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3.986 The Human Past: Introduction to Archaeology, Fall 2006

Cave painting with intricate geometric patterns.

A Chumash cave painting in Santa Barbara County, California.
(Photo courtesy of Gyrus.)

Highlights of this Course

This course features an extensive list of readings, plus summaries of key terms, concepts and characters in the lecture notes section.

Course Description

This class introduces the multidisciplinary nature of archaeology, both in theory and practice. Lectures provide a comparative examination of the origins of agriculture and the rise of early civilizations in the ancient Near East and Mesoamerica. The laboratory sessions provide practical experience in aspects of archaeological field methods and analytical techniques including the examination of stone, ceramic, and metal artifacts and bone materials. Lab sessions have occasional problem sets which are completed outside of class.


Dr. Harry Merrick

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1 hour / session

One session / week
1 hour / session

One session / week
2 hours / session



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