Anthropology 1010 Introduction to Archaeology

Fall 2007 1) Instructors: Prof. Rowan Flad Peabody Museum 57G Phone: 495-1966 Email: Office hours: M 2-4 2) Teaching Fellows: Parker Van Valkenburgh Peabody Museum Phone: 495-2250 Prof. Ofer Bar-Yosef Peabody Museum 57D Phone: 495-2252 Email: Office hours: Th 2-4

Email: Office hours: M 11-12, Tu 1-2:30

3) Course Description:
A1010 is concerned with the practice of archaeology and the discoveries that this practice has made possible. We will consider what archaeologists do answering questions such as: How do archaeologists know where to dig? Why do they dig square holes? How do they analyze and understand what they find? In addition, we will introduce you to some of the breakthroughs archaeology has made in understanding human history and address questions such as: Where do modern humans come from? When and how did agriculture begin? What is “complex society” and when did it start? The course seeks to describe the current state of archaeological studies, in part by exploring their historical roots. Case studies from around the world highlight the ways in which archaeological methods and theories are put into practice. Weekly lab sections provide an opportunity for hands on experience with various methods of data recovery and analysis, using Peabody Museum collections. By the end of this class, students will know how archaeologists work, what their objectives are, and how they frame and try to answer the questions they ask. You will be able to critically assess claims made about the past and have a solid foundation for becoming an archaeologist. The course also demonstrates how social scientists think generally.

4) Lectures:
Monday and Wednesday 10:00 am – 11:00 pm, Peabody Museum 14a. The lectures will be delivered by Professors Flad and Bar-Yosef and other distinguished members of the archaeology faculty at Harvard University.

5) Sections:
Weekly lab sections are designed to help clarify information presented in lectures and the assigned readings through your participation in directed discussions with your classmates, and through activities that will give you first hand experience in how archaeologists investigate the past. Sections will involve hands on experiments and discussions of short readings in addition to the textbook chapters. Your TF will help guide you through the course and the variety of material that will be presented. Attendance is required and you will be expected to complete the assigned readings (including readings assigned especially for sections) before each section. (See the course website for section readings). We want to you to consider how archaeologists reconstruct our past, but in order for you to participate fully, you will have to be prepared. Meetings will be approximately 90 minutes long and will be held on Thursdays and Fridays. Sections begin the second week (Sept. 27 & 28).

6) Course Requirements:
You are expected to attend all lectures as lecture material will be included on the exams. Additionally, section attendance and participation are an important component of your grade. Section grades will be determined on the basis of your participation in weekly discussions and exercises. You will be required to complete weekly exercises and short reaction papers as well as two written assignments. A midterm exam will be given in lecture on October 31st, and a three-hour final exam will be given during Examination Period. Finally, you are required to complete and present a research project (poster) focusing on an archaeological topic of your interest (Dec. 12 & 17). During sections we will discuss the expectations of an academic poster project. The project will focus on a topic of interest to you and will involve library research and, possibly, experimental work. Internet resources are not acceptable sources for research in this course and students are expected to do their own work. Academic dishonesty of any sort will be referred to and dealt with by the Administrative Board. Please consult the Student Handbook ( for information regarding academic dishonesty. Details concerning academic dishonesty in writing can be found in the “Writing with Sources” pamphlet on-line at

7) Grading:
a) Attendance and Laboratory Participation: b) Two Written Assignments: c) Midterm Exam: d) Research Project / Poster: e) Final Exam: 20% 10% 25% 15% 30%

8) Late Policy:
Late assignments will be down-graded one half a letter grade for each 24 hour period they are late and will not be accepted more than five days past the due date. Late assignments must be handed directly to your TF or turned in to, signed, and dated by an administrator located in the Anthropology Dept. office on the Peabody Museum, 5th floor.

9) Required Textbooks and Readings:
The textbooks are available at the COOP. The Chazan book may arrive late due to its recent publication. All books and readings should be on reserve at the Lamont and Tozzer Libraries. Articles TK, AR, MI, EA, and SH will be on-line on the course website. Required Textbooks: On Reserve at the Lamont Library ABR.
Renfrew, C. and P. Bahn. 2007. Archaeology Essentials: Theories, Methods and Practice. Thames and Hudson, New York. Chazan, Michael. 2007. World Prehistory and Archaeology: Pathways through time. Allyn & Bacon, New York. Required Readings: On-line and on reserve at Lamont and Tozzer Libraries
Arnold, B. 1990. The Past As Propaganda: Totalitarian Archaeology in Nazi Germany. Antiquity 64:464–478. Dincauze, D.F., 2000. Environmental Archaeology. Principles and practice. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge. Chapter 17 “Humans among animals” pp: 468 - 488. Houston, Stephen, John Robertson, et al. 2000. The Language of Classic Maya Inscriptions. Current Anthropology 41(3): 321-356. Mithen, Steven. 2003. After the Ice Age: A Global Human History: 20,000-5000 BC. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London. Pp. 3-55 Thomas, David Hurst, and Robert L. Kelly (2007). The Structure of Archaeological Inquiry. In, Archaeology: Down To Earth, edited by Belmont, CA: Thompson Wadsworth. Pp. 23-47. Vitelli K. D. (Ed.). 2006. Archaeological Ethics. Altamira Press, London. AR EA SH MI TK VT



DATE 9/17


READINGS RB Chapter 1; (WP Ch. 2 optional); TK WP Ch. 3 WP Ch. 4 (section readings) WP Ch. 5 RB Ch. 8 (section readings) WP Ch. 1, RB Ch. 2 (section readings) RB Ch. 3 RB Ch. 4 (section readings) MI RB Ch. 6 (Assignment 1 due) WP Ch. 6

Why we do archaeology (RF and OBY)
Archaeology, Anthropology, & Science (OBY and RF) The archaeology of Human Evolution – The fossil record (OBY) The archaeology of Human Evolution – Sites and people (OBY) Section 1: Introduction – Early Material Culture / Stone Tools Neanderthals and Modern Humans (OBY) The Emergence of Paleolithic Art in Europe (OBY) Section 2: Human Bones – From evolution to diet and beyond No Class – Columbus Day Site Formation Process and Taphonomy (OBY) Section 3: Conducting Fieldwork and Sampling strategies Archaeological Practice: Survey and Excavation (RF and OBY) Context and Chronology (RF) Section 4: Stratigraphy and Chronology The World at the end of the Ice Age (OBY) Archaeology and Climate Change (OBY) Section 5: Paleoenvironmental Data “Out of Africa” and Modern Human Expansion (OBY) MIDTERM (In Class) NO SECTION Origins of Agriculture (Western Asia) (OBY) Paleoecology and Zooarchaeology (MB) Section 6: Animal Bones No Class – Veterans Day Origins of Agriculture (East Asia and the New World) (RF) Section 7: Food and the Origins of Agriculture Social Archaeology and Complexity (RF) Archaeology and Text (RF) No Section (Thanksgiving) Archaeology of Ethnicity - Maya
Marc Zender, Peabody Museum Archaeology of Technology and Production (RF)


9/19 9/24 9/26 10/1



10/3 10/8


10/10 10/15


10/17 10/22


10/24 10/29


10/31 11/5

WP Ch. 7 EA (section readings) WP Ch. 8-9; RB Ch.6 (section readings) RB Ch. 5, WP Ch. 1011


11/7 11/12 11/14 11/19



11/21 11/26

SH RB Ch. 7 (section readings) AR; VT Ch 2, 6, 13, 21 READING TBA (section readings) READING TBA (section readings)


11/28 12/3

Section 8: Ceramics – Specialization and Archaeological “Cultures”


12/5 12/10

Nationalism and Ethics in Archaeology (RF) Archaeology & the Public in Mesoamerica
Bill Fash, Department of Anthropology

Section 9: Annex Tour and NAGPRA The Past: Here and Now (RF) Student Presentations (In Class) Section 10: Ethics Debate Student Presentations (In Class)

13 14

12/12 12/17

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