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Center for Curriculum and Transfer Articulation
Introduction to Archaeological Field Methods
Course: ASB231

First Term: 1991 Fall
Lec + Lab   4 Credit(s)   8 Period(s)   6.8 Load  
Course Type: Academic
Load Formula: S

Description: Excavation of an archaeological site; recording and interpreting data collected during the field experience. Overview of the cultures concerned; contemporary issues in archaeology

MCCCD Official Course Competencies
1. Describe the fundamental tools and techniques used in archaeological excavation. (I)
2. List on-site safety measures. (I)
3. Discuss and compare the types of dating methods available for the site involved. (I)
4. Describe the culture investigated, based on the excavation and on previously published information (I)
5. Compare the culture excavated to another culture, either related or of the same time period. (I)
6. Identify issues affecting burial excavation. (II)
7. Explain the legal basis for the rights of indigenous peoples in reference to archeological sites, antiquity laws, and their effect on the use of public lands. (II)
8. Identify repository and storing procedures of artifacts. (II)
9. List basic archaeological responsibilities involved with excavations. (II)
10. Describe and identify datum point and provenience. (III)
11. Analyze factors that influence deposition. (III)
12. Prepare sample recoveries using a variety of techniques. (III)
13. Describe factors which determine artifact recovery. (III)
14. Identify such items as faunal remains, ceramics, lithics, organic materials, and shell artifacts. (III)
15. Identify basic excavation features such as living floors, fire pits, structural walls, post holes, entries, roofing materials. (III)
16. Prepare daily logs, specimen sheets, and other specialized forms. (III)
17. Draw, profile, and/or photograph features. (III)
18. Prepare a final site report, documenting all work completed. (IV)
MCCCD Official Course Outline
I. Introduction
   A. Fundamentals of archaeology
      1. Field techniques/laboratory
         a. Note taking
         b. Establishing excavation units
         c. Basic methodology
      1. Tools
      2. Provenience control
      3. Decision-making strategies
         d. Dating Methods
      2. Safety
   B. Introduction to the culture to be excavated
      1. Typical structures built
      2. Physical characteristics of the people
      3. Types and characteristics of artifacts
      4. Environmental constraints
      5. Related or descended cultures.
II. Contemporary Issues in Archaeology
   A. Rights of indigenous peoples
   B. Antiquity laws
   C. Use of public lands
   D. Archaeological responsibilities
      1. Research Planning
      2. Site reports
      3. Storing/repository
III. Field Experience
   A. Provenience
      1. Relative to datum point
      2. Relative to recovered material
   B. Deposition analysis
   C. Sample recovery
      1. Pollen (flotation)
      2. Charcoal
      3. Soil
      4. Screening
      5. Determinants
   D. Excavation factors
      1. Faunal analysis
      2. Charcoal
      3. Features
      4. Perishables
      5. Burials
   E. Recordkeeping
      1. Daily logs
      2. Specimen sheets
      3. Specialized forms
         a. Profiles
         b. Drawings
         c. Photography
IV. Project Report
   A. Summary of work
   B. Interpretation of data
   C. Synthesis
   D. Storing artifacts
MCCCD Governing Board Approval Date: 2/26/1991

All information published is subject to change without notice. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information presented, but based on the dynamic nature of the curricular process, course and program information is subject to change in order to reflect the most current information available.