Archaeology of Complex Societies
The archaeological component of the Ph.D. program focuses on the emergence, spread, and organization of complex societies. From an archaeological perspective, complex societies are the consequence of the transformation from hunting and harvesting to food production, from an economy that moves people to food to one that moves food to people. The social, political, and economic effects of this transformation produced social orders classified by archaeologists as chiefdoms, kingdoms or early states. At the time of contact with Europeans, chiefdoms were found in the Southeastern U.S., and the Caribbean, kingdoms and early states in Mexico and Central America. Our archaeology interests center on North America (primarily the Southeastern U.S.) and Mesoamerica, two areas of the New World where ancient complex societies evolved.
It is anticipated that the student will have applied to our program with the intention of working with a specific advisor. It is expected that the relationship with the advisor will be one of mentorship as the student moves toward a mastery of the craft of original research and publication and gains familiarity with the role of a colleague.
Required courses for the Ph.D. program are as follows: ANT 601 Advanced Research Design; ANT 603 Theory and Method in Archaeology; and, ANT 604 Seminar in the Archaeology of Complex Societies. Additional coursework is elective and supports the student’s specific area of research interest. A reading facility in one foreign language appropriate to the research topic must be demonstrated, either by successful completion of two semesters of foreign language course work or by examination.
The degree requires that applicants experience substantial archaeological fieldwork, consistent with the traditional emphasis in Americanist anthropology. There are no specific requirements concerning the duration of such field work, though it is expected to last from 3 to 12 months.
Persons admitted to the Ph.D. program are guaranteed a minimum of two years of funding.