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- Interdisciplinary Study
Archaeology is an interdepartmental program that introduces students to the analysis of archaeological materials, archaeological theory, and the results of archaeological research in prehistoric and early historic periods in the Old and New Worlds. Archaeology studies human societies through examinations of their material culture (physical remains), considering such issues as human subsistence, interaction with climate and physical environment, patterns of settlement, political and economic organization, and religious activity and thought. Students in the major will have the opportunity to examine and conduct research on materials stored in the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum, which consists of a diverse and extensive assemblage of artifacts from ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Palestine, and Mesoamerica.
Overview of the Undergraduate Curriculum
Students take three core courses in archaeology and a foundational anthropology course. Six additional courses in regionally specific archaeology and/or advanced methodology/theory are also required. Significant archaeological field experience is a core component of the major as well, as is a three-course interdisciplinary series relating to the student’s interest (for example, a student interested in Greek archaeology could enroll in Greek history or language courses; a student interested in gender and archaeology could enroll in courses related to gender studies outside of archaeology).
Senior archaeology majors have the option of writing an honors thesis under the supervision of a faculty member. Successful completion of the thesis will result in the conferring of a B.A. with honors.
MeaganYoung ’12, an archaeology and civil engineering double major, recently proposed a new theory for the destruction of a fifth-century BCE temple. Rather than a casualty of war, Young used her interdisciplinary background to argue that the temple fell due to a natural disaster.
Fieldwork is required by the archaeology major, and undergraduate students regularly accompany faculty on archaeological digs. Johns Hopkins faculty are currently involved with two ongoing sites, one in Egypt and one in Syria. Students also have the opportunity to intern at the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum.
Students who study abroad may also have the opportunity to intern in the country where they choose to study. Lindsey Kent ’12 interned at the Mausoleum of Augustus excavation in Rome, Italy while she studied abroad. As part of her internship she excavated the tomb of Augustus Caesar, the first emperor of Rome, and analyzed pottery and ancient artifacts dating back to the first century BCE.
Archaeology majors have studied abroad in Italy, Spain, and Israel, and have conducted summer archaeological fieldwork in Bulgaria, Kenya, Israel, Spain, Egypt, and England. The two archaeological sites affiliated with Johns Hopkins faculty—one in Luxor, Egypt , the other in Tell Umm el-Marra, Syria—are also popular options.