Introduction and Guide


Introduction to Archaeology looks at anthropology from the perspective of the archaeologist. Focusing on long spans of time and large geographic regions, archaeology charts the patterns of long term change in technology, subsistence, economy and social organization. To learn about these topics, archaeologists study the material remains --house ruins, garbage, broken and lost items -- of past societies.


There are two major sections of the course. In the first part you will learn about the methods that archaeologists use to translate material remains into knowledge of past cultures. In the second part we will review the results of archaeological research as we study the course of culture change from the earliest hominid societies of 2 million years ago up to archaeological studies of 19th century America.


These pages go well beyond a course syllabus.  The Course Schedule section not only lists daily lecture topics and reading assignments, but also provides links to study guides and supplementary material.



Rules of the Road



These rules are simple guidelines.  Most of them involve showing consideration and respect for your fellow students. Some of them will help you to do better in the course.  A few of them are just things that tick me off.

  • I try to start each lecture with an overview of the topic.  Often I present the overall theme of the lecture.  It helps you understand the lecture and take notes, when you understand my goals for the lecture.  If you are often late, leave home a little earlier.  It is much better to be ten minutes early and review notes and chat with friends than to come in ten minutes late and not have a clue about what is going on for another ten minutes.  Be on time.
  • If you have a question, please ask.  You probably are not the only one with a question.  Other people will be grateful, and I appreciate the chance to clear up any misunderstandings early.
  • When you come to see me during office hours, please bring your class notebook.  I will want to look through it.  Often I can spot the source of confusion quickly in your notes.
  • Please don't talk in class.  I can hear you, and the students around you can hear.  It is disturbing and rude.
  • Turn off your beepers and phones.  If your silent beeper goes off, don't leave class to make a phone call.  It is a disturbance for other students (and me) and you will lose the thread of the lecture.
  • Plagiarism.  It is theft any time you present someone else's work as your own work.  It does not matter if it is an exam, a short report or even extra credit, it is a major offense.  The college is a world of ideas, stealing ideas is serious.