Have you ever looked at an old bridge or an artifact in a museum and been impressed that the builder was able to craft it, understanding that even today most of us could not replicate the builder’s efforts? Technologies are the result of compounded science – years, decades, and centuries of experimentation, entrepreneurship, and incremental successes. For example, prehistoric smiths first recognized that ores could be reduced to copper metal, and thousands of years later, innovators realized that this same metal could conduct electricity. Both inventions revolutionized society in their time, and continue to impact us every day. In this course, we will not only study ancient technologies and paleoscience, but will employ state-of-the-art materials science laboratory techniques to study artifacts recovered from archaeological excavations. By engaging directly with the materials of the past, we will generate knowledge rooted in historical sciences, while gaining an appreciation of the social processes underlying the very design principles that are still used by engineers today.
No prerequisites. Fulfills Humanities – Hist. & Phil., Cultural Studies - Western