Print Version

Effective: Summer 2015

Advisory: Advisory: UC transferability is limited to 3 units maximum for ANTH 8L, 8LX & 8LY.
Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU/UC
6 hours laboratory. (72 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • Students will practice and apply understandings of archaeological laboratory methods and techniques of archaeology, including cataloging, care and analysis of artifacts, bone recognition, and archaeological excavation.
  • Students will learn how to critically analyze and interpret laboratory data gathered from archaeological fieldwork.
  • Students will apply anthropological principles for solving human problems on the local, regional and world scales.
Description -
Laboratory methods and techniques of archaeology, including cataloging, care and analysis of artifacts, bone recognition, and archaeological excavation.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. catalog, record, analyze artifacts.
  2. develop skills in the methods and techniques of excavating archaeological sites.
  3. recognize and interpret basic indications in the reconstruction and understanding of prehistoric culture.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
A.Introducing Artifact Types
B.Processing of artifacts from collections
  • Classification and Typology
  • Archaeological Project Introduction
  • Beginning Materials Analysis
  • Database Formation: Access vs Excel
  • Chipped stone technology
    1. Video: Bradley Flint-Knapping
    2. Manufacture of lithics
    3. Analysis of lithics
  • Groundstone
  • Ceramics
    1. Pottery Production
    2. Pottery Analysis
    3. Geochemical Analysis
      1. XRF
      2. Mass-spectrometry
      3. Petrography
  • Historic artifacts: Metal and Glass. Pipe stems.
  • Shells
  • Illustration: Drawing/Drafting
  • Osteology & Zooarchaeology (Animal Remains)
    1. Forensics
  • Geophysics: Ground Penetrating Radar
  • Plant Remains
    1. Flotation
    2. Paleoethnobotany
  • Perishables: Basketry, Textiles, Wood, Hides, and others
  • Relational Databases
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Building Artifact Databases for Analysis
  • Student Projects: Materials Analysis
  • Methods of Evaluation -
    1. Ability to learn and practice archaeological skills in laboratory and sites
    2. Skill in excavating and recording information
    3. Discussion of work performed
    4. Written report
    Representative Text(s) -
    Sutton, Mark and Brooke Arkush. Archaeology Laboratory Methods: An Introduction. Fifth Edition. 2009. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.

    Disciplines -
    Method of Instruction -
    Lecture, Discussion, Oral presentations, Laboratory.
    Lab Content -
    1. Laboratory Exercises and demonstrations: Weekly lab exercises. Each lab exercise may include individual or group participation and covers assigned reading and lecture topics.
      1. Pottery analysis
      2. Lithic analysis
      3. Preparation of samples for analysis
      4. Cataloguing artifacts
      5. Materials identification
    Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
    1. Weekly examination of different subjects.
    2. Using real data students conduct independent research assignments on data collected from field projects and present preliminary analysis of artifacts.