While all assignments will be graded on a point scale (ie. 15/20) and the running tally of the semester grade on D2L will be displayed as percent, final grades will be given on a 4.0 scale. The final grade will be calculated using the following scale:

  • 90 – 100 = 4.0
  • 85 – 89.99 = 3.5
  • 80 – 84.99 = 3.0
  • 75 – 79.99 = 2.5
  • 70 – 74.99 – 2.0
  • 65 – 69.99 = 1.5
  • 60 – 64.99 = 1.0
  • <60 = 0

Your final grade will be based on the following criteria:

Midterm Exam (20%) – multiple choice and short answer questions covering material up until the midterm.

Final Exam (30%) – The final exam is take home.  The exam is intended to give you an opportunity to digest the things we’ve talked about, do some synthesis, and be a little more thoughtful about what you write than you might normally be able to do in a traditional exam. The questions and more detailed instructions will be provided at the end of the semester.

Blog Post/Responses (15%) – throughout the semester, students will be required to post a series of posts to the course blog. The subject of each weekly Blog Post should be one of the following:

  1. a thoughtful reflection/discussion of recent assigned readings
  2. a thoughtful discussion of an archaeological news item (see the Archaeology News Feed for ideas)

Each Blog Post must be at least 400 words in length (though students are welcome to write more than that if they want).   In addition to the posts, students are expected to respond to at least one post made by their fellow students.  The responses must be at least 250 words.  Posts are (usually) due by 5pm on Thursday, and the responses are (usually) due by 5pm on Sunday. Students must complete both that week’s entry and response in order to get credit for the assignment.  If students meet all of the requirements for the assignment (due date, length requirement, entry + response), they will receive full credit.  If students don’t meet all of the requirements, they will not receive credit at all.  No partial credit is given for partially complete Blog Posts/Responses.

Digital Encyclopedia of Archaeologists (20%) – In this assignment, students will write a detailed professional & critical biography of an archaeologist of their choosing (picked from the list below). Instead of being physically handed in, students will manually build a website to host their archaeologist’s biography.  All of the websites will then be tied together and made accessible through a central hub.   The Digital Encyclopedia of Archeologists Project must be at least 2000 words in length (more is perfectly fine).

Why are we doing this?  Bunch of reasons, first, it is a way for you to get to know an archaeologist (and there work) more intimately (and therefor broaden your knowledge of  archaeology in general) by doing something different than a regular research paper.  The Digital Encyclopedia of Archaeologists isn’t going to go away at the end of the semester.  It will stay online (and will probably be enhanced every time I teach this class with new sites).  The result will be a very useful resource for those interested in the history of archaeology. You’ll be contributing to the community of scholars interested in  archaeology. The project will also be something that you can include in your Department of Anthropology portfolio (which is required of all Anthropology majors).  The project will also allow you to develop some interesting digital skills – things that you probably wouldn’t have learned in your average Anthropology class. But nonetheless, skills that might serve you will beyond the class (in whatever career you are planning on pursuing).  Finally, because the site will stay up indefinitely, you can point to it as something tangible (and hopefully interesting and innovative) you did in this class (and in your undergrad career in general)

Students will select an archaeologist from the list below. Upon choosing an archaeologist, students must email Ethan by Feb 26th (before 5pm) to claim their choice (so that two students don’t write on the same site).Those students who don’t make their choice by the due date will be randomly assigned an archaeologist from those remaining. If students write on an archaeologist that they didn’t claim beforehand, they will not receive credit. Students can choose to write on an archaeologist that isn’t on the list – they just need to get it approved beforehand.

The Digital Encyclopedia of Archaeologists Project should address the following questions/issues (each of which translates into a specific section of the project)

  • Early Life/Biography
  • Archaeology Career (work, research, excavation)
  • Major Contributions to the Field of Archaeology
  • Legacy

In addition, you will have a separate page in your website that lists all of the sources (and images) you cited.

Some guidelines/things to think about with the Digital Encyclopedia of Archaeologists Project:

  • Meeting the minimum word count is a requirement of the assignment.  If students don’t meet that minimum word count, they will be docked significantly.
  • Students must have at least 7 sources/references (this doesn’t count any cited images). More sources is, of course, perfectly fine. The sources can be digital or physical. However, they have to be scholarly in nature.  If you are confused as to what constitutes “scholarly in nature,” ask. Here is a really good source for determining the quality of an online source: or
  • All images must be referenced as properly.  Try to use Creative Commons licensed works. Here is a hint to find creative commons licensed images – use the CC Search engine. Also, for specific archaeological images that are creative commons licensed, you should look at the ISAW Ancient World Image Bank.
  • Wikipedia (and similar sites like, Encyclopedia Britannic  etc.) are absolutely acceptable sources. Remember, Wikipedia is a great place to start, but it shouldn’t be something you cite as a source on a piece of work.
  • Check out digital archaeology repositories such as tDAR and ADS. You might also want to check out Open Context – which is a publication platform for primary archaeological data (if you need it).

Students can choose one of the following archaeologists or suggest their own:

  • George Bass – Genna Koehn
  • Flinders Petrie – Ryan Johnson
  • Lewis Binford – Tom Diponio
  • Fred Wendorf – Ashley Chambers (assigned)
  • Kathleen Kenyon – Kelsey Quinn
  • Stuart Struever – Isaac Constans (assigned)
  • Arthur Evans – Emily Paul
  • James B. Griffin – Aleks Popovic (assigned)
  • Leonard Woolley – Melania Sprinkle (assigned)
  • John Garstang – Siana Stanton (assigned)
  • Kwang-chih Chang – Pranav Kannan
  • Timothy Pauketat
  • Robert John Braidwood – Brooke Kovacic
  • Ian Hodder – Daniel Villagran (assigned)
  • Arthur Demarest – Lucas Wolfe (assigned)
  • Gordon Willey – Emma Wood (assigned)
  • Brian M. Fagan – Brittany Toler
  • Harold Dibble – Steven Burkhalter 
  • Gertrude Bell – Jodie Kozler
  • Dorothy Garrod – Lizzie Pepper
  • Gertrude Caton-Thompson – Lindsay Woods
  • Khaled al-Asaad – Raghav Jain
  • Ofer Bar-Yosef
  • Martin Biddle
  • Manfred Bietak
  • Jacques Boucher de Crèvecœur de Perthes – Brendan Mitchell
  • Linda Braidwood
  • J. Desmond Clark
  • Grahame Clark
  • George Cowgill
  • Margaret Conkey – Ellie Paulson
  • Glyn Daniel
  • James Deetz – Melissa Bucheli
  • George Carr Frison – Sarah McCormick
  • J.C. Harrington
  • Birgitta Hoffmann
  • Glynn Isaac
  • Jesse D. Jennings
  • Alfred V. Kidder – Jillian Co
  • Mary Leakey – Robert Billette
  • Joyce Marcus
  • Therkel Mathiassen
  • Betty Meggers
  • Oscar Montelius
  • Bruce Trigger
  • Patty Jo Watson – Tara Eavy
  • Philip Phillips
  • Alfred Tozzer
  • James A. Ford
  • David L. Clarke
  • Lady Aileen Fox – Jillian Stoneburg
  • Ruth Tringham – Ellen Grimes

Wikipedia Project (10%) – In this project, students will edit a wikipedia page on a topic relating to archaeology (of their choosing).  Students will be asked to write a blog post of at least 500 words discussing the edits they made (rationale, content, etc.) as well as a reflection to what happened to their edits after they were made.  The discussion/reflection will take the place of a regular blog post (though, will, as discussed, be longer than usual).

Detailed Guidelines:

  • Students are free to choose any page or topic that they would like.  However, the topic or page you choose should be one that is logically weak or poorly written, or that is otherwise incomplete.  As such, students might want to choose from the list of Archaeology stubs on Wikipedia.
  • Using a pseudonym (which means you need to create an account), log into Wikipedia and make a substantial improvement to the article. Email Ethan with your pseudonym, the page/article you edited, a brief description of the changes you made.
  • Wait at least a week before returning to the edited your article to see what changes/reversions/edits were made.
  • In your blog post, reflect on how much of their contribution survived the interval; why did those parts survive? Why did some parts get reverted or deleted? How does the Wikipedian community deal with citations and points of view? The blog post should also (briefly) discuss the changes/edits you originally made to the article. Is editing Wikipedia really that important?  Who cares?
  • This assignment is not about whether your changes survive.  I’m not at all concerned if your changes get reverted back 5 minutes after you make them.  Instead, the assignment is about the quality & quantity of edits that you made and your reflection upon those edits (and any subsequent changes that were made to what you did)

Wikipedia Editing Resources

Discussion/Participation/Class Citizenship (5%) – Discussion/interaction/participation/collaboration/commitment plays an important role in this class.  Students are expected to be informed participants in all aspects of the class, contributing to the overall health of the teaching/learning experience (yes, that includes attendance).

Leave a Reply