IH 220 Readings in Digital Archaeology

Year offered

Course Description

This course examines different subfields in archaeology with a focus on how the introduction of digital developments and methodological advances influences the creation of anthropological archaeology theory. By discussing case studies related to archaeological remote sensing, 3D mapping, automated data analysis, archaeological data provenance, digital bioarchaeology, knowledge representation and visualization, and an array of related convergent practices, this approach-driven course will explore the theoretical and methodological diversity of digital archaeology. In the first part of the course, readings will survey the multiple facets of this field of study and contrast the production of archaeological observations, theory, and data with cross-disciplinary literature on social and spatial dynamics and digital methods. In the second part of the course, you will set clear goals for the completion of your term paper (i.e., area paper or equivalent article-length paper), learn how to manage your time, form the habit of writing every day, and develop the skills you need to write a publishable academic article.

I. Course Goals and Outcomes:

Course Goals: This course is intended to engage Interdisciplinary Humanities graduate students with readings that define the contemporary discourse on digital archaeology and spark discussion on related interdisciplinary theories and methods. An important goal is to ensure that you complete an area paper for your qualifying exam or equivalent writing project such as a journal article in a timely fashion.


After completing this course, students will be able to: 

By the end of the seminar through weekly presentations, in-class discussions, written reflections on readings, and final term paper students will:

  1. Assess the strengths of various Digital Archaeology approaches to the study of space and the past, as well as their connections to the subdisciplines of anthropological archaeology (IH PLO 1).
  2. Identify how Digital Archaeology has generated interdisciplinary scholarly debate and evolved over time (IH PLO 2).
  3. Read relevant Digital Archaeology scholarship proficiently and critically and identify unanswered and/or controversial questions in how digital methods apply to inquiry about the past, space, and human activities (IH PLO 3).
  4. Develop a comprehensive bibliography in a Digital Archaeology subfield of interest to your research and use it as the basis for your final term paper (IH PLOs 4 and 5).
  5. Develop a clear plan in place to finish an area paper for your Qualifying Exam or equivalent article-length paper (IH PLOs 4 and 5).
  6. Give and receive feedback regarding your own and others' work (IH PLO 5).

To support student success coherently across Interdisciplinary Humanities coursework, these CLOs help students to reach the Interdisciplinary Humanities Graduate Program Learning Outcomes (IH PLOs)

Interdisciplinary Humanities Graduate Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Become proficient in selected theories and research methods appropriate to the study of the humanities.
  2. Understand and apply both disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to humanities research.
  3. Achieve domain expertise in a particular disciplinary or interdisciplinary field of the humanities.
  4. Demonstrate proficiency in research, analysis, and critique in the humanities through

exams, papers, and theses.

  1. Display commitment to the research ethics and professional standards of the humanities and to the particular field of expertise.