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Anthropological Sciences 493

ANSC 493: Field School in Archaeology

Prerequisites: ANSC 301 or ANTH 122 or permission of instructor

Credit Hours: (3-6) Field course: 40 hours a week

Emphasis on practical field experience in archaeology.  Surveys and excavations are conducted on both prehistoric and historic sites and students learn the mapping, recording, and field artifact identification techniques that are the basis of archaeology.  Summer.  No more than 12 hours of credit from ANC 493, ANSC 498, and ANSC 499 may be counted toward the 38 hours for the anthropological sciences major.

Detailed Description of Content of Course

The following topics are addressed in this course:

1. Defining the goals of an archaeological project and developing methods for achieving these goals.
2. The logistical organization of equipment and personnel for an archaeological project.
3. Field interpretation of archaeological artifacts and deposits.
4. Professional description and presentation of the results of an archaeological project.

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The focus of the course is on students gaining as much field experience as is possible. Therefore, approximately 80% of
class time is spent working on one or more archaeological sites and thereby learning through doing archaeology. Before beginning fieldwork, however, students are given an understanding of the goals and research design of the particular project. Also, any changes or discoveries during the project are discussed with the students as they occur. To give students a broader perspective on field archaeology, they are required to read papers or publications by other archaeologists to see how they dealt with problems in the field and reported their research. On rain days, students receive laboratory instruction on prehistoric and historic artifact analysis.

Goals and Objectives of the Course

Students will acquire in-depth experience in field archaeology and in planning and problem-solving in the field. Such a field school is required if the student wishes to pursue advanced graduate training in archaeology; it also enhances students' chances of obtaining part or full-time employment on other archaeological projects.

Assessment Measures

The student's efforts in the field of excavation and mapping are monitored and evaluated by the instructor. Students are required to write at least one large paper in which they critique reports by other researchers and develop their own archaeological research design.


Other Course Information

There is a strict attendance policy for the class; one day's absence without an excuse results in the loss of a letter grade. This policy is in effect because an absent student means that all other students have to work harder that day. Graduate students are required to produce annotated bibliographies of 10-15 articles from professional anthropological or archaeological journals. The articles may be selected by the student, but they must focus on some aspect of archaeological field methods or new excavation techniques.


Review and Approval

October, 2007

February, 2009

April, 2011