LAS 324L • COLONIAL LATIN AMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGY
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
This course will focus on the Spanish colonies in Latin America, developing three general topics during the course of the semester: 1) how the daily lives of colonizers, indigenous people, and African slaves engaged with imperial power and affected historical events; 2) the methodological importance and challenges of combining material and historical evidence in studying the past; 3) acculturation, syncretism, and other explanations of social and cultural change in the past. Rather than focusing on Latin America as a unitary or homogeneous culture, we will study different regions and sites to learn from the variation encountered within the Spanish empire in what we know today as Latin America. We will begin in the Caribbean, examining historical events, and aspects of daily life and colonial administration, religious conversion, and demography. We will then focus on Mexico and Central America, examining the same issues, and finally on South America. To complete the course successfully, students must be able to compare and contrast patterns and historical developments in different regions. This is an archaeology course; therefore, students should be prepared to engage with readings in archaeology, and students should draw upon archaeological as well as historical evidence in class discussion and exams. No previous experience in archaeology is required, and students who are not archaeology majors or who have never taken a course in archaeology are certainly encouraged to join the class. This class will increase literacy in archaeology for non-archaeology majors and it will help students understand how to combine archaeological and historical evidence in the study of the past.
The course has three main goals: 1. To examine in detail the daily lives of people in the Spanish colonies in different regions in Latin America. 2. To create an understanding of how to integrate historical and archaeological evidence to learn about the past. 3. To examine the ways that culture and everyday life are related to struggles for power in particular historical situations.