Anthropology 4180:  Anthropological Perspectives/ Contemporary Issues: Controversies
in Archaeology.   Arts & Sciences Core Curriculum ---> Critical Thinking.   Spring 1999.
T Th  2 - 3:15, Hale 236.  Payson Sheets.   Office: Hale 160, hours M & W 1-2.  Phone

The CU Catalog describes Critical Thinking courses as encouraging “the
active practice of critical reasoning, evaluation, and discussion.  They do
so by providing opportunities for student participation beyond those
offered in ordinary courses.  Critical thinking courses address matters of
controversy within a given field of study....”   Therefore, the class is
organized to maximize student participation in discussions each week as
well as each student making a formal presentation toward the end of the

Week Dates   Topic    Readings

1.  12, 14 Jan  Introduction   Feder Ch. 1, 2;  Wms Intro & Ch 1

2.  19, 21 Jan  Mother Cow, Pig Lovers & Haters,  Harris 3 chapters
    & Messiahs

3.  26, 28 Jan  Primitive War, The Savage Male,  Harris 3 chapters
    & Potlatch

4.  2, 4 Feb       The Earliest Americans F 5, Wms 6

 1st Short Paper due 4 Feb.

5.  9, 11 Feb  Atlantis   F 8, Wms 7

6.  16, 18 Feb  Trans-Oceanic contacts F 6

7.  23, 25 Feb       The Vikings have landed Wms 9, F pp 86-94

8.  2, 4 Mar  Piltdown and Cardiff  F 4, 3; Wms 4

       2nd Short Paper due 4 Mar.

9.  9, 11 Mar  The Moundbuilders  Wms 2, 3, 8; F 7

10.  16, 18 Mar Ancient Astronauts?  Feder 9

11.  20 - 28 Mar SPRING VACATION  !!!

12.  30 Mar, 1 Apr       Student formal presentations

13.  6, 8 Apr     Student formal presentations

14.  13, 15 Apr      Student formal presentations

15.  20, 22 Apr      Student formal presentations

16.  27, 29 Apr Student Formal Presentations

The final grade will be composed of 50% oral participation in the class (3/5 of which is
verbal participation throughout the semester and 2/5 of which is in the formal
presentation),  10% in how a week’s discussion is lead, 10% in each of two Short Papers,
and 20% in the Term Paper due noon Saturday 8 May.  Ten percent is deducted from any
paper per day that it is turned in late.

I will lead the discussions during the first two weeks.  Then, during each of Weeks 3
through 10, two to three students will lead the discussions.  This could be done as a
debate, if you wish.  The students leading a week’s discussions should do some reading on
that topic beyond what is in the textbook.  See references in the texts and see me for

Each student should be thinking of a question or comment to bring to class each time, to
maintain a high level of verbal involvement.

Each short paper is focused on a controversy in archaeology where markedly different
explanations have been offered regarding some interpretations, topics, sites, artifacts, or
features.  The student should present the range of opinions on the issue and then critique
them, and come up with a means to test and evaluate them if possible, and then conclude
with the current status of knowledge and understanding.  Length: 4-7 pages typed double-
spaced, 12 point font, anthropological style of parenthetical referencing required (e.g.
Feder text, and attached example).   Due dates: 4 Feb and 4 Mar.  Include a 1 paragraph
abstract, and number your pages.

In most cases, one of the short papers will be chosen as the beginning of the term paper,
which is a well-developed thorough exploration of a particular controversy in archaeology.
Its length is 15 - 20 pages of double-spaced text, 12 point font, parenthetical referencing
required, carefully reasoned and clearly written, showing critical and constructive
reasoning.  Due: noon Saturday 8 May.  Be sure to include a 1 paragraph abstract, use
headers to label sections, and number your pages.

The student formal presentations will be done during the final third of the semester.  Each
student will have 15 minutes to present the various points of view regarding the
controversy that he/she is researching for their final termpaper.  That will be followed by a
few minutes of questions, discussion, and suggestions for consideration in the termpaper.

Please feel free to explore academic archaeological controversies from specific culture
areas.  For instance:  (1) Cannibalism among the Anasazi in the US Southwest (see article
in The New Yorker, 30 Nov 1998, p. 76-.   (2) The role of Olmec civilization in the
emergence of Maya civilization.   (3) Relationship between the Southwest and
Mesoamerica.   Etc.

1.  Marvin Harris 1989 Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches.  Vintage Books, NY.
2.  Ken Feder 1990  Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in
Archaeology.  Mayfield, Mt. View CA.  2nd Ed.
3.  Steve Williams 1991  Fantastic Archaeology: The Wild Side of No. American
Prehistory.  Univ of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.

Attached please find an example of an abstract and beginning of a paper with parenthetical
referencing, and an example of the References section -- only those cited in the paper, not
a Bibliography.