Anthropology | Laboratory Methods in Archaeology
P406 | 27680 | Peterson

This course introduces laboratory and analytical methods in
archaeology, with an emphasis on the processing, curation, and basic
analysis of  archaeological collections from prehistoric sites in

Lectures, readings and discussions will cover basic theory, balanced
by laboratory sessions including hands-on analyses of artifacts and
ecofacts and database construction. The goal of the class is develop a
skillset which you can apply to any archaeological collection in order
to learn what  artifacts and contexts can say about the people who
created them and the world they lived in.

Students are encouraged to take on an individual research project and
present the results at a regional professional meeting such as the
Indiana Academy of Sciences. Topical guest lectures and at least one
site visit to another lab facility (e.g. Indiana State Museum) are
planned. The course will meet in the lab facility at the Glenn A.
Black Laboratory of  Archaeology at 9th & Fess St.

I. Introductory themes and concepts
- Archaeological Questions - review of basic archaeological theory
and method
- Collecting Data and Interpreting Collections from observation to
cultural inference using the collection;
peopling the past

II. Artifacts and Ecofacts
- Processing, Cataloging, Managing provenience, documentation,
curation -Identification, Description,
Recording raw materials, dimensions, technical aspects, stylistic
aspects -Classificatory Schemes

III. Contexts
- Basic Concepts - assemblages; relationships between classes of data
- Mapping Across Spatial and Temporal Scales feature-level, site
level, earth-level; dating methods
- Databases - research-driven relational database design; linking
tabular and map data - basic concepts in

geodatabases and Geographic Information Systems

IV. Artifact Analysis
- Giving meaning to artifacts and contexts - Research Question design
- Individual research project on an artifact/feature/context/assemblage

V. Reporting
- Writing Up - relational database queries; digital photography;
paper/poster composition -Student Project

Text (provisional)
Banning, E.B. (2000) The Archaeologist's Laboratory: The Analysis of
Archaeological Data. Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers, New York.