Anth 346 - Archaeological Theory
SUNY College at Geneseo
Dr. Paul J. Pacheco
Office: 13 D Sturges Hall Phone: #245-5275
Office Hours: M 1:30-3:30 P.M. & T. 9:00-11:00 A.M.; or by appointment
e-mail address: email@example.com
This course is an intensive investigation of archaeological theory. We will concentrate our reading on the complex mix of theoretical perspectives in archaeology generated since the 1960’s and focus on one major example, drawn from the Hopewell literature. The course is designed to provide anthropology majors a strong, well-grounded, theoretical background in archaeology in order to promote critical thinking skills relative to historical issues of archaeological significance.
1) Students will become familiar with some of the major theoretical orientations of archaeology and the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. This skill will be assessed through the writing of daily questions designed to allow students to explore critically the arguments of some of archaeology’s greatest thinkers in the context of their original writings.
2) Students will develop critical thinking skills relative to the development and history of archaeological ideas. These thinking skills will be developed and tested each class day through intensive discussion sessions in which the students are prompted to participate utilizing the Socratic Method.
3) Students will learn to identify and critique theoretical arguments in archaeology
from a variety of different perspectives. This skill will allow them to evaluate and
deconstruct the approaches and arguments that they encounter as students of
anthropology. This skill will be assessed through the writing of two essay exams.
All listed readings will be made available weekly through the mycourses.geneseo.edu webpage.
There will be three major requirements in the course, weekly participation in class discussion, an in-class essay midterm, and a take-home essay final. Exams explore your understanding of the course content and your ability to synthesize and clearly express your understanding in writing.
The participation grade is measured by your coming to class prepared and your contributions to daily class discussions. A set of questions or objectives will typically be assigned for each day’s reading material. These questions will guide our class discussions and help to maintain the intellectual rigor of the course. On three randomly chosen days during the semester, your responses will be collected and graded directly. You are expected to come to each class with typed and edited responses for the day’s assignment. On all other days, answers will not be collected and your class participation in the discussion, exhibiting your preparation for class, will be used to determine points for that day.
Your answers should be thoughtful, but concise. Emphasize quality over quantity and take to heart that there are no wrong answers when discussing theory. Effort and critical thinking is the key to class success. If you will miss a class day for any reason, your answers to the day’s questions are due to me by 12:30 P.M. the day of the class you will miss. Besides hard copies placed in my hands or my department mailbox, you may e-mail me attachments as .doc or .docx Word files. Late responses will not be accepted.
Daily Class Participation/Responses 200 points
Midterm 100 points
Final 200 points
Grades will be assigned on a percentage basis out of 500 possible 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 %
One Introduction Binford “Arch. as Anthropology”
Two Process & History Hempel “Function of …Laws of History”
Binford “Hist. vs. Processual …”
Practice & Reality Flannery “Archaeology w/ a Capital S”
Lyman et al “Chapter 1”
Flannery “Golden Marshalltown …”
Three Understanding Arch. Record- Binford “Willow Smoke and …”
Binford “Archaeology of Place”
Weissner “Response to Binford”
Kelly “Mobility & Sedentism”
Four Understanding Arch. Record- Kent “Mobility Patterns”
Murray “Discard Locations”
Binford “Dimensional Analysis …”
Binford “Alywara Men’s Camp”
Five Scale Issues & Style/Function Flannery & Winter “Analyzing House …”
Peterson and Drennan “Communities, Settlements, …”
Sackett “Approaches to Style”
Dunnell “Style and Function …”
Six Post-Processualism Hodder “Non-dichotmous Thinking”
Semiotics and Structuralism McGhee “ Ivory for the Sea Woman”
Structural Marxism McGuirre and Saitta “Petty Chiefs”
Hermeneutics Johnsen & Olsen “Hermeneutics & Archaeology”
Seven Phenomenology Bruck “Experiencing the Past”
Agency and Life History Gardner “Agency”
Critique Watson and Fotaidis “Razor’s Edge”
Hopewell Archaeology – a detailed example of theory in practice.
Nine Ohio Hopewell Introduction 1) Dancey, 2) Pacheco
A Post-Processual View 3) DeBoer
Ten Interpreting Hopewell 4) W. Cowan, 5) Seeman and Branch
Settlement Patterns 6) Prufer, 7) Prufer
Eleven Broadening the Model 8) Smith
Refining the Model 9) Dancey and Pacheco, 10) Wymer
Twelve Alternatives to the Model 11) Griffin, 12) Yerkes
Testing/Defending the Model 13) Pacheco, 14) Pacheco
Thirteen Hopewell Communities Reconsidered 15) Ruby, Charles, and Carr
Fourteen Revisiting Sedentism 17) F Cowan, 18) Pacheco
The End of Hopewell 19) Dancey
Fifteen Integrating Hopewell 20) Greber , 21) Pacheco and Dancey
*numbers correspond to numbers on articles in mycourses Hopewell folder