Introduction to Archaeology

Florida State University-Valencia Study Center

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Introduction to Archaeology

  • Host University

    Florida State University-Valencia Study Center

  • Location

    Valencia, Spain

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Description:
    The primary aim of the course is to introduce you to some of the leading theoretical and practical aspects of archaeology, and teach you how to think like an archaeologist. The lecture topics will cover examples drawn from prehistory as well as the archaeology of the recent past. The course is intended to introduce you to the basic techniques and concepts of archaeology and highlight how these enable archaeologists to reconstruct the past. You will also become familiar with the multidisciplinary approach and the variety of specialist that make up the discipline. The course will make an especial effort to contextualize historically and geographically the city of Valencia, Spain and Europe. Through dynamic lectures, the visit of real excavations, exhibitions and historical sites, hands-on laboratory archaeological materials such as pottery and bones we will try to show the richness of our past and the interpretation through the archaeological techniques.

    You will be expected to carry on class discussions and do several writing assignments. Thus, your ACTIVE PARTICIPATION is required.

    The main goal of the course is to provide students with an introduction to contemporary archaeology theory and methodology. The secondary goals of the course are to introduce the multi-disciplinary scientific approaches employed in modern archaeology, and to provide students with a general overview of the origin and development of human, social and economic systems. Other objectives are to show the diversity of archaeological sites in the Valencia region and the different field techniques use in every case.

    Attending class and class activities (city fieldtrips) IS MANDATORY in this course. Class meets once a week (Tuesday) from 2:45 am to 17:45 in the classroom or outside the classroom. Students will not be allowed to have any unexcused absences. Each unexcused absence will reduce the final grade number by one letter grade (e.g. if a student were to receive an A-, his/her final grade would be B+ instead). Excused absences comprise the following: participation in a scheduled event as a member of a university-sponsored athletic/scholastic team (official absence form required); religious holidays; accident or illness (accident report or FSU health/doctor's note required); and death in the immediate family. Excuses for absences must be submitted within two (2) days after the day of return.

    Students are responsible for making up all work missed during absences. Students may not make up graded work for unexcused absences (see Assessment policy below). Students must be sure to come to class and class activities on time! Two considerable ?lates? equal one unexcused absence.

    Except in the case of excused absences or extreme extenuating circumstances the following will be the policy of this class: 1) late assignments will not be accepted, 2) there will be no "make-up's" of quizzes or exams, 3) no quizzes or exams will be given early. The passing grade for this course is C- (70). No curves are applied to grades in this class.

    1. Class performance (30%): Your attendance, interest, enthusiasm and contribution in every class meeting will be observed. You MUST have the material read before class, and people will be called at random to discuss the readings, and your homework.

    2. Writings, quizzes and team presentation(40%):

    a. Two short written assignments (5% + 5%) and quizzes (15%) will be made on a regular basis. Some will be written in class. The instructor will establish the format and due dates.

    b. Each student will be required to make one team oral presentation (15%).
    The presentation (15%) will be a team presentation on a topic from the book. Each student/team may use additional materials in the form of visual aids, etc. The instructor will establish the format and presentation date(s) and times.

    3. Exams (30%): There will be 2 in-class exams/papers (12% and 18% respectively) consisting of a combination of multiple-choice, true/false, short answer and short essay questions. The dates for the exams are listed on the Course Outline.

    Class performance (30%):

    Writings, team presentation and individual speech (40%): Short written assignments (10%), one team presentation and quizzes (15% + 15%)

    Exams (30%): There will be 2 in-class exams (12% and 18% respectively)

    Grading Scale:
    94-100 A
    90-93 A-
    87-89 B+
    84-86 B
    80-83 B-
    77-79 C+
    74-76 C
    70-73 C-
    67-69 D+
    64-66 D
    60-63 D-
    00-59 F

    Final Grade components and Grading Scale:
    City Fieldtrips: We will make some visits to places of interest and/or different location in/or around the city of Valencia to see how they work. You will be expected to travel from Campus and find your way downtown (and pay the cost of public transportation).

    Students with Disabilities:
    Students with disabilities or attention deficit disorder needing academic accommodations should a) register in and provide documentation to the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC), and b) bring a letter to the instructor from the SDRC indicating their accommodation needs. They can perform similar appropriate actions as required at FSU Valencia Study Center. This should be done during the first week of classes. This syllabus and other course materials could be made available in an alternative format upon request.

    Academic Honor Code
    Honors Statement:
    The Academic Honor system of Florida State University is based on the premise that each student has the responsibility (1) to uphold the highest standards of academic integrity in the student's own work, (2) to refuse to tolerate violations of academic integrity in the University community, and (3) to foster a high sense of integrity and social responsibility on the part of the University community.
    Students are expected to uphold the Academic Honor Code published in The Florida State University Bulletin and the Student Handbook.
    Final Considerations:
    - Please be aware of the fact that this is a "flexible" syllabus, and it may be necessary to modify it throughout the semester due to pedagogical considerations. Any changes, however, will be minimal.
    - A class session may be recorded or video-taped for purposes of evaluation of either class assignments or the teacher.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


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