Director of Undergraduate Studies: Prof. Zoë Crossland, 965 Schermerhorn Extension; 854-7465; firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristina Milnor (Barnard)
Assistant Professors (continued)
Director Museum Studies MA
Archaeology is the study of the material conditions inhabited and acted upon by people in the past and present. Investigation of the past through the study of material remains is entangled with historiography, politics, and individual and collective memory, and is implicated in the production of present-day identities. Archaeology has come to mean many things to different generations of scholars, yet all approaches share in common a focus on the physical remains of the past and on the interpretive acts that enliven these remains and are challenged by them.
At Columbia, archaeology is a multidisciplinary field practiced by faculty and students in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. At present, there are faculty in the departments of anthropology, art history and archaeology, classics, East Asian Languages and Cultures, Historic Preservation, History, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African studies, the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation, the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, all of whom conduct research on prehistory, ancient society, or historical archaeology.
Among locations in which students and faculty are conducting or participating in field programs are Argentina, Peru, Central America, the North American Southwest, New York City, upstate New York, the UK, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Yemen, Israel, Palestine, and Madagascar. Archaeologists at Columbia also work with professionals at a wide range of institutions in New York. Among the institutions at which students in particular programs may conduct research, or work on internships, are the American Museum of Natural History, the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of the City of New York, the National Museum of the American Indian, the New York Botanical Garden, and the South Street Seaport Museum.
For the requirements for departmental honors, please check with the program advisers. Normally no more than 10 percent of the graduating majors in the department each year may receive departmental honors.
Regulations for all Archaeology Majors and Concentrators
It is recommended that archaeology students consider introductory courses in earth and environmental sciences, environmental biology, and/or chemistry for their Core Curriculum science requirement.
For information on upper-level graduate courses and courses in historic preservation, please see the program advisers. Decisions about upper-level, related, or seminar courses that are not on this list and their applicability to the major or concentration in archaeology should be made in consultation with the program advisers.
Students intending to pursue graduate degrees in archaeology should be aware that a reading knowledge of two languages is often required as part of graduate study. Further, although language courses do not count toward the major or concentration, students are encouraged to acquire language training that is relevant to their particular interests in archaeology.
For a Major in Archaeology
The program of study should be be planned as early as possible with the program advisers, preferably before the end of the sophomore year, and no later than the beginning of the junior year. A total of 30 points within the major and 9 points of related courses are required for the major as follows:
- The following introductory course:
- Two upper-level courses from different regions of the world, in addition to three other upper-level courses, planned in consultation with the program advisers.
- Participation of four to six weeks in field projects with which Columbia University is affiliated, or independent study in excavation or other field projects; the school or project must be approved in advance by the program advisers.
- One laboratory course in archaeology or its equivalent in the field, as approved by the program advisers; 3 points.
- A seminar in archaeology, preferably taken in the senior year, to be decided with the advanced approval of the archaeology program adviser.
- Nine points of related courses to be planned with the program advisers in accordance with the student’s interests.
- A senior thesis is recommended for students planning to continue for a graduate degree. Topics should be discussed with a faculty adviser during the junior year, allowing time for planning, research, and travel during the following summer. In the senior year, the student may register for the senior thesis course with their adviser (e.g., ANTH W3997 or AHIS C3997–C3998 ) to cover the writing of the thesis, which must be submitted by March 25.
For a Concentration in Archaeology
The program of study should be planned with the program advisers. A total of 21 points from within anthropology, art history and archaeology, and other approved departments, with no more than four courses being taken within any single department. Requirements for the concentration are as follows:
- Any two of the following courses:
- Also one seminar or colloquium in the Departments of Anthropology, Art History and Archaeology, Classics, or History, as approved by the program advisers
- Three upper-level courses, including at least one from two different regions of the world
- One related course
ACLG V2028y Pasts, Presents & Futures: An Introduction to 21st Century Archaeology 3 pts. Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this course. This course provides a comprehensive introduction to archaeology. We start with a critical overview of the origins of the discipline in the 18th and 19th centuries, and then move on to consider key themes in current archaeological thinking. These include 'time and the past: what is the difference'? What are archaeological sites and how do we 'discover' them? How is the relationship between the living and the dead negotiated through archaeological practice? What are the ethical issues? How do we create narratives from archaeological evidence? Who gets written in and out of these histories? Archaeology in film and media is also covered.