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Topics In Anthropology (390-0-23)


Ancient Cities of the Americas


Roberto Rosado Ramirez
1810 Hinman Ave.
I am an anthropological archaeologist specializing in the study of pre-Columbian Maya culture (AD 300-1550) of Mesoamerica. I started my career in archaeology in Mexico, and then moved to the USA to continue my education. I received my PhD from the department of anthropology at Northwestern University. My teaching experience includes courses in archaeology, anthropology, and heritage studies. I have participated in and directed archaeological excavations in Mexico, Belize, and the southeastern United States. My research examines how humans can regenerate community life amidst ruined cities in the aftermath of political collapse and environmental crises. Beyond academics, I enjoy traveling, being outside, and reading Latin American literature.

Meeting Info

University Library 3370: Mon, Wed 3:30PM - 4:50PM

Overview of class

"When colonial empires invaded the Americas in the 16th century, Europeans marveled at the Indigenous cities distributed across the continent. This course examines the ancient cities of the Americas: their origins, their configurations, their operations, and their representations. It considers how archaeologists define urbanism among ancient societies, and why not every human settlement qualifies as a city.
We will begin this course by studying the earliest experiments with settlement nucleation in the world. Then, we will review scholarship on ancient cities in North, Central, and South America. Topics will include urban configurations, everyday life in ancient cities, how inequality was built into urban space, and providing for city dwellers. We will discuss the characteristics of ancient Indigenous cities such as Cahokia in Illinois, Tenochtitlan in Mexico, Tikal in Guatemala, and Machu Pichu in Peru, among others. This class will provide you a general understanding of the ancient civilizations of the Americas through the characteristics of their major cities."

Evaluation Method

Attendance, Participation, Reading Reactions, Final Project

Class Materials (Required)

All of the readings for this course will come from articles and book chapters provided online through Canvas.