You are on page 1of 5

Seton Hall University

Department of Sociology & Anthropology

Intro to Archaeology, ANTH1211AA

Course Information
Final Exam:

Fall 2015
Thursdays, 5-7:30
12/17, 5-7:30

Professor Information
Dr. Ruth Maher
Office Hours:
Thurs: 3:00-5:00 and after class

This course introduces students to the scientific study of the past. Archaeology is the study of past human
societies, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture (Artifacts) and environmental
data (Ecofacts) left behind. These remains include artifacts, structures, work-spaces, biofacts, ecofacts,
written sources and landscapes otherwise known as the archaeological record. Since archaeology employs a
wide range of different procedures and is multidisciplinary in nature, it can be considered to be both a science
and humanities. Archaeology studies human prehistory and history from the development of the first stone
tools in Africa c. 3 million years ago to and including recent decades.
This course will describe the methods used in archaeology, including archaeological survey and excavation,
and various types of data and their collection methods which enable archaeologists to learn more about the
past. It will focus on major archaeological sites and periods around the world, both prehistoric and historic,
review the various procedures and critically assess the types of data presented as evidence. Class discussions
will start from the ancient discoveries to and including modern issues such as community archaeology,
heritage and sustainability/preservation.
Some of the scheduled topics:
Site Formation, Climate and Environmental Change,
Social/Political/Economical organizations of past societies, Migration, Community Archaeology,
Sustainability and Archaeological Ethics and Responsibilities. Some notable regions and/or cultures:
Mesopotamia and the Near East, Celts, Vikings, Inca, Maya, Romans, US Colonists, etc.
This course seeks to help you understand:

main theoretical approaches in archaeology.

multidisciplinary approaches to research and the various scientific analyses and their contributions to
the more complete image of the past

the relevance of text-hindered archaeology as well as how archaeology has changed history.

the significance that archaeological research has to key topics concerning human welfare and
contemporary problems (environmental degradation and sustainability, food production, social and
economic inequality, gender relations, warfare).

how to evaluate an archaeological study in terms of its research design, theoretical approach, and

how archaeologists gather data and be able to analyze data from archaeological research, discern
patterns in the data, and formulate and present a logical interpretation of the patterns.

how archaeologists investigate and reconstruct aspects of past societal structures

the ethical (and to some extent legal) issues surrounding the documentation, preservation,
interpretation, and "ownership" of archaeological remains.


There are two required books. There may be a few online readings as well, but material will primarily come
from these books. The books are in the University bookstore:

Renfrew, C. and Bahn, P. (2012). Archaeology: Theories, Methods, and Practice.

Thames & Hudson Ltd. (6th ed): London.

Muckle, R.J. (2011). Reading Archaeology: An Introduction. University of Toronto

Press: North York.

For the most part, both are important books and since they are required, I will not be able to help you if you
havent been doing the readings because you do not have them. However, in an effort to help you (and your
pocket), I provide this bit of information so you can figure it all out. The Renfrew book will only be used
during the first half of the semester, and you will only be assigned 6 chapters (1, 3, 4, 7, 5 and 10 (in that
order)). Other parts of the book may be of use or of interest to you, but those are the 6 assigned chapters. This
means that you can share if you need to or do a partial rental or something. However, keep in mind that you
have weekly quizzes based on readings & lectures and you will have essays/discussions which will need to
have that information from the Renfrew book incorporated. If you choose not to purchase the book and share,
you may want to make a copy/scan the chapters so that you have access to the material during the entire
semester. The information gained from the Renfrew book is the foundation of all the material you learn later,
so it will continue to be relevant throughout the semester.
As for the Muckle book, there are numerous short articles in the book that will be used throughout the
semester. Sometimes to enhance the Renfrew readings and other times they will stand on their own as your
weekly assigned readings. The MOST IMPORTANT THING TO KNOW is that I will likely choose a
reading from the Muckle book to be used with your Group Discussion Board (see heading below). This means
you will be required to read from the book and use the knowledge youve gained from other readings,
lectures, videos, etc. to critically & intellectually discuss as a coherent integrated topic as a part of your grade.
This means that the Muckle book will be extremely important during the semester and you MUST have it
right from the start.
Please make Blackboard your friend. Not only will I be using BlackBoard to post any additional readings, but
also useful tips & info sheets, announcements and other types of course materials during the semester. Hybrid
classes will be on there too. Please review announcements and course materials often and make sure your
University email is working properly so you receive important announcements and feedback (e.g., sudden
class cancelation, deadlines, etc.). If you are unfamiliar or even uncomfortable with the Blackboard software,
please check out the Student Help tab in Blackboard for frequently asked questions and even a manual. You
can also contact the helpdesk if you cant find your answers. I only accept documents through the upload
feature in Blackboard and will not accept emailed documents, so it is important for your success in this class.
"Please refer questions regarding course content (where is the test?) to your instructor, but questions
involving use of Blackboard (how do I reply to a discussion board post?) should be directed to the
Online Help Desk
(Blackboard Student Help Tab, Standard Practices)

There will be no opportunity for extra credit; however, the more you keep up with the smaller assignments,
youll be bringing up your grade. Your grade for the course will be based on:
Discussion Boards:
Weekly Quizzes:
Final Exam:


Snow and Ice. Lets face it, its fun to play in and build forts, but when traversing on winding unplowed
roads in the Land of Narnia its not a pleasure cruise. Obviously, if classes are canceled by SHU, then we
are all on the same page. However, if you hear there is bad weather on its way from the West check your
email and/or Blackboard announcements in the morning and see if Ive posted any messages. I will post by
7:00 a.m. at the latest (so yall can go back to bed).
If I cannot make it in due to inclement weather/road conditions by me, then I will post something on
Blackboard and will have a discussion board organized to go along with it. I may use Blackboard Collaborate
to deliver a lecture, or I may put a few current articles online for you to read and address in the discussion and
you will have until midnight on the following day to complete it and contribute on the discussion board in
order to receive credit for the day and your attendance. Discussion Board contributions will be meaningful
and focused on the topic at-hand. Any and all inappropriate language/discussions will be removed and you
will not receive credit for attending class that lecture (and such would be marked against your attendance).
All readings are required and should be read prior to the lectures and before taking the weekly quiz for each
topic. The material I cover in my lectures complements the readings, but does not necessarily focus on the
readings. This means that the knowledge you gain from the readings will be used to understand my lectures.
The Quizzes correspond with the weekly readings and lectures. These quizzes will be due every Saturday by
11:59 pm, at the end of the topic week. You will not be able to take the quiz after the due date/time no
exceptions. If youre worried about missing a deadlinetry to complete it sooner as the quizzes will be
available from Thursday evening through Saturday. They are relatively short quizzes and you will only have
20 minutes once you begin.
The quizzes are worth 25% of your grade. The questions will be taken directly from the required material for
the topic (lectures AND readings AND videos AND handouts). Remember, there is no possible way for you
to make up a quiz. If your computer or internet connection causes a problem or you try to use the back button
and get knocked off the quiz, there is no way to retake the quiz. You only have one shot. If you take and
pass ALL quizzes assigned for the semester you receive bonus points. This is the only type of extra credit
I offer during the semester.
Regular and significant postings on the message boards are highly encouraged and will add to overall class
participation value in calculating final grades. All students should visit the discussion boards frequently in
order to add helpful information or to ask your own questions. You can even add your two cents to a thought
provoking comment and add intelligent debates/arguments.
There will be three (3) Seminar Discussion Boards during the semester. They will be bigger concepts and
they will be prompted by a reading or readings from your Muckle reader. In these discussion boards, you will
be receiving grades. Generally the rubric for these will consist of three parts. (1) Integration of the material
learned during the semester to address the assigned article. (2) Placement of the readings into a more global or
worldly context. (3) Numerous interactions with your fellow classmates. Do not simply add a comment or
create a thread without following up on it. Do not post blindly either. Read through your classmates threads
first as someone may have already posted something similar. Rather than start a new thread, respond to
someones post, add to it or debate that persons idea.
Remember your contributions need to be significant. A one-word response will not be considered a
contribution. Also, remember that there is no room for: swearing, bullying, pick-up lines, insults or any other
bad behavior. If I see it, I will delete it and the individual responsible will not receive any credit whatsoever
for the particular assignment just a 0. So, be kind and thoughtful and intellectual and wonderful and itll
all be great!

All of the information presented in class is possible test material. This includes maps, powerpoints, lectures,
readings, handouts and movies. For the most part, class powerpoints are not posted online. It is your
responsibility to take good notes and ask informative questions in discussion boards and via email to better
study for exams. There will only be one exam for this course. A Final exam.
Attendance is required and will be considered in calculating your final grade. If you are absent from class for
any reason, it is your responsibility to cover the material you missed. This includes getting the lecture
notes FROM A CLASSMATE and checking blackboard for any hand-outs, or announcements you might
have missed. Dailies and other in-class work cannot be made up under any circumstances.

2 lates =
1-2 absences =
3+ absences =
0 absences =

1 absence
no direct grading penalty
Final Grade reduced 1 full grade for every two missed classes.
Bonus Points on final grade (could raise your grade if you are between grades).

It is your responsibility to meet deadlines and get your work in on time. I do not accept any assignments by
Email No exceptions. Electronic deadlines are final, thus quizzes, discussion boards and the final exam will
not be accepted after the due date. The essay is the only assignment that will be accepted late, but at a
significant cost to your essay grade. See below for details:

Quizzes: Quizzes are only open until the date/time specified on the course schedule. You should print
the schedule out and have it available or make it a point to check blackboard often. Quizzes are
always due on Saturday night the end of every topic week. You only have one opportunity to take
the quiz and it will be closed after it expires.

Final Exam: The final exam will be December 17th from 5:00-7:30pm. There are no make-up exams.

Essay. If your essay is not uploaded into Blackboard by the due-date & time, grades will be
reduced by a full grade for every day your assignment is late. If your assignment is 1+ week(s) late,
you will not receive a passing grade at all, however, some credit is better than no credit so it is best to
do all the required work. Please Do Not Email Me Assignments They Will Not Be Accepted As
A Submission.

Discussion Boards: When discussion boards are assigned, I will expect you to use them over the
course of a few days. You are responsible for contributing something substantial to the discussion
board and replying/responding to your fellow classmates numerous times (I will look to see that you
have the minimum of 3 posts). A discussion requires you to interact with your fellow classmates.
You can ask questions, question someones comment, discuss a comment further, answer your
classmates if you feel you know the answer to their question. Supply information maybe you just
watched a documentary on Neolithic farming go ahead and bring it up. If you come from a long
line of farmers great, talk about farming in modern times and what may be similar or different. If
you dont understand how we get domesticated animals ask. Keep the conversation going with
meaningful, constructive, and polite dialogue.

If you need to contact me about important matters, I expect that you will see me in person during office hours.
Any urgent matters on days that I am not at SHU should be emailed to me. I am very good about checking
and responding to emails and you can always reach me that way.

All electronic devices such as cell phones, pagers, PDAs, Blackberrys, iPods, MP3s, etc. (and all similar
devices) must be turned off and stored out of sight while class is in session and exams are being taken.
The only exception is for Note-taking during class.
Cheating in any form will not be tolerated in this class. Anyone caught cheating on an exam will receive a
zero for that exam. Anyone caught cheating on the final exam will fail the course.
You must quote any language directly taken from another source and you must reference thoughts, ideas and
other forms of work produced by another when you are writing and/or talking about a subject in this class as
well as most of your other classes. Please visit the following websites for information on how to cite
references within your research papers as well as on how to create a bibliography. If you need further
information about plagiarism or referencing, please do not hesitate to meet with me as Ill be happy to help.
* Strategies for Avoiding Plagiarism
* Purdue University Online Writing Lab's Avoiding Plagiarism
* In Course documents you will see a pdf of the SAA Style Guide which will guide you in methods of
citing references as well as creating your bibliography (esp. pp. 14-32).
If you are confused or have questions, I will be available before/after class or during office hours and via email. Please do not wait until the end of the semester to inform me about problems or things you dont
understand. I can't help you if you don't let me know. If you take responsibility for attending lectures and
asking questions about anything that is not clear, you should do fine in this class.