Introduction to Archaeology

Humanities & Social Sciences
Course Code
ANTH 1112
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined
New Westminster


Course Description
This course surveys the scope and goals of archaeology and the techniques used in the investigation of the human past. It also surveys the major stages of human cultural evolution, from earliest hunting and gathering societies to the emergence of complex urban civilizations.
Course Content
  1.  Introduction to Anthropology and Archaeology
    • The inter-relationship of the subfields of anthropology
    • The nature and goals of archaeology
  2. The Nature of Archaeological Data
    • Strengths and limitations of archaeological reconstructions of the past
  3. Archaeological Field Methods
  4. Analysis of Archaeological Data
  5. Techniques for Dating the Past
  6. Cultural Resource Management and Archaeology
  7. Reconstructing the Past – Experimental Archaeology and Ethnoarchaeology
  8. Development of Archaeology – Earliest Ideas of the Human Past to the Basics of Modern Archaeological Theory
  9. A Survey of World Prehistory
    • Hunting and gathering societies
    • The rise of agricultural societies and settled village life
    • The emergence of “civilizations”
Methods Of Instruction

The course will be presented through lectures.  Videos and slides, along with artifacts and other archaeological materials will be used in class presentations.

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be based on course objectives and will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy. The instructor will provide a written course outline with specific criteria during the first week of classes.

An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:

3 Exams
Each on 1/3 of the course material - 25% each   
1 Short Paper  15%
Take-home lab exercises   5%
Attendance and Participation   5%
Total 100%


Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:

  1. Discuss the contributions of archaeology to anthropology and related disciplines.
  2. Identify a variety of categories of archaeological data and assess how they have been used to understand the human past.
  3. Identify and assess a variety of field techniques used by archaeologists to investigate the human past.
  4. Identify the major techniques used to date objects from the prehistoric past, including the circumstances under which they can be used and the limitations inherent in each technique.
  5. Demonstrate some grasp of the changing theoretical framework under which the past is interpreted.
  6. Outline the major stages of human cultural evolution as understood through archaeology, including the key archaeological features associated with each stage.
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:

Texts will be updated periodically.   A typical example would be:

Renfrew, Colin and Paul Bahn, 2010.   Archaeology Essentials Theories, Methods and Practices. 2nd edition.  Thames and Hudson, London.



No prerequisite courses.


No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Requisite for

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

Institution Transfer Details Effective Dates
Camosun College (CAMO) CAMO ANTH 240 (3) 2013/01/01 to -
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU ANTH 123 (3) 2004/09/01 to -
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU ANTH 1300 (3) 2004/09/01 to -
Langara College (LANG) LANG ANTH 1132 (3) 2004/09/01 to -
Okanagan College (OC) OC ANTH 103 (3) 2010/05/01 to -
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU ARCH 201 (3) 2004/09/01 to -
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU ARCH 2010 (3) 2010/09/01 to -
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU ANTH 119 (3) 2004/09/01 to 2010/08/31
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU ANTH 1XX (3) 2004/09/01 to -
University Canada West (UCW) UCW ANTH 1XX (3) 2012/05/01 to -
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO ANTH 103 (3) 2004/09/01 to -
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV ANTH 203 (3) 2010/09/01 to -
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV ARCL 103 (3) 2004/09/01 to 2010/08/31
University of Northern BC (UNBC) DOUG ANTH 1111 (3) & DOUG ANTH 1112 (3) = UNBC ANTH 100 (3) & UNBC ANTH 1XX (3) 2004/09/01 to 2012/08/31
University of Northern BC (UNBC) DOUG ANTH 1111 (3) & DOUG ANTH 1112 (3) = UNBC ANTH 102 (3) & UNBC ANTH 1XX (3) 2012/09/01 to -
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV ANTH 240 (3) 2004/09/01 to -
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC ANTH 240 (1.5) 2004/09/01 to -
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU ANTH 213 (3) 2004/09/01 to -

Course Offerings

Summer 2021

There aren't any scheduled upcoming offerings for this course.