Discover archaeological sites, understand relative vs. absolute dating, and more in Course 2


Intro to Archaeology: Archaeology as Science

This course is the second course in the Knowing The Past series. The course covers the scientific methods commonly used by archaeologists in their fieldwork. We will delve into the two main categories of scientific research that archaeologists undertake - excavation and survey. You will learn about standardized excavation procedures, relative dating, and how to study the composition and context of materials to reconstruct past behaviors at archaeological sites. Additionally, we will explore how remote sensing techniques and advanced techniques from the hard sciences can be used to gain a deeper understanding of the past, including absolute dating and paleoanthropology.

Who should attend:

  • Advanced high school, college students, or life-long learners.
  • Anyone interested in how to become an archaeologist.
  • People who are interested in linking theoretical knowledge with hands-on experience, specifically in excavation procedures at archaeological sites and mapping techniques, to gain a more complete understanding of history.
  • People who are passionate about studying the past through historical artifacts and reconstructing past behaviors and cultural landscapes through excavation and survey techniques.

You will be able to:

  • Explain archaeology's role as a scientific discipline and its relationship to other fields of science, including geology and biology.
  • Provide examples of scientific applications in archaeology using correct terminology.
  • Understand case studies in archaeological science.



Professor Molly

Dr. Molly Morgan, Ph.D.

Molly Morgan is an archaeologist investigating the lives of enslaved people who lived and worked at regional plantations including Levi Jordan and Varner-Hogg in order to examine the historical context and legacies of slavery and how it is presented in public history. This work involves public archaeology through engagement with communities and local groups in Texas. She also works toward public history interpretations along with colleagues at the Texas Historical Commission, which manages these historic sites. This work offers experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate students in all parts of the process of archaeological research.

Visiting Archaeologists

Dr. Molly Morgan is joined by world-class archaeologists throughout this specialization. They are (from left to right, starting at the top row) Dr. Mary Prendergast, Dr. Nick Bourgeois, Dr. Jeff Fleisher and Dr. Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo.

Image of the world-class archaeologlists

Explore our related Archaeology Courses

Intro to Archaeology Course Specialization

Intro to Archaeology Specialization (4 Courses)

Intro to Archaeology Course 3

Intro to Archaeology: Archaeology as Reconstruction



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