Program in Archaeology

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Program in Archaeology

Archaeology is a new and unfamiliar field for nearly all our students. First-year students take The Survey Course in Archaeology, and our primary objective is to help students understand exactly what archaeology is. Even so, this course gives most students the idea that archaeology is a very difficult subject. The questionnaires that we administer at the end of this course often yield responses such as "It was difficult," or "I didnft understand what you were doing." Simply put, archaeology is the field that studies history in terms of things, and we teach the fundamentals of that approach in the Survey Course in Archaeology. Second-year students follow this up with a course in understanding the materials used in archaeology.

In Practical Methods in Archaeology I, students learn how excavated objects and remnants are classified and turned into "materials" by participating in actual excavation surveys.

In Basic Practical Training, students use their textbooks as the basis for individual reports on the characteristics of archaeological materials (including distribution theory, stratigraphy theory, theories of form), methods for determining age, and excavation methods. This course also includes instruction on how to read scholarly articles and conduct research using reference books.

In Reading Source Materials I, we read original sources in English. Approaches to archaeology differ by country depending on their individual circumstances. Reading about methods of excavation and interpretation of ruins and artifacts in foreign sources often provides hints about methods and concepts for conducting archaeological work in Japan.

In addition, students in the Program take a course called Special Lectures in Archaeology. Hearing lectures from faculty members whose research specializes on specific eras, regions or fields helps students discover their own research topics. Third-year students take an additional Practical Training Course, in which they delve more deeply into the research topics that they discovered in the second year or before. This course requires students to research their own topics individually and to present reports. The objective of this course is to have students pursue in greater depth the new problems they have discovered through preparing and presenting their reports. Practical Methods in Archaeology II and Reading Source Materials II are opportunities for students to gain a deeper understanding of what they learned in the second year. The Special Lectures in Archaeology and the special lectures in other programs are useful for deepening and broadening onefs research topics even further. The curriculum for fourth-year students emphasizes the writing of a graduation thesis. In the Practical Training Course, students research the topics of their graduation theses and make a series of reports about it. After presenting an interim report in the second term, students complete their theses.

Above all, students in the Program in Archaeology should have a sense of curiosity and the ability to act independently to confirm their ideas. The experience they gain here will certainly prove useful to them in the future.