Anthropology | Ancient Women
P600 | 24949 | Pyburn

Above class meets 1st eight weeks only

This is a course on the history of human beings. For much of the
history of western thought, the study of people has been the study of
MAN; this was not an inclusive history. Although it has always been
stated that the term MANKIND refers to all people, in practice it
never has. Any time women or children were included in a study or a
history, they were identified as being included. Studies purporting to
investigate humans were all investigations of the lives and doings of
men, or at least what people thought pertained to men. The study of
MANKIND has also always been the study of heterosexual men; like the
lives of women, people of alternative gender identities were
considered irrelevant or as deviations from the ┐norm┐ with no
relation to the history of MANKIND.

In this class we will consider how ignorance about gender and
assumptions about what it means to be a man or a woman or a homosexual
have given us a skewed picture of the human past. Curiously, our
vision of the past skewed by the bias of our present world experience
is ┐ at the same time ┐ used as a justification for the way things are
in the present world.  The reality of the past, insofar as we can know
it, is much more varied that most people realize, and the implications
of this variability for what we know about ourselves as human beings
and how we justify our actions in the present day are very important
to consider.

We will begin with ideas about humans that come from studies of
animals that have been used to recreate human ancestors. We will go on
to studies of hominids (early proto-people) to see how archaeologists
have envisioned our ancestors and what data they use for these
purposes. We will then move through human history ending with some
discussion of very early civilizations. Much of the discussion will
center on the lives of women, because it is the consideration of
ancient women that most easily shows what we do not really know about
ancient men.

Course Requirements

You will keep a 3 ring binder with a record of everything you do for
this class. You will include lecture notes, written assignments, notes
on readings, references to sources you use (websites, television
shows, books, journals, magazines) and anything you want to add that
is relevant to this class. These can be on lined paper or hole punched
printed materials and drawings. You may submit hand written notes on
lectures, discussions, and readings, but other materials (projects)
must be typed. However, since you will be graded on neatness and
usability of your notes, you will loose points if your notes are
sloppy and unreadable. Your Portfolio will be collected at random to
be checked for completeness and quality, so keep it up to date and
bring it to class every day. DO NOT combine your Portfolio for this
class with notes and assignments for another class, since sometimes I
will be reviewing it.

Portfolio: 50%
Class participation: 25%
Final exam: 26%