ANTH 212: The Archaeology of Death and Burial

Credits 5
Quarter Offered
Distribution List
Academic Elective

This course examines a variety of burial practices found throughout the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean. Students will examine the similarities and differences in various burial practices and related religious beliefs not only across regions but also time periods. This course explores burial practices beginning in Late Neolithic through Early Medieval Period (4000 BCE thru 600 CE). This class may include students from multiple sections. (Elective)


ENGL& 101, ANTH& 204 or ANTH& 206, or instructor permission

  1. Explain a broad-range of archeological approaches, techniques, and theoretical models which are utilized in the excavation, analysis, and interpretation of a variety of evidence left by ancient societies of the Mediterranean, ANE and Europe (c. 4000 thru 600 CE).
  2. Differentiate common burial typologies (cremation, inhumation, pit, urn, tomb, etc.).
  3. Describe the possible relationship(s) between burial practices and the creation of monumental structures.
  4. Explain common features of inhumation burials, such as positioning and the inclusion of grave goods.
  5. Demonstrate the role votive objects played in the veneration of ancestral spirits (found in the post-burial deposits).
  6. Explain the necessity of culturally-sensitive excavation and removal practices involving human remains within the fields of anthropology and archaeology.
  7. Conduct research that utilizes methodologies commonly associated with anthropology and archaeology.