Introduction to Archaeology 

Status message

  • Active context: courses_slideshow
  • Active context: courses
  • Active context: course_page
  • Active context: sitewide
Course Number: 
105 Stanley Hall
Kent Lightfoot
MWF 8:00-9:00

Fall 2017

Anthro 2AC is an introduction to the methods, goals, and theoretical concepts of archaeology. The field of archaeology is concerned with the study of past human societies based primarily on the material culture produced and used by people. For more than a century, archaeologists have been developing and refining a suite of methods for recovering and analyzing material cultural remains that have been deposited into the archaeological record.
These material remains (artifacts, ecofacts, features, sites, etc.) often comprise a rather fragmentary, but nonetheless complex data base. This course explores how archaeologists employ these material remains to construct interpretations about past societies. Lecture topics will include discussions on the formation of the archaeological record; the history of archaeology; developing research designs; field methods (survey and excavation) for recovering and recording archaeological data; laboratory methods employed in the analysis of archaeological data; chronology; and generating interpretations about the past.

Three exams required (two midterms and a final exam) and a short research paper (3-5 pages, typed, double space).

The format of the final and midterm exams is a combination of multiple choice, identification, and essay questions. Participation in weekly discussion sections is mandatory. Each student is responsible for signing up for a discussion section listed in the Schedule of Classes. The final grade will be based on participation in the discussion section (20%), the two midterm exams (20% each, 40% total), the final exam (30%), and short research paper (10%).




Ashmore, Wendy and Robert J. Sharer
Discovering Our Past: A Brief Introduction to Archaeology. 2014. 6 th Edition. Mayfield
Publishing Co., Mountain View, California.

The short Ashmore and Sharer textbook will be complemented with additional journal articles
and book chapters that are also required reading for the semester. These readings will be
available on the Anthro 2AC bCourse web site.