Wooster students in archaeology experience the whole range of the discipline, from classroom studies to field work and lab research, and finally to the formal presentation of the results in Independent Study and at academic conferences. Archaeology at Wooster is an interdisciplinary program designed to reflect the interrelatedness of participating fields. As they identify unique achievements and recurrent patterns in past societies, Wooster archaeologists draw from: the humanities -- languages, linguistics, art, literature, and religion; history and the social sciences -- anthropology and economics; and the physical sciences -- geology, chemistry, and biology. The program is designed both for majors and those students with an interest in archaeology as a significant, but not a major, emphasis in their liberal education.
Archaeologists research the human past, focusing on evidence from material culture and the natural environment, in ways that often offer insights into contemporary society. Urban life, for example, carries many of the same benefits and drawbacks today that it did for the inhabitants of the Roman Empire. Examining the archaeological record helps uncover the ways that ordinary people organized their lives to cope with a variety of conditions. By showing what changed, and why, archaeology reveals the evolving patterns of human diversity and helps place humanity in its chronological and ecological contexts.
Wooster archaeology students participate in fieldwork, the cornerstone of research. Fieldwork provides the opportunity to apply the concepts and methods of the classroom to real archaeological problems. Recent students have participated in excavations in Connecticut, Texas, and elsewhere in the U.S., as well as Greece, Guatemala, Peru, Great Britain, Cyprus, Italy, and Ireland.
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