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Digging Wonderful Things: An Introduction to Archaeology

Teacher: Megan Willmes

Putting together the history of the past is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle of a million pieces. Only, this piece is missing and these pieces have been carted away to a private collection and still more are simply islands without corner pieces to connect them to the whole confusing puzzle. Archaeology is the recovery, study, and careful interpretation of history’s jigsaw, the slow reclaiming from the earth of past cultures. 

In this course, we will be examining the process of how archaeologists find the pieces of the historical puzzle and how those pieces fit within our understanding of history. We will cover a range of topics, from excavation methods and archaeological science to the discussion around ownership of archaeological remains. Students will have a chance to conduct their own miniature excavation, curate a virtual museum exhibit, and analyze an artifact using techniques learned in class. By engaging with a variety of subjects, including chemistry, law, history, and GIS systems, students will have a firm understanding of archaeological methods and archaeology’s relevance to current understandings of who we are and where we come from.

Class will be virtual (online live) with two in-person labs to  be held outside with social distancing and masks in Springfield, VA. There will also be the option of doing the labs virtually, if desired.

Material fee: $10 supply fee 

Prerequisite: Basic Chemistry knowledge (atom, parts of an atom, reactions, ions)

Instructor: Megan W

Minimum enrollment requirement: 4

Course Length: 50 mins per week /16 weeks / semester

Cost: $120 + $10 supply fee = $130 per semester

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