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Yale University Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :02 Jan 
International :02 Jan 

MA Archaeological Studies

 Course Level
Masters / PG
Full Time

2 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

39800 USD
39800 USD

Application fee

International 105 USD
National 105 USD
Council on Archaeological Studies
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7
TOEFL-IBT (min)100
TOEFL-PBT (min)600
GRE (avg)326
GMAT (avg)720

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About this course

The aims of the program are to give students the academic background needed for careers in museums, cultural resource management, and teaching in community colleges and secondary schools. It also provides the opportunity for teachers, curators, and administrators to refresh themselves on recent developments in archaeology. In addition, the program allows some of our students to strengthen their background in archaeology before applying to Ph.D. programs. The program is administered by Yale’s Council on Archaeological Studies, with faculty from the departments of Anthropology, Classics, Geology & Geophysics, History, History of Art, Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, and Religious Studies.

Check further details on University website

Eligibility Criteria

The GRE General Test; an archaeology background is recommended but not required.

English language requirement:

  • IELTS: 7
  • TOEFL-IBT: 100
  • TOEFL-PBT: 600

GRE: 326

Check further details on University website

Course Modules

ARCG 528bU/ANTH 528bU/EGYP 528bU, Magic and Ritual in Ancient Egypt  John Darnell, Christina Geisen

Introduction to ancient Egyptian magic and rituals with an overview on the use of magic and discussion of the different rituals and festivals attested in ancient Egypt. T 1:30–3:20

ARCG 531b/ANTH 531b/CLSS 815b/CPLT 547b/HIST 502b/JDST 653b/NELC 533b/RLST 803b, Fakes, Forgeries, and the Making of Antiquity Eckart Frahm, Irene Peirano Garrison

A comparative exploration of notions of forgery and authenticity in the ancient and premodern world, in a variety of civilizations (ancient Greece, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, China, India, etc.) and different political, religious, literary, and artistic contexts. Emphasis is also placed on the pivotal role played by the “authentic” in the modern era in disciplines such as philology and aesthetics, the manipulative uses of ancient history for purposes of modern nation building and identity formation, copies and reconstructions of ancient artifacts, and the role of forgeries in today’s antiquities trade. TH 2:30–4:30

ARCG 601b/RLST 601b, New Testament and Ancient Christianity: Early Christian Archaeology Stephen Davis

Required of doctoral students in New Testament studies and ancient Christianity. The topic and instructor change yearly. Topic for spring 2017 is early Christian archaeology. W 3:30–5:20

ARCG 710b/ANTH 710b, Settlement Patterns and Landscape Archaeology  Oswaldo Chinchilla

An introduction to the archaeological study of ancient settlements and landscapes. Topics include an overview of method and theory in settlement and landscape archaeology; field methods of reconnaissance, survey, and remote sensing; studies of households and communities; studies of ancient agricultural landscapes; regional patterns; roads and networks of communication; urbanism and ancient cities; and symbolic interpretations of ancient landscapes. T 9:25–11:15

ARCG 717aU/ANTH 717aU, Ancient Maya Writing Oswaldo Chinchilla

Introduction to the ancient Maya writing system. Contents of the extant corpus, including nametags, royal and ritual commemorations, dynastic and political subjects, and religious and augural subjects; principles and methods of decipherment; overview of the Maya calendar; comparison with related writing systems in Mesoamerica and elsewhere in the ancient world.TH 9:25–11:15

ARCG 720bU/ANTH 720bU/NELC 720bU, Babylon to Bush Harvey Weiss

Analysis of Mesopotamian transformations from the earliest agriculture villages to the earliest cities, states, and civilization, to the earliest empires, as well as the region-wide collapses that punctuated these developments. Forces that drove these uniquely early Mesopotamian developments. Essential archaeological questions, including why each transformation happened, developed, and evolved. The end of the Ottoman empire and the British (1917) and American (1991, 2003) invasions. TH 1:30–3:20

ARCG 743b/ANTH 743b, Archaeological Research Design and Proposal Development  William Honeychurch

An effective proposal requires close consideration of all steps of research design, from statement of the problem to data analysis. The course is designed to provide an introduction to the principles by which archaeological research projects are devised and proposed. Students receive intensive training in the preparation of a research proposal with the expectation that the final proposal will be submitted to national and international granting agencies for consideration. The course is structured around the creation of research questions; hypothesis development and statement of expectations; and the explicit linking of expectations to material patterning, field methods, and data analysis. Students review and critique examples of funded and nonfunded research proposals and comment extensively on each other’s proposals. In addition to developing one’s own research, learning to constructively critique the work of colleagues is imperative for becoming a responsible anthropological archaeologist. F 9:25–11:15

[ARCG 744bU/NELC 509bU, The Age of Akhenaton]

[ARCG 746aU/NELC 567aU, Ancient Civilizations of Nubia]

ARCG 749a/CLSS 846a/HSAR 570a, Becoming Hadrian: Autobiography and Art in the Second-Century A.D. Diana Kleiner

Marguerite Yourcenar’s famed fictional Memoirs of Hadrianserves as the starting point for an exploration of Hadrian and the art he commissioned in Rome and abroad. Hadrian’s passion for life, quest after peace, romantic wanderlust, veneration of Greek culture, and craving for love, along with his acceptance of death’s inexorableness, led him to commission some of Rome’s greatest monuments. The emperor’s flair for leadership and talent as an amateur architect inform student projects on the sculpture, mosaics, and buildings of the age, among them the portraiture of Hadrian’s lover Antinous, the Pantheon, and Hadrian’s Wall in Britain. Qualified undergraduates who have taken HSAR 250a and/or HSAR 252a may be admitted with permission of the instructor. T 1:30–3:20

ARCG 762bU/EMD 548b/F&ES 726b/G&G 562bU, Observing Earth from Space  Xuhui Lee

A practical introduction to satellite image analysis of Earth’s surface. Topics include the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, satellite-borne radiometers, data transmission and storage, computer image analysis, the merging of satellite imagery with GIS and applications to weather and climate, oceanography, surficial geology, ecology and epidemiology, forestry, agriculture, archaeology, and watershed management.

ARCG 771a/ANTH 771a, Early Complex Societies Richard Burger, Roderick McIntosh

A consideration of theories and methods developed by archaeologists to recognize and understand complex societies in prehistory. Topics include the nature of social differentiation and stratification as applied in archaeological interpretation; emergence of complex societies in human history; case studies of societies known ethnographically and archaeologically. MW9–10:15

ARCG 772aU/ANTH 772aU, Cities in Antiquity: The Archaeology of Urbanism  Anne Underhill, Oswaldo Chinchilla

Archaeological studies of ancient cities and urbanism. Topics include the origin and growth of cities; the economic, social, and political implications of urban life; and archaeological methods and theories for the study of ancient urbanism. Case studies include ancient cities around the world. T 9:25–11:15

ARCG 773bU/ANTH 773bU/F&ES 793b/NELC 588bU, Abrupt Climate Change and Societal Collapse Harvey Weiss

Collapse documented in the archaeological and early historical records of the Old and New Worlds, including Mesopotamia, Mesoamerica, the Andes, and Europe. Analysis of politicoeconomic vulnerabilities, resiliencies, and adaptations in the face of abrupt climate change, anthropogenic environmental degradation, resource depletion, “barbarian” incursions, or class conflict. TH 3:30–5:20

ARCG 779bU/ANTH 779bU, Anthropology of Mobile Societies  William Honeychurch

The social and cultural significance of the ways that hunter-gatherers, pastoral nomads, maritime traders, and members of our own society traverse space. The impact of mobility and transport technologies on subsistence, trade, interaction, and warfare from the first horse riders of five thousand years ago to jet-propulsion tourists of today. W 3:30–5:20

ARCG 782bU/ANTH 782bU, Advanced Archaeological Theory Roderick McIntosh

Review of the intellectual history of archaeology, with readings from the Enlightenment to the present. Emphasis on the tension between science, mysticism, and nationalism in the interpretation of prehistoric processes. W 7–8:50

ARCG 785aU/ANTH 785aU, Archaeological Ceramics I Anne Underhill

Ceramics are a rich source of information about a range of topics including ancient technology, cooking practices, craft specialization, regional trade, and religious beliefs. This course provides a foundation for investigating such topics and gaining practical experience in archaeological analysis of ceramics. Students have opportunities to focus on ceramics of particular interest to them, whether these are low-fired earthen wares, or porcelains. We discuss ancient pottery production and use made in diverse contexts ranging from households in villages to workshops in cities. In addition we refer to the abundant ethnoarchaeological data about traditional pottery production.TH 1:30–3:20

ARCG 787bU/ANTH 787bU/HSAR 804b, East Asian Objects and Museums: Collection, Curation, and Display Anne Underhill, Youn-mi Kim

This course explores the East Asian art and anthropological collections at Yale’s museums and at other major museums in North America and East Asia. Students study collections and their histories; gain experience in museum practices; and learn from specialists through class visits to other relevant museums in the United States and an associated international conference, Material Culture and Everyday Life before the Korean War: Workshop on the Korean Art and Photograph Collections at the Yale Peabody Museum, sponsored by the Council on East Asian Studies. Opportunities for a student-curated exhibition at Yale are being developed. W 9:25–11:15

ARCG 847bU/ANTH 847bU, Hunter-Gatherers Brian Wood

The vast majority of the human experience centered around one way of making a living: hunting and gathering. Yet today, hunter-gatherers make up a small and diminishing proportion of human societies. This class is a broad survey of the ecology, economics, political, and social organization of recent hunter-gatherers and a review of anthropological inquiry into foraging societies. T 1:30–3:20

ARCG 864bU/ANTH 864bU, Human Osteology Eric Sargis

A lecture and laboratory course focusing on the characteristics of the human skeleton and its use in studies of functional morphology, paleodemography, and paleopathology. Laboratories familiarize students with skeletal parts; lectures focus on the nature of bone tissue, its biomechanical modification, sexing, aging, and interpretation of lesions. TTH2:30–3:45

ARCG 953a or b, Directed Research in Archaeology and Prehistory

By arrangement with faculty.

Check further details on University website

How to Apply

  • Application for admission to the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for all degree and non-degree programs is an online process.
  • All documents in support of your application must be uploaded to your application. This includes all required materials such as your personal statement of purpose and transcripts. No materials are to be mailed to the Graduate School or to your designated program of study.
  • Recommenders submit their letters of recommendation for you online. Once you identify a recommender they will receive an email providing instructions and access information.
  • You have the ability to work on your application at any time and submit it when you are ready.
  • You have the ability to “track” the receipt of standardized test scores and recommendations as soon as you have submitted your application forms.
  • After submission, you may print a PDF copy for your own use that will look exactly like the image made available to the faculty for review online.
  • Applications received on or before the deadline of the program to which you are applying are made available, in image form, to your designated program to review after the deadline of your program.
  • Application accounts created or started but not submitted by the deadline of your respective program will be deleted prior to the start of the new application cycle (early August of each year). Application data and any associated supplemental materials are not retained.

Check further details on University website

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