ARC 110 — Science in Archaeology
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Jan 12—Mar 2
Time: 7:00—9:05 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jan 14
Instructor(s): Patrick Hunt
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Registration opens Nov 29, 8:30 am (PT)
Archaeology should be quantitative as well as qualitative. If we are capable of listening carefully, artifacts can tell us surprisingly detailed stories about their age, where they’re from, the precise material of their composition, the technology behind them, and at times, even how they were transported or buried, based on traces they carry. Scientific analyses can greatly enhance the process of solving the kind of problems encountered along the way in piecing together these often fascinating stories. Chemistry, physics, geology, biology, and botany, along with material science, are only a few of the scientific disciplines applied to archaeological research using analytical methods. For example, knowing the underlying geology and soil chemistry of a site could reveal much about the state of preservation of buried objects, along with the general climate and susceptibility of objects to weathering, oxidation, deterioration, and other vulnerabilities in diverse scenarios. Knowing which analytical tools are applicable to different situations is also relevant. This course will explore some of the current processes in scientific archaeology with real case examples.
Patrick Hunt is the author of twenty-four books and a lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America. He explores junctions between many intersecting areas of interest across the broader humanities, sciences, and the arts. He received a PhD from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. Hunt is an elected Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorers Club, and he is an explorer and expeditions expert for National Geographic. His Alps research has been sponsored by the National Geographic Expeditions Council. He is the author of Hannibal, Ten Discoveries That Rewrote History, Alpine Archaaelogy, and When Empires Clash: Twelve Great Battles in Antiquity.
Former Director, Stanford Alpine Archaeology Project; Research Associate, Archeoethnobotany, Institute of EthnoMedicine
Textbooks for this course:
There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.