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Arts and Sciences Learning Objectives

Classics & Classical Studies

Archaeology

Overview

Archaeology is the scientific study and interpretation of the material record of past societies. The Archaeology Major at Tufts is an interdisciplinary program that unifies the methods, theories, and practice of archaeology from courses located in the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. For prehistoric societies and cultures lacking textual records, the knowledge derived from the material record is paramount. No less crucially, however, the discipline of archaeology provides an indispensible check and counterbalance to the biases and omissions of the textual records of historic societies. There are many sub-disciplines within archaeology, reflecting the broad temporal and spatial dimension of the human past and the theories, approaches, skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to analyze and interpret the rich material-cultural record of humanity.

Faculty in the program have directed and participated in major archaeological projects in Old and New World Archaeology. The program also has affiliations with several summer field schools and programs in Europe and in Central America. In addition, students in the major have the opportunity to pursue coursework in scientific archaeology through the Center for Materials Research in Archaeology and Ethnology (CMRAE) based at M.I.T., an alliance of Boston-area programs. Students are likewise encouraged to take appropriate course work at the universities affiliated in the Boston Consortium (Boston College, Boston University, Brandeis University).

Learning Outcomes

Students in the Archaeology program will have attained on graduation:

  1. a broad interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding of the material culture of past societies
  2. a critical and comparative understanding of different cultures
  3. a strong understanding of the theories, methods, and approaches appropriate to scientific archaeology and its practice
  4. competency in a particular research area of archaeology achieved through a combination of focused study and fieldwork
  5. fluency in technology: (GIS and GPS), surveying, statistics, LIDAR, ground penetrating radar, and remote sensing
  6. an appreciation of the ethical and cultural heritage dimensions of archaeology

Assessment Practice

These outcomes are evaluated through a combination of the following assessment tools:

  1. essays, oral presentations, research papers, and examinations in courses
  2. capstone experiences (senior thesis, fieldwork, internships, faculty-student research projects)
  3. progressive courses in the major sequence that build on prior knowledge

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