Archaeology of the Intangible

Course Number:  EDU 5627 C13 (Graduate)
Instructor: Dr. Christy McDonnell
Location: Rutland, VT
Dates and Times: July 30 to August 3, 2018 from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Credits: 3 credits
Tuition: $925

Note: Course payment or purchase order of $925, payable to RRWIB, is due at the time of registration. A purchase order number can be entered into the online registration form. Credit card payments can also be made online. Please mail check to the Castleton Center for Schools, PO Box 6049, Rutland, VT 05701.

Course Description

In this course students will be introduced to variation in the products of human behavior (including artifacts, written texts, monumental architecture and other creative expressions) and ways to interpret these cultural products. This particular course uses the field of archaeology to fulfill this goal. We will examine the appearance of modern Homo sapiens up to and including the rise of the first great civilizations of the Old and New Worlds. We will study the material culture (portable objects, representational art, architecture, monuments, and culturally-modified landscapes). This material culture forms a story or text about the past, and this text is a reflection of those of us who have ever lived- because we all helped to write it.

Audience: K-12 Educators

Course Goals & Objectives

Goals

  • To understand that human beings make sense of the world (and their place in it) by giving it meaning in many different ways;
  • To appreciate the relationship between people and the material things they produce in turn, shape the way that people think and behave.
  • To recognize that archaeology not only produces objective knowledge of the past but at the same time that it conducts a dialogue with the present.

I will cast a broad net across time and space for our case studies in this study of human cultures. The course material will include the caves of Lascaux up into the pyramids and murals in Egypt & Mexico and over to the funerary art of Terracotta warriors of China. The New England region will focus on the wampum production of Pequots, Mohegans and Narraghansetts and the Fur Trade using primary documents with an emphasis on ethnohistory. The aim of the course is to give you a survey of variation in how humans have creatively reflected upon and expressed their place in the world. In so doing, it aims to expand your understanding of what it means to be human.

Objectives

  • Discuss the significance of the variability in material culture and the stories about the past that have links into contemporary society.
  • Develop and collaborate on lesson plans coordinated with lectures, in-class exercises and group participation in hands-on archaeological activities. 
  • Present lesson plans to cohorts in the class at the end of the class.
  • Examine how research thought drives the application of ideas

Other Information Not Listed Above

Course Schedule

INTRODUCTION TO THE COURSE

July 30 

  • 8:30-12:00 MAJOR THEMES AND BIG IDEA
    Hands-on: Mapping Exercise
    Hands-on: Laying Out A 1 x 1 meter Square
    READING: Chapter 1 Fagan
  • 1:00-4:30 Culture & Cosmology
    Objects and Meaning
    Video: The Mind’s Big Bang (YouTube)
    Hands-on: Skulls & Stone Tools

ARCHAEOLOGY AND CAVE LIFE

July 31

  • The Human Cultural Evolution
    8:30-12:00 LASCAUVX & CHAVET
    Video: Ancient Astronomers
    Lesson PlanDiscussion
  • ARCHAEOLOGY OF TELLS
    1:00-4:30 Settled Social Life & Refuse
    CATALHOYUK
    Video: “Iraq: The Cradle of Civilization” (YouTube)
    Hands-on: Stratigraphy Exercise

LAND, POWER AND ANCESTORS

August 1

  • STONEHENGE
    8:30-12:00 Video: “Secrets of Stonehenge” (YouTube)
    TERRA COTTA WARRIORS (210-209 BC Xi’an China)
    Lesson Plan Discussion
    Archaeology of Pueblos
  • 1:00-4:30 CHACO CANYON & The American Southwest
    Monumental Architecture of the Great House
    Video: “The Mystery of Chaco Canyon” (National Geographic)

MOUNDS & EASTERN NORTH AMERICA

August 2

  • 8:30-12:00 CAHOKIA
    Video: “Cahokia: America’s Lost City (YouTube)
    PYRAMIDS IN ANCIENT EGYPT
  • 1:00-4:30 GIZA, SAQQARA AND VALLEY OF THE KINGS
    Video: The Pyramid Code (Netflix) or Egypt the Habit of Civilization (YouTube)or The Great Pyramid of Egypt (YouTube)
    PYRAMIDS IN MEXICO

August 3

  • 8:30-12:00 MAYA & AZTECS
    Video: Lost Treasures of the Maya Snake Kings
    Hands-on: Shells, Soils and Grinding Corn (mano & metate)
  • NEW ENGLAND & WAMPUM PRODUCTION
    1:00-4:30 PEQUOTS, MOHEGANS & NARRAGANSETTS
    Ethnohistory (Keith Basso) & Primary Documents
    New England Stone Walls Discussion for Lesson Plans
    Wampum Production & Pequot War
    Treaty of Hartford & Genocide
    Lesson Plan Discussion

Required Texts

Costs, if any, for required texts are not included in the course tuition.

Fagan, Brian 1998 From Black Land to Fifth Sun. Helix Books.

Supplemental readings will be available for each theme and these more recent publications will dovetail with Fagan’s central points.

For additional course information

Christy McDonnell
(802) 855-1142

For additional registration information

Bethany Sprague
(802) 468-1325

Register online now!