Category Archives: Official Course Announcements

Bonus Blog

As I promised, here is the topic/question for your bonus blog:

At the beginning of the semester we talked about both primary and secondary characteristics of a state.  Which one of these (primary or secondary) do you think is most important, and why?

The bonus blog (which is worth the same as all other blogs and is a true bonus) needs to be posted by 5pm on Monday (the 29th) – no response is required. Make sure you choose the “Bonus Blog” category when you post it.

Take Home Final Exam

Hey folks – as we talked about week, I’ve decided to give you a take home essay exam.  This will 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. I’m looking for thoughtful and detailed essays that show you’ve absorbed the materials we’ve covered in class.  I’m particularly interested in seeing that you are able to synthesize that information.

For the exam, write an essay length response on any two of the following questions:

  1. Its clear that the decline & collapse of ancient states has been a common theme throughout the semester.  Describe and discuss the factors that you consider to be most important in a state’s decline and collapse.  Be sure to provide detailed examples to support and illustrate your discussion.
  2. At the beginning of the semester, we discussed a number of primary characteristics used to identify ancient states (and to differentiate states from non-states).  Choose four of these characteristics and discuss in direct relation to the ancient states we covered in class.  Be detailed and specific in your discussion.
  3. Discuss and describe the role that trade & economy (at all scales) plays in ancient states.  Be sure to provide detailed examples to support and illustrate your discussion.
  4. Discuss and describe the role that ideology (and associated ritual) plays in ancient states.  Be sure to provide detailed examples to support and illustrate your discussion.

The exam should me sent to me via email (as a PDF, not a Word document) no later than May 2nd by 5pm (after which it will be considered late and start incurring standard late penalties). The exam should have your name and PID on every page and be double spaced. In addition, be sure to note the question number at the beginning of each essay.

BONUS: I’ve decided to offer a bonus for this exam. Students can choose to write on a third exam question to get an additional possible 15% bonus on their final grade. If students choose to take advantage of this bonus, they can include it in the same file as the final exam’s regular two questions. Which question is the bonus MUST be be clearly marked as such (by putting “Bonus Question” or some such at the beginning of the questions)

Welcome to ANP363: Rise of Civilizations

Welcome to ANP363: Rise if Civilizations.  We’ll be talking in detail about the class (assignment, student responsibilities, schedule, blah, blah, blah) in detail on the first day of class.  However, there are a couple of things that I’d like to point out/have you do ASAP:

  • You’ll be receiving an (automatically generated) email with login/password info for the course website by next weekend – keep an eye on your inbox for this.  Sometimes the MSU spam filter catches these emails.  So, if you haven’t received yours by then, give me a shout via email or talk to me in class.
  • Go and sign up for a Gravatar account ( A Gravatar (glabbally recognized avatar) is a profile image that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog (ie. the course website).  To get an account, just go to the Gravatar website, and sign up using your MSU email (using your MSU email is key).  This is a class requirement!
  • While it isn’t required, I suggest you sign up for a Twitter account ( and follow me (  Twitter is a nice way for us to stay connected out of the classroom.  I also regularly send out interesting class related stuff over Twitter – in this case, I will use the #anp363ss13 hashtag (if you don’t know what hashtasgs are or how to use them, check this out)
  • Open Access and Open Educational Resources are a big deal in this class.  You should spend a little time becoming familiar with the Creative Commons licenses – they are important.