Course Number:
ATH 102
Transcript Title:
Intro Archaeology & Prehistory
Created:
May 20, 2022
Updated:
Jul 26, 2022
Total Credits:
4
Lecture Hours:
0
Lecture / Lab Hours:
0
Lab Hours:
0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement:
No
Satisfies General Education requirement:
Yes
Grading Options
A-F, P/NP, Audit
Default Grading Options
A-F
Repeats available for credit:
0
Prerequisites

Placement into MTH 65 or MTH 98

Prerequisite/Concurrent 
WR 121

Course Description

Explores archaeological methods and techniques used to recover, analyze, and reconstruct ancient cultures and societies, including the ethics and issues of looting, collecting, and preservation of artifacts. Provides a survey of world prehistory while emphasizing the development of social complexity and the origins of agriculture. Prerequisites: MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121. Audit available.

Course Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Apply archaeological research, survey, and excavation methods.
  2. Identify ongoing ethical issues in archaeology.
  3. Differentiate between absolute and relative dating techniques and methods.
  4. Use prehistoric material culture to reconstruct past behavior and human interaction.
  5. Appreciate the range and diversity of past human societies.

Alignment with Institutional Learning Outcomes

Major
1. Communicate effectively using appropriate reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. (Communication)
Major
2. Creatively solve problems by using relevant methods of research, personal reflection, reasoning, and evaluation of information. (Critical thinking and Problem-Solving)
Not Addressed
3. Extract, interpret, evaluate, communicate, and apply quantitative information and methods to solve problems, evaluate claims, and support decisions in their academic, professional and private lives. (Quantitative Literacy)
Major
4. Use an understanding of cultural differences to constructively address issues that arise in the workplace and community. (Cultural Awareness)
Major
5. Recognize the consequences of human activity upon our social and natural world. (Community and Environmental Responsibility)

To establish an intentional learning environment, Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs) require a clear definition of instructional strategies, evidence of recurrent instruction, and employment of several assessment modes.

Major Designation

  1. The outcome is addressed recurrently in the curriculum, regularly enough to establish a thorough understanding.
  2. Students can demonstrate and are assessed on a thorough understanding of the outcome.
    • The course includes at least one assignment that can be assessed by applying the appropriate CLO rubric.

Minor Designation

  1. The outcome is addressed adequately in the curriculum, establishing fundamental understanding.
  2. Students can demonstrate and are assessed on a fundamental understanding of the outcome.
    • The course includes at least one assignment that can be assessed by applying the appropriate CLO rubric.

Suggested Outcome Assessment Strategies

Tests, research papers, discussion, quizzes, homework, group projects, and other forms of assessment all may be used for this course at the instructor's discretion.

The determination of teaching strategies used in the delivery of outcomes is generally left to the discretion of the instructor. Here are some strategies that you might consider when designing your course: lecture, small group/forum discussion, flipped classroom, dyads, oral presentation, role play, simulation scenarios, group projects, service learning projects, hands-on lab, peer review/workshops, cooperative learning (jigsaw, fishbowl), inquiry based instruction, differentiated instruction (learning centers), graphic organizers, etc.

Course Content

Outcome #1: Apply archaeological research, survey, and excavation methods.

  • Explore theoretical concepts: cultural history, processual, ethnoarchaeology, post-processual, gender and agency views of the past.

  • Investigate museum involvement in the curation of archaeological artifacts.

  • Understand archaeology as a destructive process.

  • Differentiate between Low, Middle, and High Range theory (processual and post-processual).

  • Identify methods employed by archaeologists in the past and changes through time.

  • Identify major components of the geologic/archaeological timeline.

  • Identify basic methods of archaeological inquiry, including research, survey, and excavation processes.

Outcome #2: Identify ongoing ethical issues in archaeology.

  • Explore ethical issues: heritage rights, CRM, curation, artifact conservation, looting.

  • Investigate research design construction, pre-excavation research, and modeling.

  • Discuss controversial aspects of archaeology such as heritage rights, salvage, conservation, and looting.

Outcome #3: Differentiate between absolute and relative dating techniques and methods.

  • Identify relative dating techniques: seriation and battleship curves, association, and stratigraphy.

  • Identify absolute dating techniques: C14, K-Ar, dendrochronology, TL, obsidian hydration, ESR.

  • Identify prehistoric technologies: lithic, bone, shell, clay, wood, and fiber tool traditions.

  • Explore typologies and/or classification of prehistoric artifacts and material identification.

  • Explore site formation processes: erosion, topography, depositional layers and soil sample analysis.

  • Investigate past environments through the use of pollen and phytolith sampling, soil and climate data, and zoological, marine, and botanical data.

  • Explore sites using examples of absolute and relative dating techniques or methods.

Outcome #4: Use prehistoric material culture to reconstruct past behavior and human interaction.

  • Identify field techniques: survey strategies, sampling, remote sensing, flotation, digital imaging, and GPS/GIS.

  • Define methods of statistical sampling in recording the distribution of features and sites.

  • Explore examples of prehistoric site distribution patterns.

  • Discuss site taphonomy and deposition events.

  • Discuss experimental archaeology.

  • Discuss how artifacts can be used to infer past human interaction with the environment or other people.

Outcome #5: Appreciate the range and diversity of past human societies.

  • Discuss importance of "context" in the archaeological record.

  • Present examples of prehistoric art, its social significance and mnemonic function in the studies of social complexity.

  • Discuss innovation and diffusion of major culture traits throughout human prehistory.

  • Differentiate the geological age and locations of the earliest fossil evidence of Homo sapiens.

  • Explore the continuity and replacement models of human origins, human migrations.

  • Differentiate Paleolithic, Mesolithic and early Neolithic peoples.

  • Explore the evidence for the transition from food collecting to food-producing societies.

  • Explore the evidence for the origin of domestication of plants and animals.

  • Discuss state-level societies in Africa, Middle East, Mediterranean, India, China, and the Americas.

  • Explore craft-production and specialization, long-distance trade, land ownership, hereditary elites, wealth accumulation, and rise of warfare.

  • Explore probable causes of shifts in human population size and density through time.

Suggested Texts and Materials

  • Chazan, M. (2017) World Prehistory and Archaeology: Pathways Through Time, 4th Ed. Routledge Taylor and Francis Group.

  • Fagan, B.M., & Durrani, N. (2016). Archaeology, 12th ed. Routledge.

  • Fagan, B.M., & Durrani, N. (2019). People of the Earth: An Introduction to World Prehistory, 15th Ed. Routledge Taylor and Francis Group.

  • Kelly, R.L., & Thomas, D.H. (2014). Archaeology: Down to Earth, 5th ed. Cengage.

  • Parker, M.P., & Angeloni, E. (2017). Annual Editions: Archaeology, 12th ed. McGraw Hill.

  • Paskey, A.W., Cisneros, A. B. (2020). Digging into Archaeology: A Brief Introduction to Archaeology with Activities. Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. (OER)

  • Renfrew, C., & Bahn, P. (2016). Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice, 7th edition. Thames and Hudson, London.