This course introduces anthropological research on material culture
and hominid evolution from prehistory to the present, outlines the fundamental
findings of archaeological scholarship, and examines how archaeology and
physical anthropology illuminate the contemporary social and material world. The
course focuses on several major themes: human originations, the emergence of
agriculture and social complexity, and the material record of state society and
inequality. The class provides a general worldwide survey of anthropological
interpretation of the human past and introduces the methodological techniques
and philosophical perspectives archaeologists use to analyze evolution, culture,
and the material world. We will probe how questions about the past originate,
study the relevance of archaeological insight in contemporary society, and
contemplate how and why archaeology persistently stirs popular imagination.
Course grading is based on three tests (60% total), five
exercises (35% total), and attendance (5%). Each exam will be worth
20% of your final course grade. The tests will contain multiple
choice questions, true-false, matching, short answer definitions, and map
identifications. The final will be cumulative, but it will primarily
include major concepts from the first two tests. It is
mathematically possible to actually fail each of the three exams and still
pass the course (the exercises and attendance score combined can work this
miracle). However, any student who does not pass at least one exam
will automatically fail the course.
Exercise 1 (Drawing
an Archaeologist), exercise 2 (Maps
as Material Culture), and exercise
as Material Culture) each count for
5% of the total course grade. Exercise 4 (Seriation) and exercise 5 (Garbology) each count for 10% of the final course grade. This is a
significant percentage of the course grade (35% total), so do not be
tempted to skip an exercise. If you miss an exercise, please contact me
for a partial credit makeup. Late exercises are penalized a point
for each class they are late.
Regular attendance and participation are essential to doing well
in the course. The overwhelming majority of the course material will
be introduced and discussed in class, so attendance is highly recommended.
You will receive five participation points if you have no more than two
unexcused absences. After that you will lose one participation point
for each absence: for example, if you have three unexcused absences
you'll receive four points, four absences receive three points, and so on. Excused
absences do not count toward your attendance grade if they are documented
illnesses (i.e., a physician's note, not simply sniffles in the next class
or sounding really crappy on the phone), holidays recognized by some
reasonably well-recognized faith, if you're called to jury duty, or
absences that have been cleared with me beforehand or shortly after the
will be taken at the beginning of each class meeting on a course roster
that circulates through class. If you come in late, you must ensure
that you sign this roster at the end of class; at the end of the semester
I will not negotiate over the days you actually attended but forgot to
sign the attendance roster. I will not allow students to sign the roster
if they arrive halfway through the class meeting; please discuss any
delays outside your control with me (e.g., caught in traffic jam, but not
an errant alarm clock). Please do not plan to leave early on a
regular basis or I reserve the right to record you as absent. I will
be reasonably forgiving about things over which you have no control, like
flat tires and sick children. I will negotiate these things on a
case-by-case basis, but please let me know immediately via email and do
not plan to barter over these absences at semester's end. I
will consider excusing absences for other reasons (e.g., K-12 school
breaks, etc) on a case-by-case basis, so please contact me about such
absences as soon as possible.
The vast volume of course material usually yields a lot of notes,
so if you miss class you should secure thorough and reliable notes from another
student and consult the course Powerpoints on Oncourse.
All class lectures will be posted on Oncourse and can be accessed by
clicking on the Resources tab and then clicking on the Powerpoint lecture you
wish to access. Powerpoints are in relative order and not organized by the
date of the lecture, so sometimes a single powerpoint can cover multiple class
meetings. Lectures will be posted as the semester progresses, and usually
lectures will be posted at least a few days prior to class. To access
these you must be on a computer with Powerpoint (this includes all University
computers). Most PC's will ask whether you want to save or open the file;
if you save it you can print the notes with 3-9 pictures per page (instead of
one slide for every page) and save a whole lot of the forest. To do this,
save the file and then open it; next click on file, then click on print, and a
window will open; in that window, click on "print what" and pull down
the option "handouts"; just to the right of that in the option
"slides per page" pull down the menu and enter however many pictures
you want printed on a single page (e.g., 3, 6, 9). Let me know if you have
any problems accessing the lectures.
If you cannot
complete an assignment on time for any reason, you should contact me as soon as
possible. I can always be contacted before or after class, you can schedule an
appointment, and I check my email virtually every day. Please contact me
via my email address and not Oncourse email, which I check less
frequently and is somewhat unpredictable. Make-up tests will be essay
Please do NOT wait until after a deadline to
talk to me. Do NOT postpone talking to me if you are having any difficulty
completing an assignment or if you are having difficulty with the class.
Please do feel free to discuss any problems you are having in class, whether
they're related to illnesses, work schedules, problems with your car, or the
wide range of real-life things that can happen over a semester, and I will do my
very best to help in whatever way I can. Even if it is embarrassing to
acknowledge that you simply forgot an assignment due date or your boss
unexpectedly demanded a long shift when you planned to do the assignment, please
come see me and I will do my very best to resolve it in some way that doesn't
mean you receive no credit at all.
Late exercises will be penalized a point for every class they are
late if you do not negotiate an extension with me beforehand or discuss the
delay immediately afterward. Exercises are considered late after 3:00 on
the day they are due. You can email me exercises as attachments, or you
can leave assignments in my mailbox in 413 Cavanaugh Hall. Please do
not submit exercises via Oncourse. I prefer electronically submitted
assignments be in Word. Be absolutely certain to keep a copy of any
emailed assignments you send to me should the email disappear or not arrive at
my end, and save every single assignment in two places: Don't just save it
on your laptop or a thumb drive, since they can crash, get lost, or be purloined
by somebody who undervalues your commitment to education. Even if you
miss a due date for an exercise, contact me so that you can complete a partial
credit makeup: to miss the exercises is, at best, mathematically ill-advised.
You can check your grades during the semester by logging onto Oncourse.
syllabus includes deadlines for all assignments and test dates: it is your
responsibility to know when exercises are due and tests are scheduled.
There will not be any extra credit material. If there are any
changes made in the syllabus they will be posted here and on Oncourse and
announced in class.
work in this course is intended to fulfill the University's Principles
of Undergraduate Learning. The course will
require students to develop and demonstrate core communication and
quantitative skills; critical thinking; integration of knowledge;
intellectual depth, breadth, and adaptiveness; understanding of society
and culture; and ability to make informed value and ethical judgements.
course focuses on PUL 5: The ability of students to recognize their
own cultural traditions and to understand and appreciate the diversity of
the human experience. The course's focus on human
prehistorical cultural and biological diversity expressly targets the PUL
goal to "compare and contrast the range of diversity and
universality in human history, societies, and ways of life."
course Powerpoint lectures will be placed on Oncourse under the Resources
tab. Class grades will be recorded on the Oncourse gradebook.
All work in the course is conducted in accordance with the
misconduct policy. Cheating
includes dishonesty of any kind with respect to exams or assignments. Plagiarism
is the offering of someone else’s work as your own: this includes taking
un-cited material from books, web pages, or other students, turning in the same
or substantially similar work as other students, sneaking a peek at the
neighbor's exam, or failing to properly cite other research. If you are
suspected of any form of academic misconduct you will be called in for a meeting
at which you will be informed of the accusation and given adequate opportunity
to respond. A report will be submitted to the Dean of Students, who will
decide on further disciplinary action. Please consult the University
Bulletin’s academic misconduct policy or me if you have any questions.
of Adaptive Educational Services (AES) ensures that students with disabilities receive appropriate
accommodations from the University and their professors. Students must
register with the AES office in order to receive such services.
Portable electronic devices, such as cell phones, pagers, two-ways,
and PDA’s, must be turned off before entering the classroom. You can use
a laptop in class for note-taking but should silence it; please do not plan to
answer your emails, monitor facebook, and answer texts in class. Please let
me know if you need to carry around a phone for specific reasons (e.g.,
pregnancy monitoring, disabled family, or contact with kids--not to stay in
touch with a significant other who just likes to hear your voice, buddies
planning the evening pub crawl, and so on). Anyone whose clever
Family Guy ringtone disturbs class will be given a verbal warning on first
offense and will be asked to meet with me after class if you can't remember to
turn off your phone before class.
The classroom is a safe speech situation in which it is your
responsibility to treat other classmates fairly and with mutual respect, even if
they have the audacity to disagree with you, champion an opinion that is
inconsistent with your worldview, or simply bore you. Anyone who talks
when someone else is talking, is hostile, or otherwise violates classroom
etiquette (e.g., does other homework, reads the newspaper) will be considered to
be in violation of this policy and will need to meet with me.
A basic requirement of this course is that you
will participate in class and conscientiously complete writing and reading
assignments. If you miss more than half our class meetings within the
first four weeks of the semester without contacting me, you will be
administratively withdrawn from this section. If you miss more than four classes
in the first four weeks, you may be withdrawn. Administrative withdrawal may
have academic, financial, and financial aid implications. Administrative
withdrawal will take place after the full refund period, and if you are
administratively withdrawn from the course you will not be eligible for a
tuition refund. If you have questions about the administrative withdrawal policy
at any point during the semester, please contact me.
This course uses an e-text. For those of you who have not used e-texts yet, there is
some background on precisely what
constitutes an e-text and a tutorial on that page at the link "Help: Accessing
e-texts at IU" explaining how to log into an e-text.
IU eTexts is available in your Oncourse class page.
In the menu at the left of the screen, click on “Courseload
eTexts” to open the Engage reading platform.
In the top left corner of Engage, click on the Menu icon.
Click on the Help link. Click
on “Students” to access quick overviews of how to navigate the
platform and all the general studying/learning features – reading,
note-taking, highlighting, questioning, printing, bookmarking, searching,
and collaborating. Please
familiarize yourself with the Engage platform before the first day of
class. Engage works best when
viewed online, in Firefox or Chrome.
Please understand that when you registered for the course you
already have paid for the e-text on your bursar's bill. The price of
the current edition of this text as a paper copy is presently no better
than $115 (and even higher in some places). If you buy a paper copy
of the text, you are adding to your expenses and only should do so if you
strongly desire to have a paper copy. If you absolutely must have a
paper copy, I suggest you buy an older version of the text online at http://www.dealoz.com (which
searches multiple online vendors).
R. Barry Lewis, Robert
Jurmain, and Lynn Kilgore 2012 Understanding
Humans: Introduction to Physical Anthropology and Archaeology (11th
Edition). Wadsworth, Belmont, CA.
Schedule (readings in italics)
1 (DRAWING AN ARCHAEOLOGIST) DUE IN CLASS JANUARY 13
January 11, 13
Introduction to course: what is archaeology? anthropology? culture?
material culture? time? prehistory?
2 (MAPS AS MATERIAL CULTURE) DUE JANUARY 20
CLASS JANUARY 18th
January 20, 25, 27 (Chapter 1)
How do anthropologists decide what they want to know?: ideology and
Indiana Jones and the Ivory Tower: who are archaeologists?
3 (CAR ANALYSIS) DUE FEBRUARY 3
February 1, 3
Ideology and innocuous objects: beer cans and the construction of
February 8, 10 (Chapter 8)
What is an archaeological site? How are sites identified?
How are sites examined?: trowels, screens, shovels, and squares
What is context?: stratigraphy and archaeological association
February 15, 17
What do archaeologists find?: bones, pottery, stone tools, art,
space, and other artifacts
How are artifacts and sites dated?: relative and absolute dating
1 FEBRUARY 24
February 22, 24 (Chapter 2)
What is evolution? Science and narrative in evolutionary research
Archaeology of human originations: Where did humans come from?
4 (SERIATION) DUE MARCH 2
February 29, March 2 (Chapter
European vacation: Homo erectus and migration from Africa
March 7, 9 (Chapter 10)
The history of Neanderthal archaeology: why
did archaeologists assume Neanderthals were brutes?
SPRING BREAK MARCH
5 (GARBAGE ANALYSIS) DUE MARCH 23
March 21, 23 (Chapter
Art, religion, and cosmology in the Paleolithic
March 28, 30
Exam Study Session
2 March 30
April 4, 6 (Chapter 13)
Migration to the New World: how? when? why?
Paleoindians in the Americas: Clovis and Folsom cultures
April 11, 13
Social organization: hunters and gatherers, chiefdoms, and states
April 18, 20 (Chapter
The Neolithic Revolution: sedentism,
agriculture and the emergence of states in the Near East
April 25, 27
Otzi: the body of a Neolithic traveler
Last updated April 25, 2016