North American Prehistory: A Survey (ARC2111)

15 credits

This module will introduce you to a summary of North American prehistory from the first immigrants at the end of the Ice Age to contact with Europeans at the end of the fifteenth century. After a general continent-wide survey in which basic cultural developments are identified, you will focus your attention on the South-west as a case study. You will consider the social and political changes involved in the change from early settled villages to the emergence of complex societies.  You will look at different interpretations of the cultural changes which have resulted in the modern Native Americans living in the region today. South-western societies include some of the earliest big game hunters, hunter-gatherers, and settled horticulturists. Its research has been a major contributor to the development of archaeological method and theory, in part due to the excellent preservation of the arid environment.