CLAS-140/HIST-140 Archaeology of Death and Burial

This course offers an introduction to the universal human experiences of death, dying and burial, as expressed in the art, archaeology and texts of civilizations from across the globe. Deliberate burials, to an archaeologist, are evidence of some form of religious belief, an expression of respect for the individual or, more controversially, belief in life after death. Topics covered may include mortuary architecture, aspects of social organization, required rituals, social memory, identity, and the effects of war or plague. Possible areas of focus will be Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Central and South America, and the Mediterranean.