5 x 8-hour workshops per semester
Enrolment not permitted
1 of ARCH3002, ARCH3105 has been successfully completed
Topic description

This topic introduces students to aspects of the human settlement of North America from earliest occupation until European contact ca 1492. Issues covered include evidence for the first occupation of the continent, extinction of megafauna, hunter-gatherer lifeways, the origins of agriculture and settled lifeways, social complexity, social-cultural diversity, and disease and past health. The archaeological records of pre-contact cultures from all parts of the continent will be used as case studies for examining various subjects, including cultural change and adaptation, subsistence, technology and the emergence of various social systems.

Educational aims
This topic aims to:

  • address the major methods and approaches used in pre-contact North American archaeology

  • give a chronological overview of the pre-contact history of North America

  • address the impacts of European contact on the lifeways of Native North Americans

  • develop critical responses to theory and evidence
Expected learning outcomes
As well as gaining an overview of pre-contact North American archaeology, students will gain a better understanding of the ways in which archaeological data are used to support various theories.

On completion of this topic students will have:

  • demonstrated familiarity with the major methods used in Native American archaeology

  • obtained a chronological overview of pre-contact North America

  • enhanced their critical thinking skills

  • developed their awareness of the ethical dimensions of problems and issues associated with the practice of archaeology in North America

  • developed some of the skills that are important at university and in the workplace, such as communication skills and independent research