Anthropology | ARCHAEOLOGICAL METHODS AND ANALYSES
P301 | 0439 | Pyburn
This is a class in professionalism created in response to a new set of
guidelines produced by the Society for American Archaeology Task Force on
Curriculum Development. The purpose of the course is to bridge the gap
between anthropological ideas, archaeological ethics, and the construction
of a research design. Modern archaeological theory incorporates
propositions about social process; models of identity; reconstructions of
ethnicity, warfare, and historical events; gender studies; cultural
evolution; public awareness, and ethical and legal issues. Archaeological
technique includes radar mapping, computer simulations, multivariate
statistics, magnetometry and many other high
tech tools in addition to traditional practices such as stratigraphy and
seriation. The course will incorporate problems of both theory and
technique, but the focus will be on understanding the scientific, social,
ethical, political, economic and intellectual ramifications of choosing
particular topics and methods of investigation in archaeological research.
A second emphasis of the class will be on the clear communication of ideas
about archaeology in both writing and speaking to both specialists and
non-specialists. Teaching and public speaking and debate will often be the
focus of the discussion.
New rules for the new millennium:
1. If you understand what you are doing, you can communicate it to any
interested person of normal intelligence, including your mom, the
construction foreman who is waiting for you to finish digging, and your
2. If you are not looting, you will know why the data you are collecting
apply to certain questions of anthropological interest and what will be
known about the past after you finish that was not known
when you began.
3. If you are a responsible professional, you will know what the concerns
of local and descendant people are for the material you are using, and you
will be prepared to answer questions from them.
Three texts are required for this course: Trigger's A History of
Archaeological Thought, Hurst Thomas' Skull Wars, and Schiffer's
Behavioral Archaeology: First Principles. There will be other assigned
readings on reserve in the Geography Library.
Attendance = 20%
Participation in Discussions = 20%
In Class Presentations = 25%
Writing a course Syllabus = 10%
Vacant Lot Survey= 25%