Department of Archaeology courses provide students with an introduction to a variety of topics in archaeology.

  • B-Soc courses explore how humans historically interacted with the world, considering different social economic, and regional factors.
  • B-Sci courses explore topics including human origins and human interactions with the environment.
  • B-Hum courses explore major art traditions and significant religious and cultural developments around the world.

The following is a list of all designated Breadth course options offered by the Department of Archaeology. No specialized knowledge of archaeology is required to excel in these courses.


Ancient Visual Art

ARCH 301

A selection of major art traditions from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Mesoamerica and South America is explored. Issues of intellectual property rights, copyright and the use of ancient art in contemporary contexts are also addressed. Prerequisite: 45 credit hours. Breadth-Humanities.


Shamans, Sacrifice and Psychedelics

ARCH 226

Charts the emergence and changes in the expression of human religious behavior. It covers the earliest rituals of the Palaeolithic, the importance of fertility cults, ancestor cults, alliance rituals, shamans, witchcraft, and monotheism. Breadth-Humanities/Social Sciences.

Ancient Egypt and Africa

ARCH 252

Exploration of the major cultural developments in Africa from the origin of humankind to the rise of several ancient civilizations, with special emphasis on ancient Egypt. Students are exposed to various approaches taken by palaeoanthropologists, prehistoric archaeologists, historians and Egyptologists. Students with credit for ARCH 200 under this title may not take this course for further credit. Breadth-Humanities/Social Sciences.


Ancient Peoples and Places

ARCH 100

A broad survey of human cultural development from the late Palaeolithic/PalaeoIndian periods (ca 40,000 BP) to the rise of civilization and empires, in both the Old and New Worlds. Breadth-Social Sciences.

Reconstructing the Human Past

ARCH 101

A survey of methods used by archaeologists to discover and interpret the past. Examples will be drawn from selected sites and cultures around the world. Students who have taken ARCH 201 may not enroll in ARCH 101. Breadth-Social Sciences.

Archaeology of the New World

ARCH 273

A survey of prehistoric cultures of North and South America. The peopling of the New World, the rise of the pre-Columbian civilizations of Mexico and Peru, and the cultural adaptations by prehistoric populations to other parts of the New World. Prerequisite: Any one of the following: ARCH 100, ARCH 101, EVSC 100, GEOG 100, or REM 100. Breadth-Social Sciences.


Human Origins

ARCH 131

A non-technical survey of the primate background of humans, fossil primates, and fossil humans, and the associated evidence of cultural development. An introduction to physical anthropology. Breadth-Social Sci/Science.

Special Topics in Archaeology

ARCH 200

An introduction to select topics in archaeology. Prerequisite: 30 units. Breadth-Social Sciences.


Archaeological Science

ARCH 285

Introduces scientific techniques used for archaeological investigations. Prerequisite: 12 units. Quantitative/Breadth-Science.


Archaeology of the Old World


A survey of the major centres of Old World cultural development from the Palaeolithic to the Bronze Age. Basic concepts used in reconstructing prehistoric cultures, and the artifactual and contextual evidence for the development of culture. Prerequisite: ARCH 100, 101, or 201. Writing/Breadth-Social Sci.