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Introductory Seminars for First-Year Students
The Archaeological Imagination
More than excavating ancient sites and managing collections of old things, archaeology is a way of experiencing the world: imagining past lives through ruins and remains; telling the story of a prehistoric village through the remains of the site and its artifacts; dealing with the return of childhood memories; designing a museum for a community. The archaeological imagination is a creative capacity mobilized when we experience traces and vestiges of the past; when we gather, classify, conserve and restore; when we work with such remains to deliver stories, reconstructions, accounts, explanations, or whatever. This class will explore such a wide archaeological perspective in novels, poetry, fantasy literature, the arts, movies, online gaming, and through some key debates in contemporary archaeology about human origins, the spread of urban life, and the rise and fall of ancient empires.