An introduction to the major guiding anthropological and archaeological concepts of the relationships between human societies, culture and the natural world. The course will include lectures, readings and discussions on ecological concepts and processes, landscape sustainability, climate change and adaptations, human perceptions and symbolization of their environments, political ecology, and human impacts on the environment.
Aims of the course
To provide students of Environmental Archaeology with an overview of current theoretical debates on the study of humans and their environments.
- A familiarity with case studies which illustrate current issues in the study of human/environmental relations.
- an understanding of how to generate problem-driven research as they use the technical skills of geoarchaeology, archaeobotany and faunal analysis that they will also acquire in this MSc degree.
Learning Objectives and Outcomes
- Critical analysis of theoretical arguments
- Understanding of how to conduct meaningful and explanation-based research into the relationships between humans and their environments.
- Comprehension of terminology and the basic principles of ecology as they relate to human societies.
- Written and oral skills in analysis and presentation
- Application of acquired knowledge to new situations
- Verbal discussion skills
The course is taught through seminars and lectures. Responsibilities for leading discussion of the readings will be rotated among class participants. There will be occasional lectures to offer background on theoretical issues and particular methodological topics. Each student will pick one topic from Sessions 4 – 10 (to be determined in the first class meeting). The student responsible for that particular topic will distribute a reading list of additional references in the session before his/her session. In the student’s chosen session, the student will introduce the topic and lead the discussion with the help of the course instructors. This process provides essential practice for self-guided research and finding larger bodies of research relevant to the topic.