ARCHY 205 A: Principles of Archaeology

Meeting Time: 
MTWF 9:30am - 10:20am
CDH 109
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

Here is a printable PDF of the syllabus. And here is a printable PDF of the Course Schedule (Days off, Textbook Readings, Labs and Quizzes).  Note that a few short articles are still to be scheduled. If there are differences between the PDF and Canvas Assignments/Calendar, follow what you see on Canvas.

Lecture Slides link (slides posted after each class)


Class Structure

Class sessions will be devoted to lecture presentations, movies, 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. We do not normally post lecture notes per se. However, lecture slides will be posted on the class web site soon after class as a resource 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 sections are 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 electronically (through Canvas). 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 as some lab sessions are fully enrolled. Accommodation will be made for documented medical emergencies, DRS-documented needs, or scheduled athletic travel.

Required Readings and Assignments

1. ReadingYou are responsible for reading the class textbook (A) and occasional short articles related to the class subjects (B):

A. The Kelly and Thomas textbook (listed below) 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.

Robert L. Kelly and David H.Thomas,  Archaeology, Sixth Edition. Wadsworth/CENGAGE Learning. 2013.  [other editions may be acceptable, but you should consult with the instructor before purchasing/using.  Note that we are not requiring the newest edition because of its higher cost. 

Odegaard Reserves: One or two copies of the class text book will be placed on reserve at the Odegaard Library Reserve Desk.

B. Online articles: You are expected to read occasional short articles in preparation for in-class discussions. These will be posted in Canvas on scheduled assignments and tagged to in-class discussions. These will be assigned as appropriate and will be available at least 1 week before they are due.

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 for 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 15, 2019.

Submitting Assignments: 

A. Labs - In labs you will often be given paper forms to guide you through lab activities. Use these to develop rough drafts of your final lab assignments. These forms will be available electronically on the Canvas Lab Assignment for each Lab date. Final drafts of Lab exercises are to be transferred to the online forms (usually Word.docx format) and turned in electronically through the Lab Assignments link.

B. Extra credit assignments should be turned in electronically Through the Extra Credit Assignment links.

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 due the previous week.  These quizzes are low stakes, short activities designed to help you keep up with the reading (textbook and short articles) 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. While you have three days to start each quiz, once started you will have 60 minutes to complete each quiz (you will probably only need 10 minutes).  No make-up quizzes will be allowed.

Exams: There will be two examinations (one midterm and one final) scheduled as shown on the Calendar.  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 examination booklet to both exams (available at UBookstore outlets on campus and on the Ave).  They look something like this:

Blue book.jpg

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 12 (Tuesday) - in class. Covering readings through Ch. 7 and class through Feb 11.

Final Exam: March 20, 8:30-10:20am, CDN 109 [No exceptions!] Technically cumulative, but in fact focused on Ch. 8-16 and lectures, labs and movies from February 13 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 percentage grades to the 4.0 system, refer to the grading scale.  It is difficult to add extra credit in Canvas as it is earned, so those points will be added to the final grade percentages before grades are submitted. 

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)

Canvas 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 - often in how it calculates running grades!.  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 or 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 significantly 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.
Department Requirements: 
Archaeological Sciences Option
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Last updated: 
October 8, 2019 - 9:00pm