Introduction and Guide

Essentials of Archaeology looks at how archaeologists study contemporary material remains –house ruins, garbage, broken and lost items of past societies – to understand behavior and cultures of the past.

There are two major sections of the course. In the first part you will learn about the questions that archaeologists ask, the methods that archaeologists use to organize data and identify patterns in past behavior, and theories that give meaning to these patterns.  In the second part we will review case studies of archaeological research.

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 class with an overview of the topic.  Often I present a quick outline of the issues.  It helps you to understand the lecture and to take notes, when you know the lecture’s goal.  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 a question comes to mind when you are doing an assignment, write it down.  Bring questions to class. 
  • If you have a question during class, 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.
  • 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.