Ancient Tech: The Archaeology of Revolutionary Inventions
9 units (3-0-6) | third term
Technology has influenced our lives for over 3 million years - ever since human ancestors crafted the first stone tools. In this class we will investigate ancient inventions that transformed human societies. Using archaeological methods, theory, and evidence we will reconstruct past technologies and their social consequences. We will evaluate why and how similar technologies arose independently in different cultural contexts. The class will focus on inventions in four realms: 1) stone, bone and metal weaponry, 2) writing and other record keeping systems like the Inka khipu, 3) land transformation and agriculture, and 4) transportation including networks like the Silk Road. Throughout the term, students will work on an anthropological research project of their choice. Not offered 2021-2022.