Search within:


Photo illustrating ancient archaeology

Because We're Still Finding Pieces of the Archaeological Puzzle and Solving Mysteries

Why are people so fascinated by archaeology? One author explains it this way: “Archaeology is rather like a vast, fiendish jigsaw puzzle invented by the devil as an instrument of tantalizing torment because 1) it will never be finished, 2) you don't know how many pieces are missing, 3) most of them are lost forever, 4) you can't cheat by looking at the picture.

In spite of the frustration of those missing pieces to the archaeological puzzle, the excitement comes in the fact that we are continually finding new pieces.

Studying archaeology opens your eyes and gives you the tools to discover the ancient world for yourself and even to solve a few mysteries. It involves looking at all types of material culture – buildings, paintings, sculpture, pottery, coins and the like. By examining material evidence, you also start to learn how we know what we know (and sometimes how little those TV shows do!). So, for example, it can show how a fragment of pottery might be a key to understanding an ancient religious ritual or how the debris found on the floor of an excavated house can tell us about the people who lived there.

Courses to Take

CLAR 1110 Wonders of the Ancient World takes students to the sites of the most important monuments in the Mediterranean world and explores them in depth

CLAR 2110 Greek Archaeology traces the development of Greek material culture from its Bronze Age beginnings on through to the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC.  

Related Majors