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Archaeology Group Programs and Courses

This is a list of programs, courses and course descriptions that will be of interest to URI archaeology students.




Underwater Archaeology Minor

MA History: Archaeology & Anthropology Option


Please consult the URI catalog for a more info on courses being offered this semester. This master list (like the catalog list) is divided by department.


APG 202: Introduction to Archaeology. Prof. Kris Bovy
In this course you will learn to combine archaeological methods with knowledge of diverse prehistoric cultures to investigate some of the most significant aspects of our deep past, including the evolution of humans, the emergence of agriculture, and the development of the earliest urban civilizations.

APG 310: Topics in Anthropology: -Frontier Anthropology. Prof. Alicia Caporaso
This course concerns anthropological and archaeological approaches to the study of frontier, boundary, and border processes including: cultural contact, commerce, conflict, transportation, colonialism, and ethnogenesis. We will discuss the evolution of frontier theory, issues of multi-use and contested landscapes, and patterns of social change on geographical and allegorical cultural margins through archaeology, history, and modern discourse. Examples will include: The North American fur trade, the American “west”, the Roman hinterland, the growth of maritime and railroad transportation, among others.

APG 310: Topics in Anthropology-Anthropology of the Vikings. Prof. Michele Smith)This course will explore the culture of the Vikings in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic. We will examine the social implications of these Northern people, their expansion, and their impacts on others in Europe and North America. What were the social and geographical ramifications of Viking exploration, trade, and warfare? Were the Vikings raiders, pirates, warriors, traders, or craftsmen? How was Scandinavian society organized in its homelands? We will use archaeological data, the written record of the Icelandic sagas, Viking art, and other sources of information to explore the Vikings’ daily life, their economy, dress, gender, social and political organization, religion, death and burial. The course will terminate by looking at the Viking presence in the Americas, the site of L’Anse-aux- Meadows in Newfoundland and their involvement in the High Arctic as well as the Antiquarian interest in Viking monuments and relics in Eastern North America and New England in the early to mid 20th century.

APG 310: Topics in Anthropology – COASTAL ARCHAEOLOGY – Humans have lived along coastlines for at least 150,000 years, developing specialized technology and social systems to adapt to these environments. Coastal environments provide both unique opportunities and challenges for the inhabitants and for the archaeologists who study them. Coastal peoples have access to a rich variety of resources, but often face environmental stress and natural disasters (as evidenced by the recent tsunamis and hurricanes). Coastal and wetland archaeological sites are often exceptionally preserved, but may be difficult and costly to investigate, and are threatened by construction and future sea level rise associated with global warming. This course will explore a variety of issues and controversies in coastal “prehistory” (the period of time before the invention of writing), and will focus primarily on the archaeology of the Americas and Oceania.

APG 417: Archaeological Method & Theory . Prof. Kris Bovy
This class is an introduction to the theories, methods, and techniques used by archaeologists. We will discuss how and why archaeologists do what they do, using examples from North America and around the world. The course is divided into three main units: theoretical perspectives, methods/ techniques, and contemporary issues in American archaeology.

APG/ARH 465: Seminar in Cultural Heritage. Prof. Kris Bovy
This class is a cross listed seminar .

This class is one third vase painting, one third painted tombs (of several locations) and one third Roman houses. In each case there will be a heavy dose of historiography and modes of analysis.


HIS 111 HISTORY OF ANCIENT GREECE AND ROME – An introductory survey of the political and cultural history of Greece and Rome from the Bronze Age to the death of Nero (c.3000 BCE – 69 CE). Reading for this course will be primarily from modern textbooks, but students will be introduced to some of the ancient literature and archaeological evidence that forms the foundation of our understanding of the Classical World.

HIS 303 THE ROMAN EMPIRE – An exploration of the history, institutions, and culture of the Roman Empire at its height, from the accession of the first emperor Augustus through to the increasingly chaotic times of the third century. Topics include women, slavery, sexuality, masculinity, science, philosophy, and religion, city life, gladiators, Romanization, resistance, economic life and poverty, and the life and times of the Roman emperors. Reading for this course will be primarily drawn from ancient texts, and archaeological evidence will frequently be introduced where it illuminates particular historical themes and controversies.
HIS 506 SEMINAR IN EUROPEAN HISTORY: ROMAN IMPERIALISM – will introduce students to classical historiography and the advanced study of topics in ancient history, using both textual and archaeological evidence. We will focus on Rome’s interaction with her neighbors in Italy and the Mediterranean World. A central theme of the course will be the question of how and why Rome obtained an empire in Italy and beyond. How we are to understand the concept of ‘Roman imperialism’? Themes addressed include colonization, Romanization, assimilation and resistance, frontier studies, the economics and ideology of Roman imperialism, and the consequences of empire for Rome and Italy.

LET 151 ARCHAEOLOGY FRONTIERS – a team taught course introducing and studying archaeology from a variety of perspectives
(based on the expertise and interests of the course instructors)

PHL 215 KNOWLEDGE AND INQUIRY – focuses on the relationship between knowledge and the scientific process, using examples from a wide variety of disciplines, including physics, biology and medicine, psychology, astronomy, and archaeology. Prof Krieger.

PHL 453 SEMINAR IN PHILOSOPHY OF SOCIAL SCIENCE – Examination of philosophical problems raised by contemporary social sciences, with special attention on issues relevent to psychology, anthropology, sociology, economics, history, and archaeology. Issues may include: the meaning of scientific knowledge, the nature of understanding of other persons and cultures, the relation of theory and practice. Prof. Krieger.

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