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ANTH 470. Theory in Archaeology. 3 Credits.

Theory doesn't always get the best rap. It has a reputation for being dry and distanced from the 'real world'. But theory isn't something we can do without. Any statement about what happened in the past depends on theory. Even apparently trivial activities like drawing a stratigraphic profile or cataloguing artifacts rely on theoretical concepts, though these are often taken for granted. This is because theory is how we make sense of the world. It provides a framework for understanding, a basis for asking new questions, and a guide for how data should be collected and arranged. Because theory isn't optional, it needs to be critically and carefully thought out. In this course, we'll do just that by examining in detail how theory (a) helps us to define what archaeology as a field consists of, (b) provides a vision of human culture, social relations, and long-term change, and, (c) determines appropriate methods for excavating and interpreting archaeological remains. May be repeated. {Also offered for graduate credit - see ANTH 670.}.