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North Idaho College • Coeur d'Alene • Social & Behavioral Sciences • Anthropology

Introduction to Archaeology and World Prehistory ANTH-230

  • Spring 2012
  • Section 1
  • 3.0 Credits
  • 01/09/2012 to 05/10/2012
  • Modified 01/10/2012

Contact Information

Instructor: Marian Ackerman

Office Hours

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM, FSQ 107
  • Tuesday, 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM, FSQ 107

I am also available by appointment.  Please send me an email to schedule an appointment.

Meeting Times


  • Monday, Wednesday, 1:00 PM to 2:15 PM, SBT 209


This course offers classroom instruction in the ways archaeologists unearth the remains of ancient peoples. Included is a brief look at what those archaeologists have discovered in various places throughout the world from the earliest stone tools to the invention of agriculture. ANTH 230 is an interesting course for those students curious about the human past in both the Old and New Worlds, as well as students wishing to satisfy the Group 4 Social Science requirement for the A.A. degree or three social science credits toward an A.S. degree. Seminar: 3 hours per week


Textbook: Images of the Past

  • Author: T. Douglas Price and Gary Feinman
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill
  • Edition: 6th
  • ISBN: 978-07-353105-2
  • Availability:


By the end of the course the student should be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the terminology, concepts, principles, perspectives, theories, and methodologies of archaeology and world prehistory.
2. Critically assess the theories and methods of archaeology and evaluate the variety of work and specialized fields involved in archaeology.
3. Demonstrate an understanding of archaeological objectives, including the reconstruction of past ways of life, determination of the time order of events, patterns of settlement, social organization, cultural evolution and change, and the application of archaeological knowledge to real world situations in contemporary societies.
4. Demonstrate an understanding of biological evolution, focusing on the themes of change, modification, and variation as they apply to human evolution.
5. Demonstrate an understanding of and evaluate the ethical and, to some extent, legal issues surrounding the removal, documentation, preservation, interpretation, and "ownership" of archaeological remains.




You will demonstrate that you have achieved these skills through project presentations and attendance/class participation.

The Research will test your ability to access appropriate information related to the topic at hand, and assimilate this information into a concise and informed presentation.  An outline and Works Cited page are part of the research. 

The Presentations will test your ability to work cooperatively and responsibly within a group setting while researching and bringing together the best information and knowledge you have to offer to the group effort.

The presentations will also test your critical/creative thinking processes through your ability to reason, evaluate, and communicate the information to be presented, as well as reflect upon what you have learned at a personal level through this research.

Class attendance/Participation is worth 100 points.

The research/presentations are worth 40 points each.  

 It is YOUR responsiblity to keep track of your points so that YOU can calculate your grade at any given time!



Course Policies



Attendance/Class Participation: 100 points.  Due to the nature of anthropology, its instruction requires more than formal presentation; it requires participation in discussions of concepts and a sharing of ideas.  Groups will present on various sites discussed in the text.  Lack of attendance will adversely affect your grade in this course!


Research informs us that attendance is important to student academic success.  Your instructor expects your attendance.  Therefore:

If you have more than 1 week of absences (2 classes), your grade will be impacted; you will lose 20 points for each additional absence.

If you miss 9 or more classes, you will fail this course and a grade of 'F' will be assigned.


Students arriving late for class or who leave before class is dismissed create an unnecessary disruption in the classroom and will be marked tardy.  Three tardy count as one absence.


Extra-Credit: You will have the opportunity to turn in two extra-credit papers worth 20 points each.




Since we are all in the same boat together (as human beings), we all have something valuable to contribute.  Ask questions, offer critically based perspectives, share experiences, and have fun.


I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO FORM STUDY GROUPS.  In my experience, it is THE BEST WAY (and the most fun way) to do well in college.


Occasionally, announcements will be made in class that alter this syllabus; if you are not here, you are still responsible for those announcements.



1/9 – 1/18   Introduction to the course, each other, and to the field of Anthropology.

Chapter 1: Principles of Archaeology.

Assign Groups/Presentation Information

1/16      Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday: Campus Closed.

1/23 – 1/30 Chapter 2: The First Humans

Bones, Stones, and Human Behavior in the Plio/Pleistocene.

The Dawn of Humanity: Hadar, Laetoli, Swartkrans, Olduvai, etc.

1/25 Presentations

Group 1: Dating methods.

Group 2: Morphology of early homonins.  Hunters or Scavengers?

Group 3: The Leakey Family

2/1 – 2/8  Chapter 3: Out of Africa: Homo Erectus

From Hominin to Human – The Paleolithic Period.  Trinil, Zhoukoudian, Kalambo Falls, Olorgesailie.

2/6 Presentations

Group 4: Change: Climate and Environment in the Pleistocene.

Group 5: Pleistocene Mammals

Group 6: Stone Tool Assemblages/Flint Knapping

2/13 – 2/22        Chapter 4: The Hunters

The End of the Paleolithic and the Rise of Homo sapiens.

Klasies River Mouth Caves, Valley of the Neanderthals,

Dolni Vestonice, Pincevent, Australia’s Lake Mungo, Beringia.

2/15 Presentations

Group 1: The Cave at Lascaux

Group 2: Monte Verde, Chile

Group 3: NAGPRA and Kennewick Man

2/20      Presidents’ Day Holiday: Campus Closed

2/27 – 3/5  Chapter 5: Postglacial Foragers

The World After 8000 B.C.

Vedbaek, Elands Bay Cave, Nittano

3/5 Presentations

Group 4: Archaeological Middens/Garbology

Group 5: The Human Skeleton: what can it tell us?

Group 6: Experimental Archaeology

3/7 - 3/21 Chapter 6: The Origins of Agriculture

The First Farmers

Abu Hureyra, Jericho, Catalhoyuk, Ban-po-ts’un, Tehuacan

3/12 Presentations

Group 1: Breast-Feeding and Birth Spacing

Group 2: Archaeobotany

Group 3: Archaeozoology

3/26 - 3/30   Spring Break: No Classes Scheduled

4/2 - 4/9 Chapter 7: Native North Americans

The Diversity of Native American Life

 Hopewell Peoples

4/4 Presentations

Group 4: Mississippian Culture: Cahokia

Group 5: Anasazi Culture: Chaco Canyon

Group 6: Northwest Coast Culture: Ozette Site

4/5  Advising Day: Classes that meet at 4 p.m. or later are in session.

4/11 - 4/18 Chapter 8: Ancient Mesoamerica

Early State Development in Mesoamerica.

Olmac Horizon, Monte Alban, Teotihuacan, Tenochtitlan

4/16 Presentations

Group 1: The Mesoamerican Ball Game and It's Mythology

Group 2: Mayan Writing and Calendars

Group 3:  Human Sacrifice and Cannibalism: What do we really know?

4/23 - 4/25 Chapter 9: South America: The Inca and Their Predecessors

Prehispanic South America

Moche, Chan Chan, Machu Picchu

4/25 Presentations

Group 4: The Nazca Geoglyphs

Group 5: Cuzco

Group 6: Inca Highways: Ancient and Today

 4/30 – 5/2  Chapter 10: States and Empires in Asia and Africa

after the Transition to Agriculture.   

Eridu, An-yang, Great Zimbabwe

5/2 Presentations

Group 1: Hierakonpolis

Group 2: Giza

Group 3: Xianyang

4/4 Curriculum Day.  Classes that meet at 4 p.m. or later are in session.

5/7 Final Day: 2:00-4:00 p.m.

 Chapter 11: Prehistoric Europe: From the First Farmers to the Roman Empire.

Group 4:Stonehenge

Group 5: The Megaliths of Western Europe

Group 6: The Bog People

 Caveat: “The above schedule and procedures in this course are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances.”

Additional Items

Division Policies

For a complete explanation of the North Idaho College Statement on Academic Honesty & Academic Integrity please ferfer to Policy 5.06 & Procedure 5.06.01: 

Academic Dishonesty
Violations of academic integrity involve using or attempting to use any method that enables an individual to misrepresent the quality or integrity of his or her work at North Idaho College. These violations include the following:

Cheating: using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study in any academic exercise.
Fabrication: falsifying or inventing any information or citation in an academic exercise.
Plagiarism: knowingly representing the words or ideas of another as one's own in an academic exercise.
Violation of Intellectual Property: stealing, altering, or destroying the academic work of other members of the community or the educational resources,materials, or official documents of the college. Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: knowingly helping another to attempt to violate any provisions of this policy.

Student Responsibility
As outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, all North Idaho College students have both rights and responsibilities: Please access www.nic.ferpa.StudentCode/index.htm for complete information that pertains to this subject.

North Idaho College, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, provides both services and accommodations to students who meet the guidelines provided in these acts.  For a complete description, please see:

Please contact the North Idaho College Center for Educational Access in Seiter Hall, Room 100 for assistance.  Phone:  208-769-5947

To withdraw from all courses a student must obtain a college withdrawal form from the Registrar's Office, secure the signatures of those persons indicated on the form, and return the form to the Registrar's office. No student may withdraw from the college after the final date of withdrawal from courses except for compelling and extraordinary reasons. In such circumstances a student must petition the Admissions and Academic Standards Committee for late withdrawal from college using the college withdrawal form available in the Registrar's Office.

For complete information regarding student withdrawals, please see the North Idaho College Policy 5.04.01: 

Institutional Policies

Student Responsibilities

As students undertake to fulfill the obligations and duties outlined in this document, the college community of which they are a part undertakes to respect the basic freedoms of students. In recognition of students’ rights and dignity as members of the college, North Idaho College is committed to the principles found in the NIC Student Handbook.

Center for Educational Access/Disability Support Services

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, North Idaho College provides accommodations to eligible students who experience barriers in the educational setting due to learning, emotional / mental, physical, visual, or hearing disabilities.  Instructors will provide accommodations to students only after having received a Letter of Accommodation from the Center for Educational Access. 

If a student would like to request accommodations, he or she must contact the Center for Educational Access so that a Letter of Accommodation may be sent to the instructor.  Students requesting accommodations must contact the Center for Educational Access at the beginning of each semester.


By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You also understand that collection costs and legal fees will be added if the services of a collection agency are utilized.

If you are registered for a class and do not attend, you will still be liable for the tuition unless you drop the class.


Last day for students to withdraw from semester-length classes:

Instructor-Initiated Withdrawal: Instructors have the right to withdraw students for academic reasons up until the same date; in doing so, instructors must notify students through NIC e-mail within 48 hours of submitting documentation to the Registrar's office, and students have the right to appeal the instructor's decision. For more information, see the NIC Procedure:

Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy: All withdrawals, whether for individual classes, total withdrawal from school, or instructor-initiated are not considered to be satisfactory progress for financial aid.  See the Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy:

Additional withdrawal information:


An incomplete is assigned only if the student has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work to within three weeks of the end of the semester (or proportional length of time for a course of less than a semester in length).  Incompletes are issued only in cases of extenuating circumstances, such as severe illness or injury.  Incompletes are not issued in cases in which the student is simply unable to complete his/her work within the specified semester or session.  If a final grade of "I" is recorded, the instructor will indicate in writing to the Registrar what the student must do to make up the deficiency.  The instructor will indicate in the written statement what permanent grade should be entered if the Incomplete is not removed by the deadline.

All incomplete grades must be removed within six weeks after the first class day of the following term, excluding the summer session.  If the Incomplete is not removed by that date, the grade reverts to the grade indicated by the instructor's written statement authorizing the incomplete.

Discrimination and Harassment

North Idaho College has a zero tolerance policy for any acts of discrimination or harassment of any kind.  For more information, please see the NIC Student Handbook, Code of Conduct Article III and Article VIII. Compliance efforts with respect to these laws and regulations are the responsibility of each member of the campus community and are under the direction of the Dean of Students Office for Student Issues (2nd floor, Edminster Student Union Building, (208) 676-7156) and the Human Resources Office (Sherman Administration Building, (208) 769-3304) for employee issues.

Institutional Statement

DROP FOR NON-PAYMENT:  By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You will be dropped from classes if payment is not received by  5 p.m. Pacific Time on the third day of the semester. Students on the waitlist will be given the option to register for classes after students are dropped for non-payment.

REMOVAL FROM CLASS FOR NON-ATTENDANCE:  Attendance is based on your participation in this class. Failure to attend may result in your being removed from this class and may result in your financial aid award being reduced. You are responsible for confirming the accuracy of your attendance record.