ARCHY 205 A: Principles Of Archaeology

Meeting Time: 
MTWF 9:30am - 10:20am
GWN 301
Ben Fitzhugh

Syllabus Description:

See "Home" (link top of left column) for course description.

Printable Schedule Page for weekly lecture and lab topics, readings assignments, quizzes and exam dates

[coming soon] A printable PDF of the syllabus and schedule can be downloaded here for those wanting the basic course information in one place.  Please note that the PDF version may not reflect course modifications to readings, assignments and other details that can change to ensure you have the most effective course.

Lecture Slides link (posted after each class)


Class Structure

Class sessions will be devoted to lecture presentations, movies, and occasional small group activities and discussions. Often class lessons will be designed to prepare you for activities in the weekly lab section. Your ability to do well in the lab, therefore, will depend in part on your familiarity with material covered in the preceding classes. I do not normally post lecture notes per se. However, lecture slides will be posted on the class web site soon after class as a guide for study.

Guest lectures: There are a few guests scheduled to make presentations in class. These individuals have kindly agreed to present their research projects with you to give you a flavor of some of the different kinds of work archaeologists do. You will be tested on the content of these presentations and slides/notes will not necessarily be posted after these sessions.

Lab Sections (Denny 410): The Thursday lab section is an essential and mandatory part of this class. Lab sections are designed to engage you in hands-on exercises related directly to the content of the class and assigned readings. It provides a relatively small group context for discussing issues that may be confusing you, and to get to know some of your classmates and TA. Your teaching assistants work hard to make these sessions as interesting and informative for you as possible.

Most labs will include problem-solving exercises that must be submitted on paper, in class the next class period (usually Friday). Your lab grade will be based on your participation in labs including submitted lab worksheets/exercises. Missed labs cannot be made up, but you may (once or twice) be able to attend another lab section on the same date. Please make arrangements with your TA if you need to try and attend another lab section for a given date. Accommodation will be made for documented medical emergencies, DRS-documented needs, or scheduled athletic travel.

Required Readings and Assignments

1. Reading: You are responsible for reading the class textbook. This book is available in the University Bookstore textbooks department. You are expected to complete the assigned readings by the START of the week for which it is assigned. Quizzes will be scheduled each week to help you keep up with and review the reading.

Robert L. Kelly and David H.Thomas,  Archaeology, Sixth Edition. Wadsworth/CENGAGE Learning. 2013.  

Odegaard Reserves: The class text book will be placed on reserve at the Odegaard Library Reserve Desk.

Additional readings will be assigned and posted as PDF files on the Canvas web site. Like all assignments these will be reflected on the course calendar and assignments pages.

Discussion Area: We have set up an online discussion area on the class Canvas site. This is a student forum for discussing issues that come up in class, lab, readings, or films that you want to engage with your peers on. We no longer grade this activity but encourage you to use it to engage beyond what is possible through other avenues.

3. Extra Credit: You can earn UP TO 5% extra credit.  Extra credit is available for a variety of activities that result in short written summaries of your activities or extra-curricular reading or viewing.  There are two ways to earn extra credit:

A. Participation in the Garbology extra credit labs run by Jack Johnson. To receive this credit (5% on your course grade), we must receive a report from Mr. Johnson indicating that you have participated fully in the garbology lab activities (sorting UW trash and recycling bin waste) and you must submit an essay to the Extra Credit (garbology) link by 11:59pm on March 10. You can find more information about this opportunity on the extra credit link. Details will be forthcoming on the activity how to sign up.

B. Up to 5 short critique essays on popular archaeology articles, websites and/or documentary films (1% each up to 5%).  Note that you are limited to submitting one extra-credit essay per week. Since each is worth 1% point, to get the full 5% credit, you need to start turning in extra-credit work no later than Week 6! Just as with required homework, extra credit submissions will only be counted if they are thoughtfully written and argued. All extra credit work must be submitted by the end of the last day of class, on March 10, 2017.

Submitting Assignments: Lab exercises are to be turned in on paper on the class following each lab (usually Fridays). Extra credit assignments should be turned in electronically by way of the class web site. If you run into difficulties submitting assignments, contact your TA to discuss an alternative. If the deadline is imminent, sending the assignment to your TA as an email attachment is a good way to ensure you receive on-time credit for your work.

Policy on late submissions: Lab assignments may be turned in one class period late for a reduction of 10%. After that labs will not be accepted. Exceptions to this policy will only be made on the basis of arrangements made with the TA prior to the due date of the assignment in question, or in the case of a documented emergency.

Quizzes and Exams

Quizzes: Weekly online quizzes are due on the monday evenings for readings assigned the previous week.  These quizzes are low stakes, short activities designed to help you keep up with the reading and to develop the background knowledge needed to understand the course materials (and perform well in exams).  There will be no quiz on the week of the midterm exam. There will be a quiz after the last week of the class (due Sunday instead of Monday). The lowest quiz grade at the end of the quarter will be dropped to reduce the impact of life’s unexpected detours.  Quizzes will be available for three days and must be completed by the established closing date/time. Once started you will have 60 minutes to complete each quiz (you will probably only need 10minutes).  No make-up quizzes will be possible.

Exams: There will be two examinations (one midterm and one final) scheduled as noted below.  Examinations will be in short answer and essay format and will test your comprehension of key subjects from lectures, readings, movies, labs.  The exams are cumulative, but will emphasize the material covered since the previous examination. You will need to bring an empty blue or green examination booklet to both exams (available at UBookstore outlets on campus and on the Ave).

Missed/Rescheduled examinations: There will be no make-up or rescheduled examinations, with the exception of documented emergencies. As much as we would all like to start Spring Break early, please do not ask to take the Final exam early. Accommodating such request requires us to create and grade multiple, unique exams (usually with harder questions).

Midterm Exam: February 7 (Tuesday). Covering readings through Ch. 7 and class through Feb 6.

Final Exam: March 15, 8:30-10:20am, GWN 301 [No exceptions!] Technically cumulative, but in fact focused on Ch. 8-16 and lectures, labs and movies from February 8 to the end of the quarter. 


Individual grades will be scored on a 100 point scale and converted at the end of the quarter to the 4.0 system by Canvas. To see how this translation is made from. individual grades to the 4.0 system, refer to the grading scale.  Canvas lacks a way to add in extra credit so those points will be added to the final grade percentages before grades aresubmitted. 

Exams: 40% (20% each)

Quizzes: 24% (3% per quiz, 9 quizzes with the lowest grade dropped)

Lab Sections: 36% (lab exercises and participation, other homework that may be assigned.)

Extra-Credit: up to 5% (1% for each extra credit evaluation essay submitted)

Web Site

This is a convenient system because it integrates all your class activities into a single web platform.  You can review and submit assignments, access online discussions, review supplementary information, and check your grades.  This web site has several features that you will need and others that you may want to use during the quarter.  But please note that Canvas is still imperfect and has several bugs and awkward features.  Have patience, use the HELP links (Top Right corner of the site) to the extent possible, but please let your TA or instructor know if you get stuck of confused using it.


Academic Honesty

Through the duration of this class, you are expected to treat your fellow students, teaching assistants, and instructor honestly and with respect. You are expected to produce your own work for the class. Written exercises should be original and must properly credit intellectual sources used. Plagiarism or any other form of cheating will not be tolerated. If you are unsure as to what constitutes academic honesty, go to the following campus web site. This site outlines the disciplinary actions that are required when a case of dishonesty is identified.


Disability Resources for Students

The Disability Resources for Students (DRS) Office coordinates academic accommodations for enrolled students with documented disabilities. Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis and may include classroom relocation, sign language interpreters, recorded course materials, note taking, and priority registration. DSS also provides needs assessment, mediation, referrals, and advocacy as necessary and appropriate. Requests for accommodations or services must be arranged in advance and require documentation of the disability, verifying the need for such accommodation or service. Contact DRS at: 011 Mary Gates Hall, 206-543-8924 (Voice);  206-543-8925 (TTY); 206-616-8379 (Fax),


Students with Children and other Family Responsibilities

Reasonable accommodations will be made for student parents and others who have family members for whom they care. This includes welcoming children into the classroom in rare cases that alternative care options fall through – as long as those family members can entertain themselves quietly and do not disrupt the class.  In the event of illness of a person under a student's care, we will offer accommodation for documented illnesses and up to three (3) undocumented illnesses or other urgent care needs that prevent the student caregiver from participating in class. Try to give us advance notice as early as possible since it is harder to make accommodations after the fact, though we understand that family care emergencies do happen.  Please understand that there is a limit to the amount of make-up work we can provide to a student and the University has additional options available for students who find themselves unable to complete the work required to finish a class within the quarter it is taken (e.g., Incomplete, hardship withdrawal, etc.). 

See Course Schedule for Week to Week Lecture and Lab topics and Reading Assignments.

Catalog Description: 
Techniques, methods, and goals of archaeological research. Excavation and dating of archaeological materials. General problems encountered in explaining archaeological phenomena.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Last updated: 
October 12, 2017 - 9:00pm