Mission Statement

Dartmouth Archaeology Working Group

Archaeology, as the material study of the human past, occupies a unique position at the intersection of humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Through excavation and research archaeologists reconstruct the story of the development of human culture, the domestication of plants and animals, and the emergence of the first cities, states, and empires.  Archaeology offers a perspective on human societies and history that complements written records. Biological and physical sciences contribute to archaeological reconstruction of long-term human interactions with the environment, social sciences help to understand daily life in ancient societies and the groups and institutions humans create, and humanities offer interpretive perspectives on art, architecture, and beliefs that serve as a valuable counterpoint to written narratives of the past.

Dartmouth faculty interests in archaeology and the human past span all divisions of the Arts and Sciences. Their research includes fieldwork in Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, North, South, and Central America, and the undergraduate curriculum is correspondingly global in scope. Since 2012, the Dartmouth Archaeology Working Group has collaborated to facilitate and enhance interdisciplinary exchange and collaborations between faculty and offer relevant courses for undergraduates within Dartmouth’s liberal arts curriculum.

The group’s goals include:

1. Promotion of a sustained conversation across departments and programs, through faculty presentations, student-directed events, and special events such as guest speakers or field trips.

2. Encouraging and organizing collegial connections to enhance faculty and student research, by developing on-campus training opportunities, promotion of collaborative work, and assistance to undergraduates to find field schools and other off-campus opportunities.

3. Development of a resource for students that compiles current courses pertaining to archaeology—on the web, and eventually in the College’s course catalog (the ORC).  This resource will provide guidance about curriculum, fieldwork and research opportunities, and advising. Creating this resource represents an important step toward a larger objective of developing an interdisciplinary minor and new courses.

4. Formulating and formally proposing an interdisciplinary minor in Archaeology and identifying a core group of courses, both old and new, that will satisfy the minor’s requirements.