University of Monatana
Department of Anthropology
Thursday 1:10-4:00 pm
INSTRUCTOR: Kelly J. Dixon
Office: Social Sciences Building, Room 235
Office hours: To be announced and by appointment
Course Website: http://cas.umt.edu/anthropology/anth455/default.php
Course Library Guide: http://libguides.lib.umt.edu/anthro455
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Artifact Analysis (ANTY 455) is intended to serve as a hands-on introduction to interpreting artifacts from archaeological sites. The class consists of a mix of lecture, discussion, laboratory/in-class exercises and writing assignments. It will cover all phases of artifact analysis, including: defining problem domains, selecting attributes, cataloging data, analyzing the data, and interpreting results. While many in-class examples will address artifacts from historic sites dating from the last 500 years, the class will not limit students to artifacts from this period. In fact, students with interests in other areas of study, such as North American prehistory, Egyptology, Classical Archaeology, and Ethnohistory can discuss developing special projects pertinent to those fields.
Prerequisite: Anthropology 250 (Introduction to Archaeology) or equivalent.
Required textbook: Mark Sutton and Brooke Arkush, 2002, Archaeological Laboratory Methods: An Introduction (3rd edition), Kendall/Hunt Publishing, Dubuque.
Optional textbook: Robert D. Drennan, 1996, Statistics for Archaeologists: A Common Sense Approach, Springer.
Additional readings will be assigned as appropriate for artifact analyses.
Required equipment: You must have access to a computer with Microsoft Excel or Access and Word. Once we start working in the lab, you will need to purchase some other supplies (e.g., archival-quality “Micron” pens (size .01 or .02); fine point black “Sharpie” marker(s); mechanical pencil with a good eraser; and, if you really want, a magnifying glass - preferably 10x hand lens; etc.).
GRADE DETERMINATION: There are four sources of grades in this course: (1) attendance and active participation in class exercises; (2) a class presentation of an article or report you have read; (3) a WRITTEN project that demonstrates your ability to analyze a group of artifacts and that shows your ability to CLEARLY present yourself in writing since this is an Upper-Division Writing Course (in addition, depending on the scope of your project, the written project may require an artifact catalog to outline your data); and (4) a final examination that will be based on what we have worked on throughout the semester.
1. Attendance: Students are expected to be participants in the course, including class exercises. Students who miss multiple courses or do not work fully on the lab exercises will not receive full credit for attendance. In-class exercises will be given periodically for participation/attendance points.
2. Article Summary and Presentations: Each student will read a paper about artifacts or faunal remains (not human osteology, site formation, monuments, etc.) in one of four professional journals: Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, the Journal of Archaeological Science, American Antiquity or Historical Archaeology. Alternatively, students can choose one of the reports related to the collections we will be analyzing in class. You will be provided with pdfs of these reports anyway, but for other relevant published literature, our class also has a Library Guide available through the Mansfield Library (http://libguides.lib.umt.edu/anthro455) where you all can find easy access to these online sources. FYI, Historical Archaeology journals can be accessed by going to the following link on the Society for Historical Archaeology’s website: http://www.sha.org.
You will all give BRIEF presentations of the article/report you chose. These will be due (and given) on March 21, 2013. OVERALL objective: choose an article; bring the title to the instructor to ensure that no other student is already using the article. After reading the article, you will give a 10-minute presentation to the class, explaining the aims, methods, results of the article, as well as critiquing the strengths and weaknesses of the article from your perspective. Write up a doubled-spaced, 800-word write-up summarizing your presentation. These short papers/article summaries will be reviewed and turned back to you all as part of our writing practice in this course.
3. Written project: the report represents the completion of an analysis of a group of artifacts in class or an exploration of an artifact analysis issue or approach in detail. Papers should consist of 8-10 double-spaced, typewritten pages including the bibliography, and, for artifact analyses, all graphs, photos, tables, and data appendices. The final paper will be judged in six areas: (1) goals and methods; (2) presentation of data; (3) interpretation of data; (4) conclusions and possible future directions; (5) use of references to the relevant literature (generally 6 for artifact analyses, while 8 or more for library projects are expected); (6) effective language and appropriate archaeological style and presentation. Follow the Society for American Archaeology Style Guide or Society for Historical Archaeology Style Guide; NO handwritten assignments, please. For graduate credit, students will be expected to complete a longer (10-15 pages), more professional paper. Because this class fulfills the anthropological writing requirement, a draft of the paper MUST BE TURNED IN no later than April 18. The final version is due on May 9; also on this day, we will informally discuss everyone’s final papers/findings so that everyone in the class will have a sense of their peers’ research.
I urge all students to read and understand the plagiarism warning contained in the general catalog. If you do not clearly indicate the source of sentences taken from the articles, you are committing “plagiarism,” an activity that, at a minimum, will result in a zero for the paper and a notification of the Dean of Students.
4. Final Exam. We will discuss how you will prepare for this final throughout the semester.
A total of 300 points are possible for the class:
- Attendance/Participation 100 points
- Article Summary/Presentation 50 points
- Final Written Project 100 points
- Final Exam (to be held in lab) 50 points
The plus/minus system will be used and will be based upon the following average scores for the 200 total points you will earn: A (100-95%), A- (94-90%), B+ (89-88%), B (87-83%), B- (82-80%), C+ (79-78%), C (77-73%), C- (72-70%), D+ (69-68%), D (67-63%), D- (62-60%), F (59% or less).
The Department of Anthropology is committed to equal opportunity in education for all students, including those with documented physical disabilities or documented learning disabilities. University policy states that it is the responsibility of students with documented disabilities to contact instructors DURING THE FIRST WEEK OF THE SEMESTER to discuss appropriate accommodations to ensure equity in grading, classroom experiences, and outside assignments. The instructor will meet with the student and the staff of the Disability Services for Students (DSS) (http://life.umt.edu/dss/) to formulate a plan for accommodations. Please contact DSS directly for more information: 243.2243 (voice/text); firstname.lastname@example.org (email).
INCOMPLETES: An incomplete will be considered only when requested by the student. At the discretion of the instructor, incompletes are given to students who missed a portion of the class because of documented serious health or personal problems during the semester. Students have one year to complete the course; requirements are negotiated on a case-by-case basis.