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Are you ready to begin? Just a quick reminder: the 100-level classification of this course does not mean that you will not be expected to work at an appropriate university level. It simply means that the topics and concepts we will be working with are introductory rather than advanced.

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Learning Outcomes

This course should help you demonstrate an understanding of the basic scientific principles that undergird the scientific process, including the strengths and weaknesses of this process. You will learn to appreciate the excitement of discovery that has accompanied important scientific developments as well as demonstrate how scientific methodology can be used to analyze real-world science-related problems. You will become adept at evaluating scientific data and claims to make rational decisions on public-policy science issues that affect their community. As you complete the course, you will learn to express your thoughts (in oral, graphical, and written formats) on scientific topics clearly, including appropriate use of basic scientific vocabulary and effective interpretation of quantitative data, as well as reflect rationally upon the interface between science and religion.

More specifically, this course has been developed to coincide with the university’s requirements for general education courses in the social sciences and will devote significant time to the following:

Having completed this course, you will have “explicit knowledge and experience of both the strengths and weaknesses of applying the scientific method” to archaeological problems and issues.

Course Materials

These materials have been chosen to introduce and illustrate key concepts in the course. The majority of the readings have been pulled from current archaeological literature, and apart from those chosen for critical thinking exercises, represent high quality archaeological research. These will also introduce you to the wide variety of writing styles that are used in archaeology, and demonstrate that, no matter how technical or informal the writing style, clear logic remains important.

There are two required texts, one optional text, and several additional readings that have been chosen for this course:

Required Texts and Videos

You must buy, rent, or otherwise obtain copies of these textbooks and videos:

Optional Text

This textbook is helpful, but not required:

Additional Readings

There are several other articles, chapters, and excerpts, as indicated in the lessons. You will have access to these in your course materials.

You can easily locate many articles yourself through BYU’s Harold B. Lee Library website, signing in with your NetID and password. Here’s how:

  1. Go to the Library website (lib.byu.edu).
  2. Click Journal Finder.
  3. Enter the name of the journal and click Search.
  4. Click the title of the journal, then click Full Text Online. (You may have several options.)
  5. Click the year and issue number to find the correct issue.
  6. Click the title of the article to read the full text.

If you have questions, be sure to use the Ask a Librarian link to help guide you. It will save you much time and frustration.

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Course Structure

This course is organized in five units. The first introduces you to the basic methodological and theoretical approaches of archaeology, as well as general scientific concepts and critical thinking issues. Each of the next four units examines the different types of questions explored by archaeologists. I will present case studies from archaeology throughout these units to illustrate key concepts and to introduce you to major developments in past human societies.

The course consists of 26 lessons divided into six units. Each of the lessons includes a combination of one or more of the following:

I expect you to thoroughly review the materials assigned for each lesson before completing the quizzes and written assignments. (See the Grading and Assessment section for more details concerning the exercises and assignments.)


You will submit 6 written assignments and one discussion-board post for this course.

I will grade your assignments on quality. This includes demonstrating your understanding of the course material and concepts, whether you are able to think clearly and logically about the issues/topics/concepts, and whether you are able to express these clearly in a written format.

Average work that demonstrates adequate competency is C work. Work that is above average earns a B, and exceptional work will fall within the A range. Work that does not demonstrate competency will earn a D or an E.

These are the assignments, with their point values:

Garbology 10 points
Neolithic of Arak 30 points
Social Architecture 30 points
Critical Thinking Exercise #1 30 points
Critical Thinking Exercise #2 30 points
Critical Thinking Exercise #3 30 points
“Who Owns the Past?” Discussion-board Post 5 points

Critical-Thinking Exercises

Think critically. This does not mean you should try to find fault with things. It means you should ask yourself difficult, sometimes uncomfortable, questions about things you would normally take for granted. Question whether the authors have adequately proven their arguments. Question the logic that underlies their statements and guides the type of evidence they choose to present. Do not just passively accept the theories about culture and social organization that will be presented in class; try to test them by applying them to your own culture. Question how your own culture may explain or modify a theory; explore how the theory may explain practices from your own culture. Good science and good thinking come from good questions.

Formatting Your Written Assignments

Your written assignments must be typed, unless otherwise stated, in 12-point Times New Roman font and double-spaced, with standard 1-inch margins, and text must be aligned along the left margin. These requirements represent the general academic standard for written work.

You must proofread your writing for poor grammar and misspellings before you hand it in, since unintelligible writing will affect your grade. When appropriate, you must include in-text source citations and a full bibliography listing resources you consulted. Failure to do so is considered plagiarism (see the Academic Honesty Policy).

To make sure that I can open and read your paper, please save it as a Word .DOC or .DOCX file.

Use the course number, your first and last name, and the assignment name for the filename. For example, “ANTHR110_JaneSmith_Garbology.docx.”

Submitting Your Written Assignments

Here’s how to submit your completed assignments:

  1. Open the assignment-submission page.
  2. Click Open at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Attach all the relevant assignment’s .RTF file by clicking Choose File, then locating the file you wish to submit.
  4. When you are finished, click Submit.
  5. You will be asked if you are sure you want to submit this assign­ment. Click Yes.
  6. You will receive a message that tells you that you have successfully submitted your assignment. Click OK.

Discussion Board Post

Follow the instructions for the “Who Owns the Past?” discussion-board post to earn up to 5 points and share your insights with other students. I encourage you to read and respond to your classmates’ posts as well!

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This course includes two examinations. Both of these exams are closed book and closed notes, and each will take you approximately two hours to complete. No retakes allowed.

Midcourse Exam

After you finish unit 2, you will request and complete a midcourse exam. The exam includes 25 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and 15 fill-in-the-blank and short-answer essay questions. The midcourse exam is worth 100 points of your overall course grade. You should complete this exam before you move on to unit 3.

Final Exam

The final exam is similar to the midcourse exam in that it consists of multiple choice, true/false fill-in, and short essay questions. This exam also consists of 25 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and 15 fill-in-the-blank and short-answer essay questions. This exam is worth 100 points of your grade. You may request the final exam after completing all of the lessons, quizzes, and assignments.

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Here is a summary of the points that make up your course grade:

6 Written Assignments 160
1 Discussion-board Post 5
Midcourse Exam 100
Final Exam 100
Total 365

Your overall course grade will be calculated based on these percentages:

Grading Scale
A 100–93
A− 92–89
B+ 88–86
B 85–82
B− 81–79
C+ 78–76
C 75–73
C− 72–70
D+ 69–66
D 65–60
D− 59–56
E (fail) 55 or below

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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