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
3. 26, 28 Jan Primitive War, The Savage Male, Harris
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
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
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
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
referencing, and an example of the References section -- only those cited in the paper, not