Geoarchaeology uses geologic methods and principles to enhance interpretations of the archaeological record, focusing on such issues as geochronology and stratigraphic succession, processes of deposition and diagenesis, paleoenvironmental reconstruction and landscape evolution. Designed for students with shared interests in geology and archaeology, the concentration builds on the common histories and research domains of these fields.
A concentration in geoarchaeology consists of 10 units of credit taken from the existing curricula of the Anthropology and Geosciences departments. Required courses include: Archaeology 106 and Principles of Geoscience (Geolosciences 103 to 122); Archaeology 325; two courses from Archaeology 243, 245 or 249; Geosciences 211 or 222; two courses from Geosciences 220, 236 or 290; Geoarchaeology 360; and Geoarchaeology 500-501. Concentrators must fulfill their senior project requirement through satisfactory completion of 500-501. Honors will be awarded on the basis of excellence in coursework and a superior Senior Project.
Students are encouraged to take one or both field courses (Archaeology 280 and Geosciences 265). Students considering careers in geoarchaeology or related fields should take additional courses in biology, chemistry and other sciences.
360S Quaternary Geochronology.
Examines the development and application of dating techniques that are appropriate over the last five million years, including dendrochronology, 210Pb, radiocarbon, Uranium-series, paleomagnetic, thermoluminescence and cosmogenic surface exposure dating. Examples drawn from geologic and archaeological contexts that are important to climate change and hominid evolution. Field trips. Prerequisite, Geosciences 211, 222 or consent of instructor. One-half credit.
500F-501S Senior Project.
A two-term course during which concentrators pursue an independent project and give a public presentation of their results. Proposals for projects must be accepted in the spring semester of the student’s junior year. 501 may not be taken as a separate course. One course credit for 500 and one-half credit for 501. The Program.
(from the Hamilton Course Catalogue)