Architectural History 3606/7606
|Campbell Hall 105|
|University of Virginia||Wednesday:4:30-7:00|
|Fall 2011||Fraser D.Neiman|
This course examines current archaeological approaches to the reconstruction and explanation of the ways in which humans at once shaped and adapted to past landscapes. It highlights the roles that linked ecological, economic, and social dynamics play in conditioning trajectories of change in past land use, and the ways in which archaeological evidence can advance our understanding of those processes. It emphasizes current theoretical perspectives, as well as GIS and statistical methods for the analysis of diverse data including artifact scatters, topography, and pollen spectra. The course is structured around two projects in which students will have an opportunity to make sense of real archaeological data from ongoing research into past landscape dynamics at Monticello.
We will begin with a very brief overview of current approaches to landscape archaeology, and then quickly turn to methods for studying settlement patterns, spatial variaton in agricultural land use, and change in agricultural strategies and their ecological consequences. For each of these three topics, we'll look at recent examples from the archaeological literature, consider the appropriate methods for our data from Monticello, and see what we can learn from our applications.
The scientific goal is to advance our understanding of the coupled ecological and social proceses associated with the initial settlement of Piedmont Virginia by Europeans and Africans in the early-eighteenth century and with subsequent agricultural diversification and intensifcation associated with the transition from tobacco to wheat as the export staple. The pedagological goal is to help you build some practical skills in using archaeological models and some simple statistical and GIS methods to make credible inferences about archaeological data and to write clearly and convincingly about the results.
Here's a quick overview of the two projects:
Course Schedule and Reading List
The reading list for the course is available here.
All required reading will be available on Collab and/or on reserve at the Fiske Kimball Fine Arts Library at the A-School. The books on reserve include:
Written work for the course includes the class projects. The project write ups should be about 10 pages of text in length. The class projects are due at the beginning of class on the day specified in the Course Schedule.
Each student will give a short, illustrated (e.g. Powerpoint) talk on one of the three projects to the class. The talk should be 15-20 minutes in length. We will need to make sure that students are distributed across projects evenly.If all else fails, we will resort of randomization!
There will also be occasional short homework assignments (in addition to the reading). These are designed to ensure that you are mastering the analytical and technical skills that you will need to complete the projects successfully.
I expect you to come to class every week, not only having done the reading for that week, but ready to discuss the main ideas and to ask questions about things you did not understand.
I also expect you to hand in assigments on time. I will deduct one letter grade for each day any assignment is late. Plan your work accordingly! In order to do well on the projects you will need to have mastered the reading and the concepts we have covered in class before you start work. Do not expect to be able to catch up on the reading and analytical skills and then do the analysis and write up for a project all in the week before it is due.
Three written class projects: 75%; one project presentation: 10%; Homework: 10%; Participation in class discussion: 5%.
Students in this class are expected to adhere to the College's and University's honor policies. I reserve the right to determine grades, independent of the outcome of any honor investigation.