P399 | 0444 | Pickering

Current topics in Taphonomy

Course Description: Introduction to the method, theory, and techniques of
taphonomy as an archaeological subdiscipline, with a focus on current
topics and readings.

Course Requirements: For each weekly seminar meeting, every student is
responsible for completing the required readings listed on the syllabus.
Each student (or group of students) is expected to present and lead
discussions on particular readings and topics a few times during the
semester; these assignments will be made during the first class meeting.
The student(s) responsible for leading the week's discussion is/are
expected to delve more deeply into the topic, consulting additional
references found in the assigned readings.  Students should feel free to
consult with the professor regarding additional references and the
construction of their presentation before the class meeting.

Weekly participation in our discussions comprises 25 % of a student's
final grade, so attendance is strongly advised.

In addition, each student is required to complete and submit a term paper
summarizing a major topic/debate in taphonomy.  Finally, each student will
present a summary of his/her term paper during our second-to-last or last

Methods of Evaluation: Grades will be based on presentations (cumulatively
comprising 50 % of your final grade), weekly participation in discussions
(cumulatively comprising 25 % of your final grade) and the term paper (25
% of your final grade).

The term paper is due the day of our final meeting as indicated on the
syllabus.  Late papers will only be accepted in extreme cases, such as
death in the family or serious illness on part of the student (proper
documentation of such situations-such as a doctor's excuse-will be
required from the student).  Paper topics should be discussed and approved
by the course instructor by the fourth week of class.  A strict limit of
thirty (30) pages (excluding bibliography, tables and figures) maximum
will be enforced.  Papers must be double-spaced and typed or laser
printed, with a font size of 11 or 12 point, and include a bibliography
formatted in the style of the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Oral presentation of term paper results is required for a pass, although
this presentation will not be graded.  Oral presentations will take place
during our penultimate and ultimate meetings; each student will be
assigned a particular day for his/her presentation later in the semester.