Anthropology | North American Archaeology
P360 | 27550 | Scheiber

This course is designed to explore archaeological research into the
past in North America. For more than 10,000 years in Native North
America, hundreds of unique cultural groups flourished, from the
shores of the Atlantic to the shores of the Pacific, and from the Gulf
of Mexico to the Arctic Circle. Regional chronologies are best
understood by focusing on the methods and theories that archaeologists
use to reconstruct cultural lifeways and to assess culture change in
those areas.   This course will address current and relevant issues
for the archaeology of North America including the peopling of the New
World, hunter-gatherer research, origins of agriculture, origins of
sociopolitical complexity and inequality, trade and exchange,
post-colonial culture contact and multi-ethnic communities, and
archaeological ethics.  The archaeological evidence from several
regions will be emphasized, including the Eastern Woodlands, the
Midcontinent, the Plains, the Southwest, and the West Coast. Within
each topic, we will explore basic foundations; consider multiple
interpretations, debates, and controversies; and evaluate case studies.

This class is not meant to provide students with a “laundry list” of
names, places, and dates.  We will spend some time learning about the
people, material culture, and geography of North America.  We will
then build on that knowledge to address specific questions relating to
long-term research about the past and discuss ways that these
questions are relevant for us today in the present.  What you will
gain is an appreciation for the diversity of ideas and opinions about
the archaeological record, as well as the people who created it.  You
will learn about the major controversies and debates surrounding this
research.  And you will have the opportunity to critically evaluate
the evidence for yourselves.

The course grade will be based on a midterm and final exam, geography
quizzes, discussion, and short written assessments.

Prerequisites:  Students are strongly encouraged to have completed
ANTH P200 (Introduction to Archaeology) or similar course.  Please
email me at, if you are wondering if you should
take this course.