In this course, we’ll explore rituals of death, mortality, and the creation of meaning in Ireland. You will learn introductory archaeological methodology and mortuary analysis of human burials, then apply that knowledge by performing hands-on excavation and interpretation of a simulated burial site in Dingle. You will engage with texts exploring the philosophical and cultural ramifications of how we shape who we are in the face of death/mortality, the ethics of working with human burials, and ways in which our rituals surrounding death and burial reflect the values of the living.
The unique landscape of Dingle will also allow us to think about how we shape and are shaped by our natural environments. We will consider these questions through both landscape archaeology of the Dingle Peninsula and philosophical reflection. As part of the course, we will take trips to archeological sites in the area, and hike the Cosan na Naomh pilgrimage trail.
This course fulfils the Social & Global Awareness, Humanistic Inquiry, and Scientific Literacy LAE requirement.