Anth 110 - Introduction to Archaeology


SUNY College at Geneseo

Spring Semester 2014

Instructor: Dr. Paul J. Pacheco

Office:  13 D Sturges Hall    Phone: #245-5275

Office Hours:  T 10:00-2:00 or by appointment

e-mail address:  

TA:  Ashley Burke:


Course Outline


Description and Objectives


        In this course we will examine how archaeologists generate and interpret knowledge about the human past based on data recovered from the archaeological record.  To achieve this objective we will explore the fundamental methods and theories of  archaeology including the role of science in understanding the past, the formation of the archaeological record, the measurement of variability in archaeological  time, space, and form,  the reconstruction of  past social organization, and the understanding of  prehistoric ideology. 


 Learning Outcomes


(1)  Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of archaeological methods and theories for reconstructing past cultures, including their history, religious ideology, political organizations, and social structures through class discussion and through the writing of three essay/objective exams.


(2)  Students will demonstrate comprehension of what constitutes empirically based archaeology from archaeological myth through participation in a team research project concerning an assigned aspect of a famous archaeological fraud, myth or mystery.  This project will promote group cooperation, problem solving, and computer skills.  The product of this research is an oral PowerPoint presentation and an individualized essay final.


(3)  Students will encounter important moral and ethical issues in the study of human prehistory through the exploration of an important case study involving the collecting of archaeological materials from North American sites and the repatriation of Native American burial and grave goods.   Students will demonstrate their understanding of these moral and ethical issues through essay questions on the exams.


(4)  Students will demonstrate their ability to understand human behavior as represented by material remains in the archaeological record by evaluating the knowledge obtained from an original archaeological research project in writing on the first exam and by mapping and recording an imaginary site.  

Required Reading


Kamp, Kathryn

            1998   Life in the Pueblo: Understanding the Past Through Archaeology.    Waveland Press, Inc.  ISBN #0-88133-964-4


Sutton, Mark Q.

2012   Archaeology: The Science of the Human Past (Fourth Edition).  Pearson/Allyn and Bacon ISBN #978-020588179-6


All other listed readings will be made available through the webpage as pdf files.  Please login to the mycourses website using your e-mail id and password.


Course Requirements


        There will be two exams in this course.  Exam 1 is an essay exam while Exam 2  has an objective element, in addition to essays.  Exams will emphasize your conceptual grasp of the course material and your ability to clearly express your understanding in writing. Reading assignments are meant to reinforce and compliment the class lectures, images, and discussions and in no way replace them.  As a rule, there will be no make-up exams except in extenuating and pre-arranged circumstances.  Late assignments are penalized 5% per day (cumulative to 25% per academic week).   You do not need permission, or excuses, to be late with your work, but all late assignments are subject to the penalty for whatever reason.  Please note that you cannot be late with your presentation.  The presentation must occur at the date and time you have been assigned.  



Grades and Important Dates


            Exam 1                                                           100 points         Feb. 17th

            Exam 2                                                           160 points         April. 9th

            Individual Research/Presentation Score        100 points         as assigned

            Teamwork Score                                             50 points         as assigned

            Classification & Relative Dating Problem     50 points          as assigned

            Participation                                                   25 points            in class

            Day of Final                                                    15 points     May 9th 12:00-3:00 P.M.




Grades will be assigned on a percentage basis out of 500 possible points as follows:


A   =  93% +               B   =  86.99 – 83 %      C   =  76.99 – 73%      E = 57.99 –0 %

A- =  90 - 92.99%       B-  =  82.99 – 80 %      C - =  72.99 – 68 %

B+ =  89.99 – 87%     C+ =  79.99 – 77%       D   =   67.99 – 58 %         


  Team Research Project & Presentation


            On the third day of class we will pick teams of students that will have the task of researching an assigned aspect of a famous archaeological fraud, myth, or mystery. The findings of your research will be presented as a PowerPoint presentation on the day shown on the class schedule.  Other presentation software are allowed, but the responsibility that it will work in class on the projector system rests on your shoulders (i.e. if you are trying something else you need to give it a test run to make sure it works).  Unless otherwise arranged, all presentations will be made from my laptop.


You will be graded individually on the content, clarity, and style of your portion of the oral presentation, plus the depth and details of your research, and scholarly use of sources to express your findings.   You will be graded as a team based on the overall style and flow of the PowerPoint and the degree to which it is well integrated and coordinated.  The overall intent of grading the project in this way is to minimize the problem of having a partner who contributes significantly less to the project affecting your grade.   Team members who contribute unequally will be clearly exposed by this method.


             In the presentation you should clearly detail the aspect of the archaeological myth, fraud, or mystery which you have been assigned and then evaluate the objective reasons concerning its status as archaeological knowledge.  Each team will be given 25 minutes for their presentation; 20 minutes for the PowerPoint, split evenly between the two team members at 10 minutes each, and 5 minutes for questions. Please note that there are a couple of topics which will include bigger teams, and hence more time.   These topics will be explained in class.   Time limits will be strictly enforced with an allowed overage/underage of 1 minute per presenter (i.e. a well organized and well timed presentation is expected – practice and time your presentation in advance). 


            A good PowerPoint presentation will avoid excessive use of text.  Instead, you should put your major emphasis on images, limiting your use of text to bullet points and the presentation of the important information.  Think of using the presentation more like an outline, than a research paper.  In other words, you should present your research to us primarily in verbal format, not in writing.  The grading rubric for your presentation will be placed on the mycourses page under the Course Materials tab.


Your research for the project is to be documented in a detailed bibliography that is placed at the end of the PowerPoint presentation.  Each student MUST have their own separate bibliography page.   This bibliography should document the sources you consulted and used during the research, including those from which you used images.  Use short-hand in-text citations (for example like these: Jones 2013:44 or ohionet/images4) for all information and scanned or copied images displayed during the presentation.  These short hand citations will tie into the complete references in your bibliography.  The style of reference you use doesn’t matter, as long as you are consistent throughout the presentation (i.e. all group members should use the same style) and full bibliographic references are complete.  In the case of web references, your citation will be considered complete if typing in the full citation pulls up the page you took the information or image from during your research.  


Plagiarism should be carefully avoided during this project.  Students are urged to read the policies on Academic Honesty at:

As the policy notes, “Any one of the following constitutes evidence of plagiarism:
•    direct quotation without identifying punctuation and citation of source;
•    paraphrase of expression or thought without proper attribution;
•    unacknowledged dependence upon a source in plan, organization, or argument.”


Students/teams are strongly encouraged to meet with the TA and also utilize the Anthropology research librarian, Kim Hoffman (see below for her e-mail address) during this research project.  This project places as much emphasis on the research as the oral presentation of your results.


Library Research Help:

If you need assistance finding information for this assignment, Milne Librarians may be able to help. You can speak with the reference librarian on duty between 10am and closing time most days (ask for help at the service desk) or chat with a librarian online by clicking the "IM a Librarian" button on the library website ( 


You can also directly contact the Milne Librarian dedicated to Anthropology, Kim Hoffman, by emailing her at ( or requesting an in-person meeting (


The PowerPoint is due by 4:00 P.M. the school day before the presentation or you will each lose 10 points off your score (i.e. a Monday presentation is due on Sunday, a Wednesday presentation is due on Tuesday.).  Presentations must occur on the day they are assigned.   There is no flexibility in the schedule to change them once they are set.  You can send me your presentation by e-mail if it is not too big, give it to me on a thumb drive, or share it with me using Google Drive. 






“SUNY Geneseo will make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented physical, emotional, or cognitive disabilities.  Accommodations will also be made for medical conditions related to pregnancy or parenting.  Students should contact Dean Buggie-Hunt in the Office of Disability Services ( or 585-245-5112) and their faculty to discuss needed accommodations as early as possible in the semester.”


Class Schedule


Week         Date                    Topic                                                Reading

One           1/22     Introduction- What is Archaeology?                 S Ch 1


Two          1/27     Goals of Archaeology                                       S Ch 2


                  1/29     Team & Research Topic Assignments        Feder Ch 2 pdf


Three         2/3    Science & The Development of Archaeology     S Ch 3


                  2/5      Lizard Man Village                                          K Ch 1-4


Four          2/10        “                   “                                               K Ch 5-8


                 2/12         “                   “                                               K Ch 9-11            


Five          2/17          Exam 1                                                               -


                 2/19       Archaeological Record                          S Ch 4; Dancey pdf                                            


 Six           2/24       Acquiring Archaeological Data                       S Ch 5


                 2/26          “                 “                                       American Arch. pdf                            


 Seven       3/3     Classification & Measuring Time - Relatively    S Ch 6


                  3/5         “                  “                                                 Ch 7 pp.151-160


Eight        3/10    Measuring Time - Absolutely                       S Ch 7 pp. 160-176     


                 3/12        Bio-Archaeology                                             S Ch 8


Nine         3/17-3/21  Spring Break – No Class


Ten          3/24        Environment, Settlement & Subsistence     S Ch 9 & 10


    3/26         Interpreting Past Cultural Systems              S Ch 11


Eleven     3/31        “               “                                                   S Ch 12


                4/2        Who Owns the Past?                                     S Ch 13&14


Twelve     4/7         “                 “                                     Preston pdf; Kelly pdf;

                                                                                          NAGPRA law pdf                

                 4/9         Exam 2                                                                 -


Thirteen   4/14     Overview: Frauds, Myths and Mysteries      Feder  Ch. 1 pdf


                 4/16       Teams 1-3 Presentations                                        -


Fourteen    4/21      Teams 4-6 Presentations                                        -     


                  4/23     Teams 7-9  Presentations                                         -


Fifteen      4/28      Teams 10-12 Presentations                                      -


                 4/30      Teams 13-15 Presentations                                      -


Sixteen      5/5         Teams 16-18 Presentations                                     -


 Final        5/9     12:00-3:00 P.M.    Team Presentations 19-N  & Conclusion                         


*S = Sutton;     K=Kamp