Archaeology and the Peoples of Latin America

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ANT 210

       Course Name: Archaeology and the Peoples of Latin America

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course introduces exploration of specific peoples and cultures in Latin America.  Content includes examination of origin and development of ancient civilizations (Aztec, Maya, and Inca) through archaeological and historical methods; and ethnographic survey of cultural, economic and political characteristics of modern peoples in this region.

IV.   Learning Objectives

In this course students will:
  1. learn about the early civilizations of the Aztec, Maya and Inca.
  2. study civilizations using the archaeological findings and historical records.
  3. partake in comparative cultural analysis using ethnographic research.
  4. study the modem peoples in the area and explore the concept of cultural continuity.

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. Archaeological data for Latin America
  2. Historical records for Latin America
  3. Origin and growth of civilizations/urban states
  4. Culture background: history, culture, economics, political systems
  5. Modem cultures: social organization, economics, politics, kinship

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Methods include lecture, discussion, and collaborative assignments or projects.

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 texts include:

Good, Kenneth (1996).  Into the Heart:  One Man's Pursuit of Love and Knowledge Among the Yanomami.  Reading, MA:  Addison-Wesley Publishing.

Carmack, Robert (ed.), Gasco, Janine (ed.), and Gossen, Gary (ed.) (1995).  A Legacy of Mesoamerica:  History and Culture of a Native American Civilization (1st ed.)Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Coe, Michael D. (1994).  Mexico:  From The Olmecs To The Aztecs (4th. ed.).  New York, NY:  Thames and Hudson.

Ethnographies include:

Reck, Gregory G. and Reck, Gregory C. (1986).  In the Shadow of Tlaloc:  Life in a Mexican Village.  Prospect Heights, IL:  Waveland Press.

Kintz, Ellen R. (1997).  Life Under the Tropical Canopy:  Tradition and Change Among the Yucatec Maya (Case Studies in Cultural Anthropology).  Cambridge, MA:  International Thomson Publishing.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Students will be graded on their written work, including exams and in class assignments.

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.