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Web Schedule Summer 2018

Revision Date: 28-Apr-18

Archaeology: Tracing the Human Past

Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Semester Dates: Last day to drop without a grade: 06-11-2018 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 07-09-2018 - Refund Policy
Faculty: Not Yet Assigned | View Faculty Credentials
This course has started, please contact the offering academic center about registration

Comments: Accelerated course: Meets Fridays, 9am-3pm

Browse the Moodle Site for this class.

Course Description:

Examines how a society can be understood by looking at its material remains. Topics include: historical development of archaeology; its purposes, methods, theories and interpretation; archaeological sites as an endangered cultural resource; and a sampling of cultural evidence from around the world.

Essential Objectives:

1. Describe the historical development of archaeology in both the Old and New Worlds, and explain its relationship to such disciplines as anthropology, history, art history, biology, paleontology, and geology.
2. Explain major subdivisions within the field of archaeology, including prehistoric and historic, classical, industrial, contract and ethnoarchaeology.
3. Classify the development of human culture through the major ages and periods, noting key archaeological sites, representative tool kits, and cultural features associated with each.
4. Explain the roles, methodologies and technologies associated with survey, sampling, excavation, artifact and site analysis in archaeological research, as well as best practices in field and laboratory work.
5. Discuss numerous scientific dating techniques used in archaeology as well as relative methods for establishing chronologies, including stratigraphy, typology and association.
6. Discuss the environmental and cultural factors which influence deposition and preservation of archaeological features and artifacts.
7. Explain the role of interpretation and theory in our understanding of the patterns and lifeways of other cultures, and discuss the process and limitations of 'reconstructing' cultures from material remains.
8. Discuss ethical issues in archaeology, including questions of ownership and preservation of cultural heritage, excavations of sacred sites, and current sources of threats to archaeological sites worldwide.
9. Explain the political, historical, and economic significance of archaeology to diverse constituents, including ethical issues related to indigenous peoples, colonizers, and local governments.



Popular depictions of archaeology typically emphasize the mystical nature of ancient societies and reduce archaeologists to fanatical treasure hunters. The reality of archaeology is infinitely more complex and interesting than this caricature. This course aims to demystify archaeology through a fusion of traditional classroom learning with extensive experiential opportunities provided by direct participation in an archaeological project in West Haven, VT.  Students will participate in ongoing excavations, assist in the analysis of artifacts, and aid in the interpretation of project findings.


This course includes extensive participation in archaeological fieldwork.  Fieldwork can be hot, sweaty, and strenuous; students should be prepared for an active outdoor experience.  CCV also cannot provide transportation to the field site in West Haven, VT.  Students will be encouraged to arrange a carpool from CCV-Rutland or another central location.  Finally, students will be required to observe strict guidelines regarding permissible behavior on the property where the fieldwork will be conducted.


This course meets on a condensed schedule with six class meetings. The first meeting will introduce archaeology and its methods, provide an overview of Vermont archaeology, and orient students to the goals of the local archaeology project they will be participating in.  Classroom time will include a mix of lecture, discussion, and experiential activities.

The second through fifth classes will meet at the field site in West Haven, VT where students will participate in archaeological investigations. Students will also participate in lunch hour discussions focusing on topics in assigned readings.  During the sixth class meetings, students will assist in laboratory analyses held at Rutland CCV.  The last class will also provide an opportunity for students to present a small class project and discuss topics raised by the course.


Class 1. July 6th: Introduction to Archaeology (Meet in Rutland)

·       Introductions and Course Overview

·       Archaeology Defined

·       An Introduction to Prehistoric Vermont

·       Orientation to the South Champlain Historical Ecology Project

·      Readings: TBA

Classes 2 - 5.  July 13, 20, 27, and August 3rd: Fieldwork (Meet in West Haven, VT)

·     Introduction to Archaeological Field Methods

·     Survey and Mapping

·     Archaeological Excavation and Recording

·     Ancient Tools and Technology

·     Weekly Discussion Topics

·     Weekly Readings: TBA

Class 6.  August 10th: Laboratory Analyses (Meet Rutland)

·       Analysis Methods and Procedures

·       Artifact Curation and Preservation

·       Archaeological Interpretation

·       Mini Presentations

·       Readings: TBA


There are no required texts for this course.  All readings will be provided as handouts or as PDF files attached to the course Moodle page.  Students are, however, strongly encouraged to purchase the following  text:  The Original Vermonters (1994, revised edition) by William A. Haviland and Marjory Power.  Several copies are available through Hartness Library.  Most local Vermont libraries also have a copy of this text. This text is also widely available at a reasonable price through most online new and used book services.


There are no regular office hours for this course.  I am happy to meet with you outside of class at CCV by appointment.  The best method for contacting me is by email:


The fee for this course will be applied to help offset the costs of perishable resources (bags, paperwork, notebooks, etc.) and equipment (trowels, shovels, etc.) used during the field component of the course.

Evaluation Criteria:

This is a hybrid class that involves both field time and online discussion.  Students will be evaluated on the basis of attendance and participation (20 points), 4-5 short (2-3 page) reaction papers and assignments (10 points each) submitted online as part of discussion forums.  Students will also be asked to prepare a short presentation (10 points) on a topic in archaeology developed in consultation with the course intstructor.  The participation grade will reflect both active participation in all field activities and productive contributions to all scheduled discussions.

Grading Criteria:


·         90-100 = A

·         80-89 = B

·         70-79 = C

·         60 - 69 = D

·         0-59 = F


All grades are entered into Moodle gradebook as the assignment is graded and can be checked by you at any time.


Summer 2018 textbook data will be available on April 9. On that date a link will be available below that will take you to eCampus, CCV's bookstore. The information provided there will be for this course only. Please see this page for more information regarding the purchase of textbooks.


The last day to use a Financial Aid advance to purchase textbooks is the 3rd Tuesday of the semester. See your financial aid counselor at your academic center if you have any questions.

Attendance Policy:


·         Attendance is mandatory.  Missing more than one class for any reason will result in a reduction to the final grade.

·         If a student demonstrates a pattern of late arrival, subsequent late arrivals will count as absences.

·         Cell phones must be turned off during all classroom time and during scheduled field discussions (unless the student has received prior permission).

·         If you miss an assignment, please contact me immediately and make plans to make it up before the next class meeting.

·         Plagiarism is defined as the use of the words or ideas of someone else without proper acknowledgement.  This definition holds whether the act is intentional or not.  It is your responsibility to be aware of the college's policies on academic dishonesty.  Plagiarism in this course will result in an F.

·         Keep the following in mind: I want you to do well in this course and enjoy your archaeology experience!  If you are having problems, please let me know.  I'm happy to help! 

Please note: In order to receive accommodations for disabilities in this course, students must make an appointment to see the Americans with Disabilities Coordinator in their site and bring documentation with them.

Academic Honesty: CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.

Course description details subject to change. Please refer to this document frequently.

To check on space availability, choose Search for Classes.

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