Commentary: A Model Applied Archaeology Curriculum

Abstract | As the largest organization of professional archaeologists in North America, the Society for American Archaeology (SAA), specifically its Committee on Curriculum, is leading the discussion on curricular reform in archaeology. The diversity of experience and employment represented in its membership has allowed the Committee to develop a well-rounded model curriculum for applied archaeology. However, applied archaeology is extremely broad in scope and it is inevitable that the curricula of different institutions will emphasize different aspects of applied archaeology.

Based on our collective experience in the private sector, our commentary focuses on the requisite graduate training for archaeologists who will be employed in the private sector as cultural resources project managers and principal investigators. We have concluded that there are several fundamental skills necessary to function successfully in the private sector, both at the technical and managerial levels. In our commentary, we divide these skills into four categories: (1) a sound understanding of the regulatory and compliance process; (2) field skills; (3) communication skills; and (4) knowledge of basic business/management practices. We conclude our discussion by evaluating the extent to which the recommended model curriculum

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