Jun 18, 2024  
College Catalog 2022-2023 
College Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ANTH 2220 - Introduction to Archaeology

Credit Hours: 4.00

Prerequisites: None

This course is an introduction to the techniques, methods, and theories that archaeologists use to interpret the human past. The class will also explore archaeological evidence from both the Old and the New Worlds.

Billable Contact Hours: 4

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Outcome 1: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of various ancient societies and their cultural behaviors.

Objectives: The student will:

  1. Identify specific cultural materials from various cultures by style and type through video, photographic, and museum evidence.
  2. Identify unique cultural characteristics of each society as well as the factors that led to their formation (i.e., mummification, immolation, architectural styles).
  3. Analyze archaeological and material culture evidence from various sites through field study reports, worksheets, and photographic documentation to interpret cultural behaviors.

Outcome 2: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to identify and demonstrate knowledge of archaeological techniques and practices.

Objectives: The student will:

  1. Identify archaeology as a sub-science of anthropology; identify the characteristics and areas of study within it.
  2. Identify and discuss technical knowledge as to how to locate a site and set up a research project.
  3. Identify and discuss various material evidence and the characteristics of each (Lithics, Fossils, Features, Ecofacts).
  4. Utilize and identify methods of dating material finds from archaeological digs (i.e., stratigraphy, typology, Carbon 14, KA, etc.

Outcome 3: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to recognize anthropological and archaeological ethical issues arising from the study of past cultures.

Objectives: The student will:

  1. Describe and discuss the ethical issues involved in artifact repatriation and NAGPRA.
  2. Describe and discuss ethical issues involved in working with human remains.
  3. Describe the potential issues facing anthropologists as they strive for cultural relativism (i.e., dealing with girl murder, female genital mutilation, differences in valuation of human life, etc.).

Outcome 4: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to recognize alternative perspectives of previous human cultural behavior and how they compare and contrast with those of various living societies of today.

Objectives: The student will:

  1. Describe and discuss the evolution of cultural practices as human society increased in complexity.
  2. Identify environmental and societal reasons for behaviors no longer common in our society.
  3. Compare and contrast those behaviors with those of societies at varying levels of complexity in more modern centuries.

Outcome 5: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to apply critical thinking skills to anthropology.

Objectives: The student will:

  1. Analyze and evaluate archaeological information from various sites through written and verbal reports.
  2. Interpret data and formulate an informed opinion through research and report production on a compare/contrast basis between various ancient cultures.

• Communication: The graduate can communicate effectively for the intended purpose and audience.
• Critical Thinking: The graduate can make informed decisions after analyzing information or evidence related to the issue.
• Global Literacy: The graduate can analyze human behavior or experiences through cultural, social, political, or economic perspectives.
• Information Literacy: The graduate can responsibly use information gathered from a variety of formats in order to complete a task.
• Quantitative Reasoning: The graduate can apply quantitative methods or evidence to solve problems or make judgments.
• Scientific Literacy: The graduate can produce or interpret scientific information presented in a variety of formats.

CDO marked YES apply to this course:
Communication: YES
Critical Thinking: YES
Global Literacy: YES
Information Literacy: YES
Quantitative Reasoning: YES

  1. Orientation: Syllabus and course overview
    1. What is archaeology? Definition of archaeology and placement within the wider field of Anthropology
    2. Ancient Civilization: Neanderthal and Cro Magnon
  2. How Do You Do It? Site location and setting up a dig
    1. Project: Setting up a dig
    2. Ancient Civilization: Catal Huyuk, Ur
  3. What do you look for? The types of material culture and how to identify them
    1. Ancient Civilization: Egypt (mummification)
  4. OK, now that you’ve found it, what are you going to do with it? Methods of dating
    1. Stratigraphy project
    2. Ancient Civilization: North and South American Rock Shelters
  5. But what IS it? How do we place it in its context?
    1. Typologies
    2. Project: Burials of Bilj I
    3. Ancient Civilization: Minoan Crete
  6. What was it used for? Object analysis. What does context tell us? What is “in situ”? Why is that important? How does ethnology and research help us?
    1. Project: Study of Mayan/Aztec/etc. Ball Courts
    2. Ancient Civilization: Mayan
  7. Who the heck were these people? What can we know about them for sure? How does archaeological evidence help us know?
    1. Project: Comparisons of Rock Art
    2. Ancient Civilization: Indian - Harrapan
  8. Midterm
    1. Architecture and Features - What can they tell us about lifeways?
    2. Ancient Civilization: Stonehenge and other henges
  9. What did they do all day? Subsistence activities, domestication
    1. Project: Dentition and Anatomical Analysis
    2. Ancient Civilization: Native American Tribes - Southwest
  10. What do they believe in? Religion. Who were the original shamans and priests?
    1. Project: Burials of Bilj II
    2. Ancient Civilization: Southeast Asia, Angkor Wat
  11. Who did what? Archaeology and gender. What can we know about gender roles?
    1. Project: Participant Observation
    2. Ancient Civilization: The Moundbuilders
  12. What do they think? Myths, Magic, Witchcraft, Creation Stories, Supernatural Explanations. What archaeology tells us.
    1. Project: Creation Stories
    2. Ancient Civilization: Aztec
  13. What did they do all day II? Leisure activities through archaeological evidence
    1. Project: Egyptian game playing
    2. Ancient Civilization: Athenian Greece
  14. What did they eat? How did they prepare it? Archaeological perspectives on cooking
    1. Project: Cook like a Roman!
    2. Ancient Civilization: Roman Pompeii
  15. Who did they know? Trade and trade routes
    1. The diffusion of technology and traditions
    2. Ancient Civilization: China and Mongolia
  16. Review and Final Exam

Primary Faculty

Secondary Faculty

Associate Dean
Williams-Chehmani, Angie
Pritchett, Marie

Official Course Syllabus - Macomb Community College, 14500 E 12 Mile Road, Warren, MI 48088

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