Anthropology 205                                                                           Washington and Lee University
Dr. Alison Bell                                                                                                               Winter 2003           

Instructor Contact Information

Office:  Newcomb 6
Office Hours:    Tuesdays 3:00-5:00, Wednesdays 2:30-4:30, Thursdays 3:00-5:00, and by appointment.
Office Phone:    x8638
Home Phone:    x5045 until January 26, when it becomes 464-5986.


Course Description

This course introduces students to key archaeological issues, methods, sites and cultures around the world. It spans the time from the emergence of human beings to the dawning of the modern era, with special attention to the development of farming, urbanism, and economic inequality in many societies. In addition to surveying developments in Africa , Europe , India , Asia , Meso America , South America , and North America on a general level, this course includes more in-depth case studies of the prehistory of Southwestern North America and historic sites in Massachusetts . The course also covers methods archaeologists use to gain information about intangible aspects of societies – including class structure and religious beliefs – from material remains, and concludes by considering archaeological insights into the behavior of modern Americans.


Course Texts

Stephen A. Mrozowski, Grace H. Ziesing and Mary C. Beaudry (1996) Living on the Boott: Historical Archaeology
         at the Boott Mills Boardinghouses, Lowell, Massachusetts. University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst.
Stephen Plog (1997) Ancient Peoples of the American Southwest. Thames and Hudson, London.
T. Douglas Price and Gary M. Feinman (2000) Images of the Past, Third Edition. Mayfield Publishing Company, 
        Mountain View, California.


Course Expectations

Three Assessments

Assessments are open-book, open-note, take-home exercises designed to allow the instructor to assess each student’s understanding of material in assigned readings and class discussion. Each assessment has 1-3 questions which together should require 6-8 pages (word-processed, double-spaced) to answer.

Assessment 1:   distributed Thurs. Jan. 23; due Tues. Feb. 4; covers Price & Feinman Ch. 1-6 & class material 
                          Jan. 7 – 23.
Assessment 2:   distributed Thurs. Feb. 13; due Tues. Mar. 4; covers Price & Feinman Ch. 7, Plog & class material 
                            Jan. 28 – Feb. 13.
Assessment 3:   distributed Thurs. Mar. 27; due Fri. Apr. 11; covers Price & Feinman Ch. 8-11, Mrozowski et al. & 
                            class material Feb. 25 – Mar. 27.

One Paper

This component of the course provides students the opportunity to investigate an archaeological topic of his or her choice in greater depth (recommended paper length approximately 8 pages; due April 3).


Communication Component

In order to encourage the exchange of ideas encountered in this course, students may choose a variety of ways to express their opinions, comments and questions. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in class discussions – in large measure because of the benefit they will derive (both during college and after graduating) from being able to speak comfortably in group contexts. Students who opt not to participate regularly in class discussions may communicate with the instructor in person or by email (recommended 4-6 times per term). Depending on student interest, an electronic course discussion board may also be established. Any of these venues should permit students to gain experience sharing their observations and insights.


Final Grades

The breakdown of final grades for the course is as follows:

            Assessment One:        22.5%
            Assessment Two:        22.5%
            Assessment Three:      22.5%
            Research Paper:         22.5%
            Communication:         10%

Course Outline:

Tues. Jan. 7 &              Price and Feinman Chapters 1-2           Introduction to Archaeology
Thurs. Jan. 9                                                                                 and Early Hominids

Tues. Jan. 14 &            Price and Feinman Chapters 3-4           Homo erectus, Neanderthals,
Thurs. Jan. 16                                                                               and Homo sapiens

Tues. Jan. 21 &            Price and Feinman Chapters 5-6           Foragers and the Beginnings
Thurs. Jan. 23                                                                               of Farming Globally

Tues. Jan. 28 &            Price and Feinman Chapter 7 and         North American Prehistory      
Thurs. Jan. 30               and Plog Chapter 1

Tues. Feb. 4 &             Plog Chapters 2-5                                    Southwest: Early Prehistory
Thurs. Feb. 6                Assessment One
                                    Due Tuesday Feb. 4   

Tues. Feb. 11 &           Plog Chapters 6-Epilogue                     Southwest: Farming & Cities
Thurs. Feb. 13              Paper Proposal and Bibliography
                                    Due Thursday Feb. 13

Tues. Feb. 18 &           Washington Holiday     
Thurs. Feb. 20             

Tues. Feb. 25 &           Price and Feinman Chapter 8                Meso American Prehistory
Thurs. Feb. 27             

Tues. Mar. 4 &            Price and Feinman Chapters 9-10         South America, Egypt, India,
Thurs. Mar. 6               Assessment Two                                      Mesopotamia, China
                                    Due Tuesday Mar. 4

Tues. Mar. 11 &          Price and Feinman Chapter 11              European Prehistory
Thurs. Mar. 13            

Tues. Mar. 18 &          Mrozowski et al. pages 1-37                Historical Archaeology
Thurs. Mar. 20             Rough Draft of Paper
                                    Due Tuesday Mar. 18

Tues. Mar. 25 &          Mrozowski et al. pages 38-84              Archaeology of the Modern
Thurs. Mar. 27                                                                             World

Tues. Apr. 1 &             Student Presentations of Research
Thurs. Apr. 3                Paper Due Thursday Apr. 3

Fri. Apr. 11                  Assessment 3 Due at 5:00 p.m.