Anthropology 001

General Honors

Spring 1997

Professor Clark L. Erickson

The Gateway of the Sun, 
The Gateway of the Sun, Tiwanaku, Bolivia

New Stuff!
Required Textbooks
Course Content
Reading Syllabus
Basic Reference Materials
Selected Journals and Periodicals that cover Archaeology
The Professor
Interesting Links to Archaeology Web Sites
SAA Style Guide

OFFICE: Room 435, University Museum

OFFICE HOURS: Thursdays 3:00 - 5:00 pm; I will be available during office hours and after class if you have any questions regarding the course material, the department's program in anthropology, or archaeology in general. You can also see me after class and by appointment if office hours conflict with your schedule. Messages can be left in my mailbox in Department of Anthropology Office or contact me by email.

TELEPHONE: 898-2282 (voice); 898-7462 (fax)


I strongly encourage all the students in the course to obtain an E-mail account and to learn how to use electronic mail for communication with your professors and other students.

LECTURE CLASSES: Mondays and Wednesdays 3:00 - 4:30 pm, Room 329, University Museum.

REQUIRED TEXTBOOKS: available at the University of Pennsylvania Bookstore, Locust Walk at 38th Street.

Ashmore, Wendy, and Sharer, Robert J.
1996 Discovering Our Past: A Brief Introduction to Archaeology. Second Edition, Mayfield, Palo Alto.

Price, T. Douglas and Gary Feinman 1997 Images of the Past. Second Edition, Mayfield Press, Palo Alto.

[Additional required readings will be made available on reserve under "General Honors Anth 1" at the reserve desk in the University Museum Library]

EXAMS: February 5, March 3, and May 1; Room 329, University Museum.

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This course is intended to be a brief introductory survey of contemporary Archaeological Techniques and World Prehistory for undergraduate students. There are no prerequisites for this course. Archaeology is one of the four subfields of Anthropology and the approach taken in this course is an anthropological archaeology. The focus of this course is on human prehistory, the time before written records became available. The course will examine contemporary methods used by archaeologists, the nature of the archaeological record, a short history of archaeological investigation, and provide a brief summary of prehistoric human cultural developments worldwide. A focus is on the major turning points in the history of humanity including the origins of culture, domestication of plants and animals, and the evolution of cities and ancient civilizations. Because of the massive amount of material relating to world prehistory and the limited amount of time available during the semester, the course coverage will be selective, not exhaustive.

The format of the course will be primarily lecture, discussion, and student presentations (seminar format at the end of the semester). At times, invited guest lecturers may join us to speak on their specialties. Because archaeology and world prehistory are visual, I use many slides of maps, sites, architecture, and artifacts to illustrate the lectures. You will be responsible for material presented during slide-illustrated lectures, so you might want to seat yourself where you can see your notebook when the main room lights are off. I generally do not stop the lecture to spell terminology, although you will be provided with lists of important term lists periodically. I highly recommend including maps and sketches of architecture and artifacts in your notes based on the slides. Questions may be asked before, during, or after lectures, time permitting. Time will be set aside during the class sessions for general discussion of the lecture and readings. Participation in these discussions is required.

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A tentative reading syllabus will be provided and will be periodically updated throughout the semester. In addition, required readings will be placed on reserve under "General Honors Anth 1" at the reserve desk in the University Museum Library. These will be announced in class and on the internet web site for this course. You should read the required readings before the lectures on the topic so that you will understand the lecture (which generally builds on the readings and doesn't repeat them) and to be able to discuss these materials during class. I strongly suggest taking notes while doing the readings. In addition, it wouldn't hurt to re-read the materials after the lecture and integrate these materials into your notes.


Grading will be based on two 1.5 hour in-class Midterm Exams (20% each), a 2 hour Final Exam (40%), and an in-class oral presentation and short written research paper based on this presentation (20%). Your participation in class discussion (or lack thereof) will be taken into account in determining the final grade.

Midterm and Final Exams: Exams will cover material from lectures, class discussion, and required reading assignments. The exams may include multiple choice, matching, short and long essays and identifications. I strongly suggest that the students form informal study groups to help cover and understand the readings and lectures more efficiently, as this has been an effective strategy in the past. Exams are not cumulative although the introductory lectures on the nature of archaeology will provide a basis for understanding materials presented throughout the semester. For each exam, you will be responsible for the materials presented in lecture, readings, and discussion since the last exam. Exams will be held February 5, March 3, and May 1 in Room 329, University Museum.

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Oral Presentation: Groups of 3-4 students will be assigned a presentation topic focusing on the practice of archaeology in the contemporary world (looting and collecting antiquities, gender issues in archaeology, nationalism and archaeology, ownership of the past, and the presentation of the past). A 20 minute concise oral presentation of the topic will be given by each group during the last 2 meetings of the semester. The groups and a schedule for these presentations is being prepared and will be distributed later in the semester.

I will help each group get started with a list of some basic references. Please note that most of the University of Pennsylvania Library holdings of books and journals on anthropology and archaeology are in the University Museum Library, 3rd floor of the University Museum. Your professor and the Museum librarians can help you get started on your search for bibliographic materials for your topic. Especially useful are the subject and keyword searches available in FCAT and RLIN for finding books and the keyword searches in WILS and other data sources for finding published journal articles. Another source for original data and up-to-date reference materials is the World Wide Web (WWW) or internet.

Written Research Paper: A short written paper will be required of each individual student based on the same topic as the oral presentation. This paper should be between ten (10) and twenty (20) typewritten (double spaced) pages. Papers must begin with a formal abstract. Prepare your paper using the American Antiquity style guide for citation and reference format (the October 1992 issue; vol 57, pages 749-770; a copy of the guide is also on the Internet at the Society for American Archaeology Website NOTE: you have to click on the little triangle at the upper right by "style guide" to get the text). Please submit two (2) copies of the paper by April 30 at the latest. Be sure to keep a copy of the paper for yourself in case the paper gets lost.


Students will be expected to show up for all classes, although this is not compulsory. Missing a class or two could negatively affect student performance. Please get the notes from other students if you have to miss a class. The professor will not provide copies of his lecture notes to students. Makeup exams will only be given for officially excused absences.

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Anthropology 001

General Honors


Spring 1997

Professor Clark L. Erickson



A/S = Ashmore and Sharer text
P/F = Price and Feinman text

January 13: Introduction: An Applied Archaeological Project

January 15: Archaeology: Introduction to the Discipline

A/S Chapt. 1-3

January 20: Research Design and the Archaeological Survey

A/S Chapt. 4 and pp. 79-94 and pp. 177-187

January 22: Archaeological Excavation and Context: The Dig; The Use and Abuse of Analogy

A/S pp. 94-104

January 27: Classification and Analysis of Artifacts and Chronological Frameworks

A/S pp. 104-113 and Chapt 6-7

January 29: Interpreting and Explaining the Past

A/S Chapt. 3, 9; and pp. 187-195; P/F pp. 1-5

February 3: The Archaeology of the Roots of Humanity

P/F pp. 1-73

February 5: MIDTERM EXAM (first 6 lectures)

February 10: The Origins of Culture and the Upper Paleolithic

P/F pp. 74-117

February 12: The Spread of Humanity

P/F pp. 121-173

February 17: The Domestication of Plants and Animals

P/F 74-181 (the most important);184-185; 190-195; 209; 217-219; 228-230; [I also suggest skimming all the rest of Chapter 5]

February 19: Early Farming Societies in the Old World

P/F pp. 183-213; 231-233

February 24: Early Farming Societies in the Americas

P/F pp. 214-233

February 26: The Origins of Civilization

P/F pp. 440-443 [especially important]; 305; 247; 258-9; 278; 385-387

March 3: MIDTERM EXAM (February 3-24 lectures)

March 5: Mesopotamia: The Earliest Cities

P/F pp. 385-399

March 10: Spring Recess

March 12: Spring Recess

March 17: Civilization in Egypt: Pharaohs and Pyramids

P/F pp. 408-419

March 19: Indus Valley Civilization: The Harappans

P/F pp. 400-407

March 24: African States: Great Zimbabwe and Jenne

P/F pp. 434-439

March 26: Europe before the Romans

P/F pp. 444-490

March 31: Mesoamerica: the Olmec and the Maya

P/F pp. 282-285; 290-299; 312-325; 328-331

April 2: Mesoamerica: Monte Alban, Teotihuacan, the Aztecs

P/F pp. 286-289; 300-311; 326-327; 332-341

April 7: South America: Early Civilizations

P/F pp. 343-367

April 9: South America: the Inka

P/F pp. 368-383

April 14: North America: Moundbuilders of the Midwest

P/F pp. 228-229; 235-263

April 16: North America: Pueblo Cultures of the Southwest

P/F pp. 264-273

April 21: The Practice of Contemporary Archaeology I: Student Presentations

A/S pp. 1-4, pp. 7-9; Chapter 10

April 23: The Practice of Contemporary Archaeology II: Student Presentations

April 28-29: Reading Days

May 1: FINAL EXAM (Feb. 26-April 23 lectures) Thursday 8:30-10:30am

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Anthropology 001
Introduction to Archaeology
Spring 1997

Basic World Prehistory Textbooks:
Patterson, Thomas C.,

1993 Archaeology: The Historical Development of Civilizations. [Second Edition] Prentice-Hall, NJ.

Feder, Kenneth

1996 The Past in Perspective: An Introduction to Human Prehistory. Mayfield, NJ.

Lamberg-Karlovsky, C.C. and J. A. Sabloff

1995 Ancient Civilizations: The Near East and Mesoamerica. [Second Edition] Waveland Press, Prospect Heights, IL.

Fagan, Brian M.

1992 People of the Earth: An Introduction to World Prehistory. [7th Edition]. Harper-Collins, NY.

Basic textbook sources to Method and Theory:

Fagan, Brian

1994 In the Beginning: An Introduction to Archaeology. [8th edition] Harper-Collins, New York [older editions are not as useful]

Hodder, Ian

1991 Reading the Past [2nd edition] Cambridge University Press, New York.

Renfrew, Colin and Paul Bahn

1994 Archaeology: Theories, Methods, and Practice. [second edition] Thames and Hudson, New York.

Schiffer, Michael ed.

1978-87 Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory, Academic Press, New York.

Schiffer, Michael ed.

1989-93 Archaeological Method and Theory. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque; Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory (


Sharer, Robert J. and Wendy Ashmore

1993 Archaeology: Discovering Our Past [2nd edition] Mayfield, Palo Alto.

Thomas, David H.

1989 Archaeology [2nd edition] Holt Rinehart and Winston.

Webster, David L., Susan T. Evans, and William T. Sanders

1993 Out of the Past: An Introduction to Archaeology. Mayfield, Mountain View, Ca.

Preucel, Robert W. and Ian Hodder eds.

1996 Contemporary Archaeology in Theory: A Reader. Blackwell, Oxford.

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Anthropology 001
Introduction to Archaeology
Spring 1997

I strongly encourage all undergraduate and graduate students to periodically browse the fine collection of current archaeology- related journals that the University Museum Library recieves. It is important to keep up with the advances in the discipline, a basic part of professionalism.

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