Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Nicola Sharratt

Second Advisor

Dr. Jeffrey Glover

Third Advisor

Dr. Kathryn Kozaitis


Recent trends in archaeological pedagogy include the adoption of active learning models as well as courses that incorporate community and public archaeology frameworks. These shifts have primarily been centered around archaeological field schools and on-campus excavations. In contrast, despite the growing concern over legacy and orphaned collections that contribute to the “curation crisis,” less attention has been given to the potential for inquiry-based learning in lab or collections-based courses, particularly at the undergraduate level. Utilizing ethnographic methods, this study examines undergraduate experiences in introductory archaeology courses at Georgia State University (GSU). Comparing student experiences in a traditional lecture course with those of students enrolled in a hands-on project lab with a legacy collection of archaeological material curated at the University, this study explores the potential for lab-based courses as sites of active learning and as models for more inclusive and accessible archaeological education at higher education institutions.


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