Courses in anthropology and archaeology now offered

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Dr. Keith Eppich analyzes vessels recovered from royal tomb of Burial 39 from El Perú-Waka’. Photo courtesy of Rene Ozaeta.

Two new courses, Cultural Anthropology and Introduction to Archaeology, are available to TJC students starting this fall.

These courses are taught by Dr. Keith Eppich, who has 24 years of teaching experience and has recently worked at Collin College and Southern Methodist University.

Cultural Anthropology focuses on defining and studying human culture. “It’s a very simple thing to define and a very simple thing to talk about, but a very difficult thing to study,” said Eppich. “We talk about a variety of different human cultures, from Native Americans in Amazonia, to African pastoralists in South Central Africa. Different societies do things in different ways, and things that we take for granted as being done a certain way are done very, very differently in other societies. Some of them do it well, and some of them do it poorly.”

Eppich defined archeology as “looking at how to think critically of the human past.” Students who choose to take Eppich’s Introduction to Anthropology class can look forward to multiple hands-on activities. “We make chocolate, we shoot watermelons, we handle ancient American pottery,” listed Eppich. “We look at historical problems: Who built the pyramids? What happened in the last days of Pompeii?”

According to History/Geography Department Chair Dr. Jeffrey Owens, these new courses will be highly beneficial to students who are looking to transfer. “One of the big reasons that anthropology was attractive is that it’s readily transferrable,” said Owens. “I needed electives on the history majors’ degree plan that would easily transfer, so that students who got an AA in history would not have to repeat coursework at their receiving institution. We didn’t have very many courses in our department that history majors could take to fill out a degree plan.”

Enrollment in these new courses is not limited to history majors. “It can be an elective for anybody,” explained Owens.

Cultural Anthropology and Introduction to Archaeology will both be offered again in the spring. Registration for the spring 2019 semester opens on November 11.

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