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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Anthropology (ANTH)

ANTH 221 (GS;IL) The Ancient Maya (3) The Maya and their neighbors: Origin and Evolution of Classic Maya civilization.

ANTH 221 The Ancient Maya (3)
(GS;IL)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.


Great civilizations emerged independently in several parts of the world beginning about 5500 years ago. Most students have had some exposure to the great Old World civilizations (Mesopotamia, Egypt, China), but know comparatively little about their counterparts in the New World. Among these the Classic Maya (AD 250-900) are by far the most familiar, and are heavily featured in popular culture. Many students have (or will) visit Maya sites as tourists, and be impressed by the flamboyant archaeological remains of these ancient people. Despite their visibility, The Maya are widely misunderstood and heavily sensationalized. ANTH 221 will trace the development of Maya culture from about 9000 BC to its eventual conquest by the Spaniards in the 1540s. Most important will be the Classic Maya interval, when Maya civilization achieved unparalleled heights in architecture, art, astronomy, mathematics, and writing. The Maya were participants in a much wider tradition of complex civilization in the region archaeologists call Mesoamerica, and several lectures will place them in this more general context. Much content of this course will come from research done by members of the Anthropology Dept. We have had a very long tradition of Mesoamerican/Maya research since the early 1960s and our department has heavily influenced both the study of Mesoamerican studies and complex cultures in general. These have proved to be very durable themes and have been at the heart of our department's success for almost a half century. This course will fulfill basic BA and GenEd requirements (GS, IL). It may also be used to fulfill an ANTH, ARSCI, and BANTH additional ANTH course requirement.


General Education: GS
Diversity: IL
Bachelor of Arts: Other Cultures and Social and Behavioral Sciences
Effective: Spring 2012
Prerequisite: any anthropology course on 100 level or below

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.

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