Anthropology | INTRO TO PREHISTORIC ARCHAEOLOGY
P200 | 0384 | Sievert
Description: This course will introduce you to archaeology as it applies
toward understanding the cultural history of humankind. Archaeologists are
famous for using other people's garbage as their main source of
information. So, this is a course about trash, and you will come to
appreciate the glories of trash. Starting with early humans (Homo
erectus), we will conduct a survey of remains left by people all over the
world, from the ancient Greeks to the Maya. Over the semester we will look
at the simplest stone tools to the most complex of stone pyramids. You
will learn how people came to develop such cool and nifty things as
agriculture, writing, and cemeteries. We will cover topics including food
and eating, trade, politics, religion, and of course, technology. You will
learn about how archaeologists think about the world, about culture, about
how they interpret the remains of material culture, and about how they
make their interpretations apply to the modern world.
Organization: There are four sections. The first deals with basic
information about archaeology and how it operates. The second looks at the
development of early human culture through the end of the Ice Ages about
10,000 years ago and into the start of agricultural ways. The third covers
New World cultures and elaboration of political systems, and the fourth
covers Old World cultures, including Egypt, Mesopotamia, and ancient
Format: There will be illustrated lectures, many slides, and videos.
Evaluation: Your grade comes from performance on 3 tests, 1short paper and
a project. The tests will have a combination of multiple choice and short
answer questions and cover material from lectures, discussions, films,
readings, and anything else that we do in class. Each test is worth 25%.
Reaction paper: Read a journal article related to archaeology and critique
it. How does the article present archaeology? What topics/locations are
covered? What is the purpose of the article. Worth 10%.
Project: Archaeologists often must interpret their work for the public.
The course project will consist of creating a brochure. You will take
information from your research on a specific topic and create a brochure
with pictures and text. The brochure will provide a creative way for you
to present what you have learned about a specific archaeological
discovery, site, prehistoric culture or topic. Your 3-fold (legal paper,
both sides) brochure should give a brief and easy-to-understand summary of
your topic. Worth 15%.
Textbooks: Images of the Past. Edited by T. D. Price, and G. M. Feinman.
3rd Edition. McGraw-Hill. 2001.
Archaeology: Original Readings in Method and Practice, edited by Peter
Peregrine, Carol Ember, and Melvin Ember. Prentice Hall.2002.