Return to Archaeology and Material Culture Home Page Return to Historical Archaeology Syllabus

Historical Archaeology Final Exam Study Guide

Historical Archaeology
Anthropology P330
Final Exam Preparation
Spring 2009
Dr. Mullins

The final exam will be an open notes, open book exam held on TUESDAY MAY 5 1:00-3:00 in the usual classroom.  This will be your only reminder of the exam date; forgetting the exam time or needing to catch a plane to Tijuana will not be a sufficient excuse for missing it.

The exam will be composed of several long essays and some shorter definitions.  You may prepare for the exam any way you choose and bring any notes, books, electronic files, or written preparation with you to the exam.  Do not plan to share notes or readings with classmates during the exam.  Do not prepare essays prior to the exam period and plan to hand them in during the exam; on the final exam, I will change the wording of essays as they're phrased here and usually ask more narrow questions, but I also reserve the right to ask ANYTHING that was raised in the class this semester and include questions on ANY reading that was assigned. 

You may prepare your exam on a laptop computer and either email me the file (not via Oncourse), provide me a disc with an electronic file that can be opened in Word, or send it to a printer in Cavanaugh before the exam period ends.  Please be absolutely certain your laptop battery can survive the exam period, and if you have any qualms at all about the potential for losing the files during the exam period I suggest you prepare essays with pen and paper.  Be ready for any of the potential technical issues that can arise at the worst possible time, which would be in the middle of the exam period.

   Email me if you have any questions.

            I will ask the first essay question.  You will be expected to provide the precise definition outlined in lecture.

1.  What is historical archaeology?  What are the five elements of the definition provided in lecture?

2.  What is the “Georgian Revolution”?  Deetz argues that there are significant sociocultural and material changes during this period, and he focuses on shifts in ceramics and dining material culture, architecture, and gravestones.  What are the key changes in each of these classes of material culture,a dn how does each illuminate the Georgian Revolution?

3.  What were the four basic constituencies for historic preservation and archaeology between 1850 and 1940?  Why were each of these groups interested in historical preservation?  Why did Colonial Williamsburg construct itself the way it did; i.e., what were the social factors which influenced the interpretations at Colonial Williamsburg from the 1920s to 1950s?

4.  What has been Colonial Williamsburg's central interpretive goal since the 1930s?  How does it achieve that goal materially (i.e., how is the restored town organized and reconstructed in a way which attempts to fulfill that goal)?

5.  What is structuralism?  How does Deetz define a mindset (a.k.a., worldview)?

6. How does Henry Glassie define material forms like houses as "performances"?  In what ways is a house a performance in a vernacular culture?

7.  What are "Africanisms"?  In what ways is colonoware an example of an Africanism in material culture?  How is Africanisms an example of ethnic markers research?  What other sorts of material goods are examples of ethnic markers research?  How does Leland Ferguson approach African symbolism in African-American ceramics as a form of resistance?

8.  How is John Solomon Otto's study of status at the Georgia plantation Cannon's Point an example of a status study?  How does Otto examine status using archaeological material culture?  What are his basic findings about the different material patterns within the single plantation's various groups?

9.  Steven Shephard's study of socioeconomic status in Alexandria is similar to Otto's study.  What are the three variables Shephard studies in ceramics?  What are his conclusions about the capacity of each variable to reveal socioeconomic status?  In what ways is Susan Henry's study of status in Phoenix an example of socioeconomic status research?  What are the potential liabilities of socioeconomic status studies?

10.  What does collecting seek to do?  What is possessive individualism?  What makes something a "good" collection?

11.  What is the difference between ethnicity and race?  What basic forms do ethnicity studies tend to take in historical archaeology?

12.  How does Foucault define discipline?  How are toothbrushes an example of discipline?

13.  What is a manufacture-deposition lag analysis?  How is it computed?

14.  Why does Neil Silberman suggest particular elements in Near Eastern archaeology are ignored or evaded?

15.  What are the Staffordshire ceramic price-fixing agreements?  How do George Miller's ceramic scaling indices use these agreements to assess the value of a ceramic assemblage?

16.  How does Foucault define power and surveillance?  Where might we be able to “see” power and surveillance in the material world?  For instance, how are baroque town plans like that in Annapolis (or landscapes such as William Paca’s garden) “surveillance” mechanisms?  What is panopticism?

Return to Archaeology and Material Culture Home Page Return to Historical Archaeology Syllabus

Last updated April 21, 2009