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Last updated:

December 9, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

Unlimited Duration


This class introduces the multidisciplinary nature of archaeology, both in theory and practice.

Lectures provide a comparative examination of the origins of agriculture and the rise of early civilizations in the ancient Near East and Mesoamerica. The laboratory sessions provide practical experience in aspects of archaeological field methods and analytical techniques including the examination of stone, ceramic, and metal artifacts and bone materials. Lab sessions have occasional problem sets which are completed outside of class

Course Curriculum

    • Introductory Remarks – Overview and Class and Lab Logistics Unlimited
    • Archaeology: Nature and Goals; Historical Development as a Discipline Unlimited
    • Becoming Human: Early Hominids and the Earliest Technology Unlimited
    • Becoming Human: Early Humans and Emerging Cultural Behavior Unlimited
    • Theoretical Perspectives; Unlimited
    • Origins and Expansion of Agriculture and Pastoralism in the Near East Context Unlimited
    • The Earliest Stages of Urbanization: Ubaid and Eridu Unlimited
    • Urbanization and City States Unlimited
    • Peopling of The Americas Unlimited
    • Plant and Animal Domestication and the Emergence of Settled Village Life: Tehuacan and Oaxaca Unlimited
    • The Emergence of the Olmec and Early Lowland Civilization – La Venta Unlimited
    • The Maya: The Rise of Tropical Rain Forest City-states Unlimited

About the instructor

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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