SYLLABUS -- ANTH 120 & 205

Beginning & Advanced Archaeological Excavation
Palomar College -- Fall 2008
-- Professors de Barros and Eighmey

Instructors: Dr. Philip de Barros and Professor James Eighmey
Teaching Assistants: Manny Galaviz and Tanya Duer (field); Kelsey Manning (lab)
Office Hrs: MW: 9:30-11:00; TTH: 10:00-11:00 & by appointment, in BES-7
Class Nos:   ANTH 120: 71148;  ANTH 205:  71149
Location: Classroom:  BE-1;  Field:  On Site
Phone & Email: 760/744-1150 x2343;  email:

Suggested Internet Web Pages

Archaeology Program
Archaeological Surveying
Student Success Stories
Archaeology Club
Anthropology Dept.
Philip de Barros
Careers in Anthropology  
FAQs About a Career in Archaeology (U.S.)
Archaeology Resources
National Archaeological Database (NADB)
CRM Firm Web Page
Archaeology Channel
Archaeology Magazine Publications
Archaeology News, Resources and Forum:
Archaeology Fieldwork

Required Texts:

1 Archaeology:  Basic Field Methods.  R. Michael Stewart, 2002.
2 It Will Live Forever:  Traditional Yosemite Indian Acorn Preparation, 2nd Edition.  Bev Ortiz, 1996.  

Required Handouts:

1 A Guide to Cultural Resource Management . de Barros, 1993, 1996 (16 p.)  
2 Luiseño.  Bean and Shipek, 1978 (ca. 18 p.)  
3 Prehistory and Ethnohistory of San Diego County, de Barros, 1998 (8 p.)  
4 Tentative Chronology of San Diego Prehistory with Artifact Types
5 Archaeological Site Map of CA-SDI-12510/H (forthcoming)
6 Additional Handouts on Special Topics

Recommended Texts (not in bookstore):  

1 Historical Archaeology, 2nd Ed, Orser and Fagan, 2004, OR
Archaeology: Why the Past Matters, B. Little, Left Coast Press, 2007.  
2 Archaeology: Discovering Our Past, 3rd Edition.  R. J. Sharer & W. Ashmore, 2003.
3 In the Beginning: An Introduction to Archaeology, 10th Edition.  B. Fagan, 2001.
4 Archaeology: Theories, Methods, & Practice, 4th Ed.  C. Renfrew & C. Bahn, 2004.
Federal Planning and Historic Places:  The Section 106 Process.  Tom King, 2000.

ANTH 120
 is beginning archaeological excavation.
  It focuses on:

1 the importance of archaeological sites in relation to Native American peoples and their cultural heritage, including a visit to our site by a Luiseño elder
2 the importance of archaeological research designs for dealing with both the scientific and legal requirements of archaeology, with an introduction to Cultural Resource Management (CRM)
3 how project goals and objectives, as outlined in a research design, help determine:
a) the type, placement, number, and depth of excavation units
b) the application of associated field studies, e.g., surface collections & shovel test pits
c) the application of associated specialist studies, e.g., radiocarbon dating, obsidian hydration dating, faunal analysis
4 how to place and excavate shovel test pits (STPs)
5 how to lay out and excavate excavation units (1 x 1 m and/or 1 x 2 m) in 10-cm arbitrary depth levels and/or by using natural stratigraphy
6 the understanding of the basics of flintknapping to produce flaked stone and core-cobble tools and associated waste flakes or debitage
7 how to identify prehistoric artifacts (stone tools, pottery, flakes) and ecofacts (bones and shell) in the field; and, when the site permits, historic glass, ceramic and metal artifacts
8 how to screen excavation dirt using both dry and wet screening
9 how to record and bag finds from each 10-cm level
10 how to excavate a feature to determine its function and horizontal and vertical extent
11 how to collect soil column samples for macrobotanical (floral) and pollen studies, control soil samples for phytolith and protein residue studies, & charcoal for radiocarbon dating
12 how to excavate & map a feature, such as a hearth, including tracking fire-altered rock
13 how to float soil samples in the field
14 how to keep accurate and legible unit level records
15 how to draw unit level plan views and a final unit soil profile
16 how to identify soil color with a Munsell soil guide
17 how to wash (& not to wash), identify, catalog, and bag artifacts and ecofacts in the field
18 how to take photographs of units, features, artifacts, and sites
19 how to keep a field journal on the progress and interpretation of your excavation unit
20 a field demonstration of the use of a total station laser transit

ANTH 205 is an advanced course in archaeological excavation.  Advanced students will continue to learn
about field and laboratory techniques and will assist beginning students under the supervision of the TAs.

FIRST YEAR advanced students must also choose to do one of the following

1 Write a brief 7-10 pages excavation report according to state (ARMR) guidelines (to be provided) based on your field journal and other observations about the excavation of your unit and its place within the broader context of the site being excavated OR,
2 Help process older collections to meet CAL NAGPRA and assist in lab processing and cataloging of artifacts, including getting units in ANTH 297 OR,
3 Learn how to analyze sediments and soils and apply this knowledge to our sites (see Stewart's Chapter 7:  Sediments, Soils, Stratigraphy, and Geomorphology) OR,
4 Write a 7-10 page paper on one of the following  topics:
  archaeological photography
  faunal or floral analysis or protein residue analysis
  radiocarbon dating or thermoluminescence (TL) dating
  obsidian sourcing and/or hydration dating
  an artifact type of your choice, such as Tizon Brownware or bedrock milling features
  OR, on a topic of your choice.
5 Note-- those taking ANTH 205 for the second or third time do not have to do a project.

It is also expected that the Advanced Students will assist the Teaching Assistants with the flotation of excavation unit soil samples when needed.

Advanced students should also carefully coordinate what they teach beginning students with Dr. de Barros and the Teaching Assistants.  We should not be teaching them contradictory methods of doing procedures.

Course Reading and Quizzes
ANTH 120

Archaeology:  Basic Field Methods

Read Chs. 1-3 & 5 ASAP (some is on Quiz #1)

Read Ch 9 soon after

Ch 1:  Basic Definitions and Assumptions, pp. 1-18.
Ch 2:  The Archaeological Record & the Recognition of Evidence, pp. 19-35.
Ch 3:  Fieldwork:  Motivations and Design, pp. 37-44 only.
Ch 4:  Background Research, pp. 55-84 (recommended)
Ch 5:  Preparing for the Field, pp. 85-99
Ch 6:  Maps, Surveying, and Mapmaking, pp. 145-top 147 only.
Ch 7:  Sediments, Soils, Stratigraphy, and Geomorphology, pp. 161-204 (recommended)
Ch 7:  Sediments, Soils, Stratigraphy, and Geomorphology, pp. 161-166; 183-197 (top)  Deals with Munsell soil color guide, stratigraphy, geomorphology, and recording the basics of a soil profile in an excavation unit.
Ch 9:  Subsurface Investigations, pp. 239-270 (required);
pp 271-318 (recommended)
Ch 10:  Training and Professional Practice, pp. 319-331
Appdix 1: Ethical Principles & Codes of Conduct for Archaeologists, p. 333--
Appendices 2, 4 and 5: (recommended)
Dr. D's Guide to Cultural Resource Management, pp. 1-16 & 19 for QUIZ #1
Handout on the  Luiseño by Bean and Shipek, ca. 18 pages for  QUIZ #2
Ortiz’ book on acorn harvesting, processing, & cooking, It Will Live Forever for QUIZ #3
Other handouts

ANTH 205

If you have not read Stewart before, read the same portions as those in ANTH 120.
REVIEW Dr. D's article on Prehistory
REVIEW Dr. D's "Guide to Cultural Resource Management…."  

Field Journal (for all students):  The field journal should contain the following
information under the following headings on a weekly basis.  Use the following two forms to facilitate
the entry of this information:  
Journal Form         Plan View & Soil Profile Form

1 Date and Excavation Unit No.
2 Unit Levels Worked
3 Excavation Crew Members Present
4 Weather:  Did the heat affect your ability to excavate or record data?  Did rain create problems for excavation?
5 Excavation Tools and Methods:  Did you use a shovel or a trowel?  Did you use dry or wet screening?  What other tools did you use, e.g., brush?
6 List Major Activities of the Day:  e.g., site tour? lecture? (on what topic?), excavation? artifact washing? unit level counts? guest speaker? unit photography? transit use? soil profile? feature recordation?  Be sure and indicate what specific activities you did associated with your excavation unit.
7 List &/or Counts of Artifacts & Ecofacts Recovered by Unit Level (don’t write in paragraphs), such as:
---debitage (flakes and shatter)
---pottery sherds
---flaked stone tools (projectile points or arrowheads, knives, drills)
---ground stone tools (mano or mano fragment, metate or metate fragment)
---animal bone
---Fire-Altered Rock (FAR) (those larger than a tangerine)
---charred seeds
---other items (ceramic pipe fragments, shell beads, glass trade beads)
9 Describe the Unit Stratigraphy:  Note these characteristics about the soil:
  ---What was the soil color?  Did it change?
To what extent did the soil contain clay, silt, sand, or gravel?
How compact was the soil?  Did it change?
Was there rodent disturbance? (fresh or old gopher holes = krotovina)
Was there evidence of historic disturbance? (historic artifacts or features)
10 Unit Soil Profile: If you completed a unit, please include a drawing of the soil profile for the unit (copy the one for the unit).
11 Unit Level Plan Drawing?  If features, plotted artifacts, or intruding bedrock of large plant roots are present in your unit at the end of a level, please provide a plan drawing (copy the one from the unit level record).
12 Unit Feature?  If you encountered a feature in your unit, such as a cluster of Fire-Altered Rock or hearth, a buried bedrock mortar, please describe the feature and provide a plan and/or profile views.
13 Field Lectures on Special Topics:  If the instructor gave a lecture on field techniques, such as site photography, collecting soil samples, please include notes from the lecture in your field journal.
14 Notes on Field Trips or Guest Lecturers:  Include notes from field trips and guest lecturers in your field journal.
15 What did you learn about your unit today?  What types of activities are suggested by the artifacts and/or features in your unit?
16 What questions do you have about your experience?  Write down questions you have about your work or about archaeology.  Ask the instructor or field assistant & write the responses in your field journal.
17 Course improvement:  At the end of the semester, please comment on the course:  what you liked;  what you think should be changed or improved.  This is valuable information for the instructor and for future students in the course.

                                          Flotation of Soil Samples: All students will participate in the flotation of soil samples from the site.
Students will rotate into this position during the course of the semester.

Course Grading:
All Students:

1 Course attendance/participation is critical.  Most students should get an A or B in the course if they come every week and show progress in learning the fundamentals of archaeological excavation.  Progress includes active class participation, performance on 3 quizzes, and the writing of a well-organized, clear and thoughtful field journal (ANTH 120) or project report (ANTH 205, first time).
2 Missed classes can potentially result in a grade of C or lower.  Students who are frequently late to class will also be penalized.
3 A serious issue that affects CLASS MORALE is the need for everyone to help bring equipment to and from the site BEFORE and AFTER class.  It is NOT FAIR to other students if you shirk this work by coming late to class or trying to leave early without doing your share.

Advanced Students:

1 Keep a good field journal.
2 Assist new students, but coordinate instructions with TAs and Dr. D
3 Assist Teaching Assistants when needed
4 Complete your project as appropriate (first year advanced students only)

Approximate Grading Breakdown:  

Beginning Students Attendance/active participation 50% - 265 points
  3 Quizzes 20% - 115 points
  Field Journal    30% - 150 points
Advanced Students
(1st year)
Attendance/helping beginning students 50%
  Quizzes if applicable    15%
  Field Journal & Project Report  35-50%
Advanced Students
(2nd year or more)
Attendance/helping beginning students 50%
  Field Journal 50%
TOTAL POINTS   100% - 530

REQUIRED* and Suggested Course Equipment:

1a* FIELD JOURNAL NOTEBOOK – purchase a Engineering and Science Notebook published by National Brand or its equivalent.  The Palomar College Bookstore also carries a "Science Notebook."  It has alternating lined and graph paper sheets that are ideal for text and excavation plan and profile drawings.  Please don't buy special or odd-size notebooks or those without lined or graph paper.  
1b* A journal guide sheet has been provided, but you must incorporate that information into your journal.  Don't turn in loose-leaf journal sheets.
2* 4.5 to 5” stiff TROWEL (Marshall Town brand is preferred); check at Home Depot or Ace Hardware (latter on Grand Ave. in San Marcos)  
3* 3 or 5 METER TAPE (or meters & feet); avoid feet/inches only type. Available at Ace Hardware in San Marcos
4* SMALL LINE LEVEL for measuring excavation depths -- hardware store; they are about 3" long, have a water bubble that can be centered between a pair of lines.  Avoid those that have more than two lines. 
5* WRITING TOOLS: No. 2 or 3 pencils, separate erasers, and straight edge or ruler (transparent, light-colored plastic is best)  
6* CLOTHING:  light colored clothing (to spot ticks), sunscreen and broad hat, stiff work shoes or boots (see Stewart, pp. 89-92+)
8 OTHER USEFUL BUT OPTIONAL ITEMS:  folding knife (Swiss army knife), work gloves, knee pads, root clippers, compass, 10x hand lens (Stewart, pp. 85-89)
9 Tool bucket to carry all tools (optional)