(ANTHR 103)


Ms. Lee Clauss


WebCT Online Class


Contact me using your WebCT email account.


An introduction to the study of concepts, theories, and methods of anthropological archaeology, and a review of significant data and models that contribute to knowledge of the human past. The course includes a discussion of the history and interdisciplinary nature of archaeological research; dating techniques and methods of survey, excavation, and analysis; cultural resource management; contemporary issues, and selected cultural sequences from around the world.


Upon completion of this course, students will understand:

1. The discipline of anthropology, the four-field approach, and the theories, methods, and goals of biological anthropology.

2. The history of archaeological thought (theory) and practice (method).

3. The modern science of archaeology, including the data types, site formation processes, concepts of context and provenience, and development of research designs.

4. Field methods

5. Artifact and feature analysis methods

6. Dating methods

7. The process of reconstructing and interpreting the archaeological record (ex.: social organization, cultural evolution, subsistence, technology, trade, art, and spirituality).

8. Archaeology and the law (applicable federal and state laws)

9. Archaeology and the public (museums, volunteerism, Hollywood)

10. Contemporary issues and problems in archaeology.




Discovering Our Past: A Brief Introduction to Archaeology by Ashmore and Sharer (4th Edition) 


Archaeology: The Comic by Loubser (2003).



The course will consist of 10 units or lessons. Below each lesson title you will note the reading assignment due for the next lesson. Additional information regarding the scheduling of each lesson and associated quiz and discussion post, as well as the due dates for assignments or exams will be provided on the final course syllabus.

Lesson 1: Course and Instructor Introduction; What is Anthropology?

Get textbooks; Read Chapter 1 and 2 in Ashmore; pp. 1-18 in Loubser

Lesson 2: Archaeology’s Origins: Early Theories and Practice

Read Chapter 3 in Ashmore; pp. 22-24 in Loubser

Lesson 3: Modern Archaeological Theories and Practice

Read Chapter 4 in Ashmore; pp. 25-26 in Loubser

Lesson 4: The Basics of Archaeological Science

Read Chapter 5 in Ashmore: pp. 28-42, 49-69, 88, 97-100 in Loubser

Lesson 5: Archaeological Fieldwork

Read Chapter 6 in Ashmore; pp. 19-21, 88-92, 96, 102-124 in Loubser

Lesson 6: Archaeological Data Processing and Analysis

Read Chapter 7 in Ashmore; pp. 72-86, 93-100 in Loubser

Lesson 7: Dating the Past: Archaeological Dating Methods

Reach Chapter 8 in Ashmore; pp. 126-147 in Loubser

Lesson 8: Reconstructing the Past

Read Chapter 9 in Ashmore

Lesson 9: Interpreting the Past

Read Chapter 10 in Ashmore; Review NAGPRA, Native American, SHPO, and Section 106 issues in Loubser

Lesson 10: Contemporary Issues in Archaeology




In addition to completing the reading for each lesson or unit, you will be expected to complete a short quiz for each lesson and a required discussion post and response for each lesson. During the course of the class, at least two and possibly three writing assignments will be assigned, as well. In addition, you will have two or three exams. All quizzes will consist of multiple choice questions only. The exams, however, will have a combination of multiple choice, short answer, and essay questions. Additional detail regarding assignments, exams, and grading will be provided on the final syllabus at the start of the online class.


Extra credit will be made available. A total of 30-50 points of extra credit can be earned by completing both required course introduction tasks, as well as voluntary additional assignments. Additional detail regarding extra credit will be provided on the final syllabus at the start of the online class.


If you would like some additional information about the course content or course format, or the technology/software or computer skills required to take the class, please contact me at


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