Introduction to Archaeology

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ANT 203

       Course Name: Introduction to Archaeology

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course introduces archaeology, subfield of anthropology which studies prehistory and history of mankind, and examines archaeological concepts including research and methods for study of prehistoric cultures.  Content includes site location, techniques of excavation, methods of dating artifacts and sites; analysis of artifacts, origin and spread of agriculture, rise of development of modern civilization; current archaeological investigations and interpretations of findings.

IV.   Learning Objectives

In this course students will learn:
  1. the professional terminology of archaeology.
  2. identification and classification of artifacts and site assemblages.
  3. the identification of problems, gathering of data and the analysis of material remains used to reconstruct prehistoric cultures.
  4. to understand how analyses of archaeological sites fit into the wider historical context.
  5. to study recent archaeological discoveries, differentiate between fact and opinion and compare and evaluate alternate explanations.
  6. the analysis of the archaeological fossil record of man and the beginning of civilizations.
  7. to use written and oral skills effectively in the discussion of culture and the reconstruction of past cultures.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Theory and methodology of archaeology
  2. Dating techniques
  3. The archaeological site: location and analysis of sites and artifacts
  4. Interpretations of archaeological data, including recent finds
  5. Fossil record of man and past cultures
  6. The emergence of agriculture: origin and spread
  7. The emergence of civilizations/urbanism: state formation, warfare

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Methods include lecture, discussion, and collaborative assignments.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

This course relies on the student's ability to read and understand college-level text material.  Students will be required to write for the class the equivalent of 12-15 typed pages of material that will be graded.  This writing may take the form of a research or term paper, summaries of journal articles, and/or a series of shorter, analytical papers.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Representative text includes:
Sutton, MQ & Yohe II, RM (2008) Archaeology: The Science of the Human Past. (3rd edition). Pearson Press.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Students will be graded on their written work, including exams and in class assignments or projects.  Individual instructors may require additional work such as individual or group presentations.

XI.   Other Course Information


Class policy on make-up exams, late assignments, etc.

Important dates

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.