Introduction to Archaeology

This one-semester course is intended as an engaging and practical survey of the field of archeology. The course is structured into lessons and Course Activities as follows:

  • The first lesson discusses archaeology as a field of study.
  • The next lesson discusses the history and evolution of modern archaeology, and how modern archaeology differs from traditional archaeology.
  • The next two lessons describe what career options are available in archaeology in the United States, the qualifications and certifications required to get into those careers, and familiarize you with the different types of archaeology. 
  • The next three lessons familiarize you with the techniques and methods used in archaeology, which include research techniques used in archaeological projects, types of archaeological evidence, the importance of identifying material evidence, and methods used for identifying and surveying archaeological sites.
  • The next two lessons discuss the work involved in archaeological site excavation, such as various excavation techniques, application of geological principles, methods of recovering artifacts, methods of recording archaeological finds, and identifying age of artifacts with dating techniques.
  • The next two lessons familiarize you with ways of preserving and storing archaeological finds, such as long-term conservation treatment for artifacts, ways to preserve artifacts while transporting them from archaeological sites, and different storage requirements in different environments.
  • The next lesson discusses the role of archaeology in the indigenous cultures in the United States and steps taken to improve relationships with native cultures. The next lesson familiarizes you with the methods archaeologists use to share archaeological findings with people, ethical and practical considerations in public archaeology, and outreach programs used in archaeology.
  • The last lesson familiarizes you with the ways of protecting archaeological sites from vandalism and illegal trade, such as using site management strategies and voluntary strategies, empowering local communities, and using federal government laws.