A message from Falecia Williams, President, West Campus
Archaeology is the study of human behavior and cultures through the analysis of material and physical remains. Carmen Laguer Diaz, adjunct professor of anthropology, teaches students this through what is called experimental archaeology. With hands-on activities, students seek to replicate various tasks performed in ancient times.
The students make stone tools, otherwise known as flintknapping, and have the opportunity to learn about the tool-making industry and the different ways in which stone tools were made. Students also work with source material commonly found in different types of archaeological sites, for example, Florida chert and obsidian (volcanic glass common in the Southwest U.S. and Central America).
Additionally, students get a chance to show off their hunting skills by using a variety of spear throwers, called atlatl. They get to see the efficiency of using a spear thrower, versus only using different types of spears.
Finally, students set up an excavation unit. Although they do not dig at all in this activity, they can discuss issues of sampling and the importance of digging square holes. Setting up the excavation unit is an important first step in maintaining the units uniform throughout an excavation, and students go through the spatial analysis process required to do so.
This activity is done at least once a year for the classes ANT2140: Intro to Archaeology and ANT2000: Introductory Anthropology on West Campus.
Archaeology Day for this semester is tentatively set for Thursday, March 24, 2016, between 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. For more information, please contact Carmen at email@example.com.