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Master of Science Anthropology

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Graduate Anthropology Courses

A minimum of 36 graduate hours must be completed in order to earn a Master of Science degree. Department courses include:

This seminar-based course is designed to introduce students to major theoretical contributions and schools of thought in archaeology. The course covers both the history of theoretical developments in North American archaeology and the theoretical landscape of the modern disciplinary discourse. Students will be required to conduct heavy reading and to participate in and lead discussion sessions organized around a particular historical or modern theoretical school. As a seminar-based course, students are required to make major contributions to the flow of discussion and information during class. 3 credit hours

Internships are field placements designed to immerse students in an applied anthropology or archeology setting. They help merge classroom theory with practice and contribute to student growth and career exploration by exposing them to methods and experiences that are not available in an academic setting. Students are supervised by a professional at the internship site as well as by a faculty member. Internship opportunities are variable and are typically customized to student interests and needs.

Molecular Anthropology introduces students to human genetic variation from an evolutionary perspective. Specifically, this course will focus on familiarizing students with the fact that the human evolutionary past is the key to understanding human biological variation in the present. Molecular Anthropology will focus on some of the major anthropological questions and issues that are currently being investigated using genetic data, including historical, medical and forensic applications of genetic diversity, as well as the theoretical concepts, behavioral models and population statistics required of such analyses. 3 credit hours

The archeology of gender is one component of modern ‘processual-plus’ archeology that has gained a large following among researchers worldwide. Consistent with the multi-vocal orientation of modern archeological practice, gender studies in archeology originate from a variety of theoretical perspectives and research goals. This course is designed to introduce students to this broad literature and situate the development of ‘gender archeology’ both theoretically and historically. The course is a seminar format where students are asked to directly engage the literature on this subject.

This course is designed as an introduction to the body from a feminist anthropological perspective. Course content examines the Western ideological presumption that the body can be defined within a realm called “nature” that exists apart from social and historically constituting processes. Through exploration of myriad ways that the human body has been socially and historically constructed, we will examine the dialectical relationships between the production of bodily knowledge and the material conditions of bodily existence.

Historical archeology (or post-Medieval archeology) is the study of the modern world from ca. A.D. 1500 to the present. In North America this time period generally coincides with the discovery and colonization of North America by European powers. Spanning the 16th through the 20th centuries, this course covers the archeology of Spanish America, early Colonial archeology, 18th through 20th century rural and urban archeology, antebellum plantation archeology and the African American experience, industrial archeology, maritime archeology, public archeology, and the archeology of landscapes and memory. Through a combination of hands-on lab activities and lectures, students develop historical artifact identification skills and methods of analyzing and interpreting artifact distributions. Weekend field trips are required.

This course focuses on the analysis of human teeth. It studies in detail dental development, morphology, evolution, function and pathology. Students learn how to identify all human teeth regardless of their state of preservation and understand the important role teeth play in the determination of age, sex, ancestry, diet and disease. It is appropriate for any student interested in the analysis of ancient human remains. 3 credit hours

Bioarchaeology is an intenstive survey of how ancient human remains are studied. Students are exposed to numerous theoretical and analytical approaches to ancient skeletal analysis, as well as the history of bioarchaeology. Issues include: constructing a biological profile, basic and advanced skeletal analysis, interdisciplinary study, ethics and repatriation. 3 credit hours

This course provides a broad introduction to the use of the theories and methods of the Earth sciences to answer archaeological research questions. Students will be introduced to a variety of topics including soil morphology, paleoeconomic geology, geomorphology and archaeological site formation processes. This is a project-based course, meaning that evaluations will be based on students’ abilities to ask and answer research questions using the critical thinking and technical skills developed in the class. Students will be encouraged to engage in on-going faculty research project(s) that will provide a foundation for future study and active involvement in the professional research community. Weekend field trips may be required. 4 credit hours

This course introduces students to sediments, soils and soil formation processes. Students will become familiar with the USDA soil classification system and the USDA’s online Web Soil Survey. Soil field identification and mapping techniques will be taught and students will learn how to identify and interpret archaeological sediments and soils. This is a project-based course, meaning that evaluations will be based on students’ abilities to ask and answer research questions using the critical thinking and technical skills developed in the class. Students will be encouraged to engage in on-going faculty research project(s) that will provide a foundation for future study and active involvement in the professional research community. Weekend field trips may be required. 3 credit hours

Human osteology is the study of the human skeleton. Students learn how to identify and analyze complete and fragmented human remains at gross and microscopic levels. Analytical topics include determination of age, sex and ancestry; paleopathology; skeletal measurements; and understanding activity patterns as indicated by the bone. Students also contribute to the analysis of skeletons housed in the Indiana Prehistory Laboratory. 4 credit hours

Although considerably diverse at the scale of the microregion, from a macroscalar perspective cultures in eastern North America are characterized by similar technologies, adaptive strategies, and political organizations throughout the approximately 14,000 years Native peoples occupied the area prior to European contact. Designed as an advanced discussion course, the Archeology of Eastern North America uses lectures to briefly introduce the nature of these changes throughout each of three major temporal divisions. Students then engage one another in class discussions and writing assignments concerning a broad range of topics (e.g., gender, mobility, material culture) about each temporal division. Readings of primary sources from the professional archaeological literature structure these discussions.

This course focuses on the various ways in which humans dispose of their dead. It is both lecture and discussion oriented and addresses the relationships between burial patterns and means of social organization, diet, health, status, etc. It provides a broad survey of global burial practices and incorporates archaeological theory. Prerequisite: ANTH 501 Seminar in Theory of Archaeology.

An introduction to the tools and techniques of processing archaeological artifacts and reporting the results. Various skills include classifying, analyzing and cataloging materials; photography, cartography and line drawing; and preservation and conservation. 4 credit hours

This course is designed to help students pull together the theoretical, methodological and statistical concepts they have learned over their MS tenure to help transition from being a student to being a practicing scientists. They engage in substantive discussion and draft a significant paper at the end of the semester. It is usually taken in the second year of the program. 3 credit hours; Prerequisite: ANTH 501 Seminar in Theory of Archaeology

Work focuses on advanced techniques for site location, exploration, excavation and first-hand analysis. Some projects require extended periods of group living and/or camping off campus. One credit hour is awarded per week of work (usually one day off per week). Prerequisite: undergraduate field archaeology experience. 1 to 6 credit hours

Special Topics courses include directed readings and small group discussions on a focused topic of interest. Students may receive credit more than once for these courses if a different topic is covered each time. 1-4 credit hours

Concentrating on color photography, the course covers films, equipment and camera operation; controlling and calculating for light and focus; lighting, magnification, filters and color enrichment; advanced techniques, including outdoor, travel and aerial photography; image analysis; and problem solving. Students must have some photographic topic, theme, or project in mind that they will design and execute during the semester in consultation with the professor. 3 credit hours

Students pursue a focused program of readings under the direction of the instructor. Topics are tailored to the interests and needs of the student. Requires permission of advisor. 1 to 4 credit hours

This course gives students an opportunity to develop and write their proposal for their MS thesis project. It is usually taken in the student’s second year of study. Graded S/U; 1-3 credit hours

This course gives students an opportunity to write their MS thesis project. It is usually taken in the student’s second year of study. Graded S/U;1-3 credit hours

This course gives students an extra semester to write their MS thesis project. Permission from the student’s thesis advisor is required to take this course. Graded S/U;.5 credit hours

In addition to Department of Anthropology courses, Anthropology master’s students may choose from courses offered in the Department of Physics & Earth-Space Sciences and Department of Mathematical Sciences, as appropriate.