Apr 21, 2018  

Archaeology Concentration

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Faculty:  Ruth Beeston (chemistry), Helen Cho (anthropology), Bradley Johnson (environmental studies), Peter Krentz (classics), Jeanne Neumann (classics), Bill Ringle (anthropology), Darian Totten (classics), and Michael Toumazou (classics)

The Archaeology Concentration provides students with a coherent, interdisciplinary introduction to the study of the human past through material remains. The scope of modern archaeology extends from the remains of the earliest humans to the detritus of industrial societies. Archaeology treats many of the most important milestones in human prehistory (approximately 99% of the human past): our physical evolution into Homo sapiens sapiens, the invention of food production, and the rise of social stratification and complex societies. Its concerns include human biology and ecology, ancient health and foodways, political organization, ritual and religion, production and exchange, art and ideology. In short, archaeology covers the origins of nearly all the topics now subdivided among the disciplines of the liberal arts. Archaeology has its own history, its own changing methodologies, and its own ethical issues, including who owns the archaeological record and who should interpret it.

The Archaeology Concentration introduces students to how archaeologists reason. It requires exposure to some of the many disciplines that contribute to archaeological projects: architecture, art history, biology, botany, chemistry, epigraphy, geology, history, skeletal anatomy, zoology, and others. It includes a hands-on experience, either in the field, a museum, or a lab.


Six courses, including at least two at the 300-level or above, distributed as indicated below. No more than three of these courses may be in one department, and no more than two of the courses that constitute the student’s major may count toward the concentration.

4. Course or independent study

A course or independent study based on an approved field school, museum internship, or lab research project.  If the program does not carry regular college credit, the student must sign up for an independent study with one of the faculty participating in the archaeology concentration and submit a substantial paper (details to be worked out with the faculty member).  Davidson College regularly offers one summer field school: CLA 344 - Field School in Mediterranean Archaeology.  Archaeology faculty can help students find other appropriate opportunities.  In extraordinary circumstances, the student may petition the working group to satisfy this requirement with an independent study.

Additional Information

Concentrators must achieve a grade of “C” or higher in all courses applied toward the concentration.

Students interested in archaeology are strongly encouraged to become student members of the Central Carolinas chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America (#333).

Application Procedure

A student must submit a written application to Peter Krentz, coordinator of the Archaeology Advisory Committee, by the beginning of the spring semester of the junior year. The application will specify the courses to be used to satisfy the concentration requirements. (Note: Some courses in the concentration are offered in alternate years—plan ahead!) Please submit your application as a .doc or .docx file attached to an email to pekrentz@davidson.edu .


The Registrar will certify completion of all requirements for the concentration upon the recommendation of the Archaeology Advisory Committee.


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