Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2023
Units: 4
Hours: 1 lecture, 9 laboratory per week (120 total per quarter)
Includes fieldwork.
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in ANTH 11.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will practice and apply understandings of directed readings, discussions and projects in anthropology.
  • Students will learn how to critically analyze and interpret anthropological data.
  • Students will apply anthropological principles for solving human problems on the local, regional and world scales.


Introduction to archaeological field methods at an archaeological site either in the Bay Area or in another country. Locating different types of archaeological sites with field survey. Methods of field excavation. Study of local artifact types and lab techniques for artifact cleaning and identification. Selection of archaeological site, mapping, excavation, and preparation of artifacts, written analysis. Working and living with members of an indigenous culture.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Recognize, locate, and survey an archaeological site
  2. Use archaeological excavation methods
  3. Describe artifact types
  4. Perform laboratory analysis of artifacts
  5. Use statistical analytical techniques
  6. Understand the applicability of GIS to archaeology
  7. Formulate and carry out a research project in the field using the scientific method
  8. Understand and become involved with another culture both past and present
  9. Prepare archaeological reports

Course Content

  1. Introduction to archaeology
    1. Ethics in archaeology
    2. Archaeology and the environment
    3. The archaeological staff
    4. Cultural resource management
  2. Pre-excavation exploration
    1. Evaluate the previous research—archival as well as excavated—for a particular site
    2. Explain the importance to archaeological survey of lithic scatters, permanent campgrounds, ideological sites, etc.
    3. Analyze the environment and recognize archaeological resources of the Central Coast of California
    4. Synthesize the real life data into recordation format for archival submittal
    5. Evaluate principles of archaeological sampling designs
    6. Survey
  3. Field excavation
    1. Reduce associations within an excavation based on stratigraphic principles
    2. Fieldwork: excavation
    3. Record and synthesize field experiences and data into clear field notes; fill out field data forms adequately
    4. Explain cultural resource management and apply those principles to local agencies
    5. Cataloging
    6. Artifact analysis; interpret some of the data into behavioral activities

Lab Content

Lab hours for this course involve in-the-field training which consists of the following:

  1. Basic field techniques
  2. Data recording techniques
  3. Artifact processing techniques
  4. Database creation and analysis techniques

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. Laboratory space, survey and excavation equipment
2. Marshalltown trowel
3. When taught via Foothill Global Access, on-going access to computer with email software and hardware; email address

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Demonstration of fieldwork competence achieved, skills worksheet to be signed by either the field director and instructor, recording of activities in a weekly field notebook
Written take-home assignments
Group presentations

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Field trips

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Hester, Thomas R., Harry J. Schaefer, and Kenneth L. Feder. Field Methods in Archaeology, 7th ed.. 2009.

Renfrew, C., and P. Bahn. Archaeology Essentials: Theories, Methods, and Practice, 3rd ed.. 2015.

Stewart, R. Michael. Archaeology: Basic Field Methods, 1st ed.. 2002.

South, Stanley. Methods and Theory in Historic Archaeology, Reprint ed.. 2002.

King, T.F.. National Parks Service Manual (current edition). .

McMillon, Bill. Archaeology Handbook: A Field Manual and Resource Guide. 1991.

Although the textbooks are older than 5 years, they remain classic to the discipline.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Required notebook and journal entries
  2. Submission of excavation reports