation of their work.

  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Staff

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