About the Class

This course will introduce students to one of the most fascinating societies in human history: ancient Egypt. The class will challenge students to explore the origins and fluorescence of the rich cultures of Egypt, ranging from the earliest foundations of the Egyptian state in the 5th century B.C. to the splendors of Roman Egypt under the rule of Cleopatra. By exploring case studies that highlight the extraordinary archaeological heritage of ancient Egypt, the course will focus students’ attentions on key anthropological concepts, such as kinship, ritual, political economy, mortuary practices, and cultural contact.


If you want to know more about your professor check out the Contact page for everything you ever wanted to know (and probably more than you wanted to know)


This class adheres to the philosophy of open courseware and open access.  As such, all course materials are open and accessible to the public.  This includes all assignments (blog entries/responses, research articles, etc.).  As such, students should think of themselves as not just taking a class, but as contributing to the pool of scholarship on egyptian archaeology.  This also means that you need to think about how you want to license your work (aka. how you would like other people to be able to use your work).  I would strongly urge all students to choose a Creative Commons license for each of their posts that meets with their needs.

It is very important to note any student (at any time during the semester) can opt not to have their class materials (blog posts, research article, etc.) be open access.  Just talk to Ethan, and he’ll make it happen.  Its equally important to note that any student who chooses to do this will not be penalized at all.


We won’t be using ANGEL that much during class (barely at all).  All of your assignments are done online (Wiki or the course blog), so there is nothing to “hand in” on ANGEL.  Also, all of the course announcements & discussions that you might normally find on ANGEL (in most other online classes) happen on the course blog – which is why you will always need to keep you eye on the blog (you might want to think about subscribing to the course RSS feed).  The only real thing that we’ll be using ANGEL for is the class gradebook.  You’ll be able to use it to see your grades (if you see something amiss with your grades, be sure to email Ethan ASAP)


Twitter (http://www.twitter.com) is a cross between a social network and micro-blogging service.  Twitter is a great little app for connecting people.  And, since this is an online class where we’ll never actually see each other in person, anything that connects us is a good thing.

All you need to do is go to  http://www.twitter.com, sign up for an account, and then follow http://twitter.com/captain_primate/(Ethan – your professor).  The class will be using the #anp491 hashtag.


Blogs & blogging is a big part of this class. You are going to be using a blog (this site, in fact) to do some of your class assignments (check out the Assignments section of the site for more info on that).  Also, the course blog is going to be the primary way how your professor will be communicating with you.  All class announcements, info, etc. will be posted on the blog.  This means you’ll always need to keep your eye on the blog. If you are unfamiliar with the whole idea of blogs, check out this handy dandy little video.

For more info on how to use the course blog (posting, etc.), check out these handy videos.


A wiki is a special type of web site.  The difference between a wiki and a regular website is that it is designed to enable anyone with access to contribute or modify content, using a simplified markup language.  Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites and to power community websites. The collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia is one of the best-known wikis.

You’ll be using a wiki to do some of your class assignments (check out the Assignments section of the site for more info on that).  More detailed information will be provided on the class wiki later in the semester.


This class doesn’t have an assignment textbook (which is good because it means you don’t have to go out and buy anything).  However, the class as a lot of assignment online readings (eitehr in the form of online articles or downloadable PDFs).  Many of the online readings will be available through the MSU Library Electronic Resources System.

It is extremely important to remember that all readings are mandatory for the class, and must be completed.  If you don’t keep up with your readings, you won’t do that will in many of the assignments – and therefor won’t do that well in the class.


Due dates are not negotiable. All assignments are to be submitted on their specific due date (refer to weekly schedule for exact due dates) If you know ahead of time that you are going to be away from a computer with an assignment is due, it is your responsibility to submit it before the due date if you don’t want to be penalized.

Only under extreme (and documentable) circumstances will students be allowed to submit assignments after the due date without being penalized. Students who do not submit any of their assignments will be docked 15% for each 24 hour period for which it is late.


ANP491 has a lot of writing assignments (check out the Assignments for more info).  When completing their formal writing assignments, students MUST use APA style and formatting.  If you are unfamiliar with APA style and formatting, check out this website.


In accordance with Michigan State University’s policies on “Protection of Scholarship and Grades” and “Integrity of Scholarship and Grades,” students are expected to honor principles of truth and honesty in their academic work. Academic integrity means, amongst other things, not plagiarizing. Plagiarism includes submitting someone else’s work (words, ideas, etc.) as their own now will the knowingly permit another student to copy and submit their work. Additional discussion of academic integrity is available on the Ombudsman’s website: http://www.msu.edu/unit/ombud/dishonestystud.html.


Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Requests for accommodations by persons with disabilities may be made by contacting the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities at 517-884-RCPD or on the web at rcpd.msu.edu. Once your eligibility for an accommodation has been determined, you will be issued a verified individual services accommodation (“VISA”) form. Please present this form to me at the start of the term and/or two weeks prior to the accommodation date (test, project, etc). Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.