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University of Waterloo Anthropology 201/Classical Studies 205 Principles of Archaeology Winter 2008 Instructor: Dr.

Rob Commisso Meeting Times: M 7:00 9:50pm Office: PAS 2013 Phone: Office Hours: M 5:30 - 6:30pm or by appointment E-mail: Course Description:
Archaeology, a sub-discipline of anthropology, is the recovery, analyses, and interpretation of material remains for the purpose of reconstructing past cultures and societies. In this way, archaeology provides a unique approach to the study of humans both in the past and present. This course provides an introduction to the working assumptions, analytic approaches, and integrative and descriptive methods of both anthropological and classical archaeology. We will explore the history of these two disciplines, and use examples of work from around the world and through the entire span of human history to describe the methods and theories used to interpret the physical evidence of past societies. The goal of the course is to provide an understanding of how archaeologists contribute to the study of humans and outline the role of archaeology in modern society.

Required Text:
Renfrew, Colin and Paul Bahn 2007. Archaeology Essentials: Theories, Methods, and Practice. Thames and Hudson, London.

Requirements and Evaluation: Course Requirement

Midterm examination Article Review Comprehensive exam

Grade Weight
30% 25% 45%

Students are responsible for all material in the assigned readings, lectures, films, and in-class discussion and exercises. If you miss a class, obtain notes from another student. I neither provide copies of my lecture notes nor do I post these on-line. If you are forced to miss a class I will be happy to clarify any questions you have during the scheduled office hours or at another appointed time. The article review is due March 17 by the end of the class. This assignment will be discussed in detail during the first two weeks of class. The list of assigned articles will be given in class and be posted on the UW-ACE. You can choose to write a review of any one of these. The assigned articles cover a range of topics of which you should find one of interest. However, you may review another article of your choice. These must be approved by me and a photocopy of the article or a URL of an on-line article must be submitted for approval no later than March 3. The midterm and final exams will include both the material presented in-class and from the assigned readings. The exams will consist of so-called objective questions and short essay questions. The mid-term will be a 1.5 hour in-class exam and will cover the material presented up to that date. The final exam will be comprehensive and may include any material covered throughout the semester. Students are normally only allowed to miss an exam or hand in an assignment late if they have a valid medical reason. You may be allowed to make up an exam in other rare circumstances, but in all cases I must be informed prior to the exam and written, dated, verifiable documentation must be provided. Failure to do so will result in a grade of zero for the exam or assignment. Note on avoidance of academic offences: All students registered in the courses of the Faculty of Arts are expected to know what constitutes an academic offence, to avoid committing academic offences, and to take responsibility for their academic actions. When the commission of an offence is established, disciplinary penalties will be imposed in accord with Policy #71 (Student Academic Discipline). For information on categories of offences and types of penalties, students are directed to consult the summary of Policy #71 which is supplied in the Undergraduate Calendar (section 1; on the Web at If you need help in learning how to avoid offences such as plagiarism, cheating, and double submission, or if you need clarification of aspects of the discipline policy, ask your course instructor for guidance. Other resources regarding the discipline policy are your academic advisor and the Undergraduate Associate Dean. You are also advised to read the document, "Avoiding Academic Offences" Note on grievance procedure: Students who believe that they have been wrongfully or unjustly penalized have the right to grieve; refer to Policy #70, Student Grievance, Note for students with disabilities: The Office for Persons with Disabilities (OPD), located in Needles Hall, Room 1132, collaborates with all academic departments to arrange appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities without compromising the academic integrity of the curriculum. If you require academic accommodations to lessen the impact of your disability, please register with the OPD at the beginning of each academic term.

Course Schedule and Readings: Due to the large class size most material will be presented through lecture. However, some material will be given through video, and other topics will be explored through exercises and discussion. The lectures are designed to expand on the assigned readings and as such you may find it best to read the relevant chapters before the class to get the most benefit from the lectures. All of the reading assignments refer to the chapters of the assigned text. During class please feel free to ask questions at any time if you need further clarification or wish to expand or comment on a point.

Week Date 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Jan. 7 Jan. 14 Jan. 21 Jan. 28 Feb. 4 Feb. 11 Feb. 25 Mar. 3 Mar. 10 Mar. 17 Mar. 24

Topic Introduction and history of archaeology Formation of the archaeological record Sites, survey, and excavation The evidence: artifacts Analyses and classification of artifacts Chronology: placing the evidence in time Mid-term exam Social organization Environment, subsistence, and diet Symbols, language, and religion Theories to interpret the past and why societies change.

Reading Assignments Introduction, Chpt. 1 Chpt. 2 Chpt. 3 Chpt. 7

Chpt. 4

Chpt. 5 Chpt. 6 Chpt. 8 Chpt. 9

12 13

Mar. 31 Apr. 7

Role of archaeology in modern society Catch-up and review

Chpt. 10

Final Exam TBA