ANTH 11 - Introduction to North American Archaeology

Spring 1997

Section 001: Tu., Th. 5:00 - 6:15 PM in 133 Smith Bldg.
Section 002: Tu., Th. 7:00 - 8:15 PM in 110 Smith Bldg.

Instructor: Greg Bondar
Consultation Times: Tu., Th. 8:15 PM in 110 Smith Bldg. or by appt.
Office: Department of Anthropology, 409 Carpenter Bldg., University Park Campus, PA, 16802
E-mail: (best way to contact me outside of class)
Office Phone: 865-1231 (Long Distance)
Mailbox Location: Adult Center, 111 Smith Bldg.
Staff Assistant: Adult Center, 111 Smith Bldg., 949-5046

The purpose of this course is to introduce you to the ideas and concepts that form the basis of the fascinating and exciting field of archaeology. In general, we will examine 1.) the role of archaeology as a source of data about prehistoric systems of behavior and 2.) the contributions of North American archaeology towards our understanding of cultural evolution. In particular, we will explain these trends through the developmental histories of several major sub-areas of prehistoric North America.

My expectations are that none of you have any prior course experience in archaeology or anthropology. However, just because this is an introductory class does not mean that I'll only expect you to simply memorize "facts" and then regurgitate them back at me. Instead, I want to strongly encourage critical thinking as the key to understanding the concepts that I will cover in this course. Anybody can memorize and repeat a barrage of "facts" from the Discovery Channel...I want you to understand why archaeologists believe certain things and how certain processes operate. To get the most out of this class, constantly ask yourself "why is that so?" or "how does this work?". To earn an 'A', you will need to be able to explain concepts in this amount of detail. This level of reasoning is applicable in every other subject that you will study. If nothing else, even if your mind is completely devoid of archaeological thoughts as you hand in your final exams, I hope that you will continue to question and seek to understand both the "facts" of others, and your own experiences.

Course Materials:

Fagen, Brian
1995 Ancient North America: The Archaeology of a Continent, 2nd. Edition. Thames and Hudson, New York.

Additional materials and information are available on the World Wide Web at:

Final Grade Determination:

25% Unit 1, 2: A one-hour exam will be given approximately
25% Unit 3 after every unit. These will consist of multiple
25% Unit 4 choice, matching, and short answer questions.
25% Unit 5

100% Total Grade Points