ARTH 304
Indigenous American Urbanism: Teotihuacan and its Legacy in Comparative Perspective Spring 2024
Division I
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Class Details

This course offers students the opportunity to undertake close study of Teotihuacan, Mexico, (ca. 0-600 CE) the largest urban development of American antiquity as measured by spatial, and possibly also, population metrics. The first half of the semester involves an immersive look at the urbanism, architectural history, archaeology, and historiography of Teotihuacan, the present-day name of which means, “Where Men Become Gods,” in the Mexica (Aztec) language of Nahuatl. The following four weeks of the course will consider those major Ancestral American polities with which Teotihuacan interacted, including Monte Alban, Oaxaca and Tikal, Guatemala, or upon which its legacy exerted influence, including Chichen Itza, Yucatan and Tenochtitlan, Mexico City. The final two weeks of the course will consider comparative settlement and architectural data from Indigenous North and South America. Topics to be addressed over the semester will include the role of space in forging complex ancient societies; criteria for the identification of cities through archaeological remains; definitions of “complexity;” economic inequity within and between city-states; and comparative settlement patterns.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 3905
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Weekly readings (80-100 pages); Participation -- regular attendance, contribution to in-class discussions, and demonstrated knowledge of readings (20%); Six 3-page thematic essays addressing topics of the student's choice (60%); Final presentation of research findings (20%).
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: Priority given to art history majors.
Distributions: Division I

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