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Anthropology 193
Freshman Seminar
Fantastic Archaeology: The Curse of the Mummy

Fall, 2004
MW 11:00-12:15 SAB 281


  Instructor: Dr. Bettina Arnold
Office Hours: SAB 229 M 12:30-1:30 T 9:00-10:00 or by appointment x4583
e-mail: barnold@uwm.edu
 

  READINGS:
Textbooks (University Bookstore):
Feder, Kenneth L. 2001 Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology. Mountainview: Mayfield.
Hurst Thomas, David 1998 Archaeology Down to Earth. New York: Wadsworth.
Course Reader: IKON Copy Center UWM Union
 

  Course Description:
Ever wonder why anyone would go into archaeology given the kind of job hazards that archaeologists seem to face? Dodging Uzi-toting bad guys, reanimated mummies, enraged Amazonian tribesmen with poison-tipped arrows and similar obstacles makes a position on Wall Street seem tame by comparison. If this job description sounds bogus, it's because the Hollywood version of archaeology and the real McCoy have only one thing in common: they make the past look like a cool place to be interested in. Real archaeologists do occasionally dodge bullets, but the bad guys are usually looters, and there's nary an extraterrestrial to be seen. Spend a semester finding out what real archaeologists do and compare the Indiana Jones/Tomb Raider versions (which have been with us a lot longer than television) to some of the awesome discoveries that are being made these days. You'll find that not only is truth stranger than fiction, but by the end of the semester you'll be able to evaluate the kinds of shows served up by the Discovery and History Channels for yourselves.

Evaluation and Grading:
Penalty for late assignments: One point per day.
90-100 = A; 80-89 = B; 70-79 = C; 60-69 = D; 50 or below = F
  1. Four Position Papers: 20% (5 pts. each)
  2. In-Class Film Reviews: 20% (2.5 pts. each)
  3. Discussion Leader Pairs: 10% (10 pts. each)
  4. Final Paper: 40% (40 pts.)
  5. Attendance and participation: 10% (10 pts. possible)
  6. Extra Credit: Two points possible for attendance at two archaeology-related talks (Complete list of lectures this semester at http://www.uwm.edu/Dept/Anthropology/)

Emergency-related absences must be communicated to me via e-mail or phone BEFORE THE CLASS MEETING!
 

Reading Assignments

Week 1

Reading
Science and Pseudoscience
Wednesday September 8: Introduction
Textbook: Feder Chapter 1, Hurst Thomas Chapter 1
Reader: Schermer, Michael 1997 Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time. New York: W.H. Freeman. Chapter 2.

Week 2


Reading
How Do You Know What You Know?
Monday September 13: Peer Mentoring Center (PMC) Class Visit
Wednesday September 15: Evaluating Web Resources
Textbook: Feder Chapter 2, Hurst Thomas Chapter 2
Reader: Schermer, Michael 1997 Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time. New York: W.H. Freeman. Chapter 3.

Week 3


Reading
Hoaxes Part I
Monday September 20: Library Class Visit
Wednesday September 22: Position Paper 1 Due!
Textbook: Feder Chapter 3
Reader: Boese, Alex 2002 The Museum of Hoaxes. New York: Dutton. Introduction and Chapter 1

Week 4


Reading
Hoaxes Part II
Monday September 27: Film Review "Secrets of the Shroud"
Wednesday September 29: Discussion
Textbook: Feder Chapter 4
Reader: Boese, Alex 2002 The Museum of Hoaxes. New York: Dutton. Chapter 2

Week 5


Reading
"America BC"
Monday October 4: Film Review 1421: The Year China Discovered America?
Wednesday October 6: Discussion
Textbook: Feder Chapter 5
Reader: Williams, Stephen 1991 Fantastic Archaeology: The Wild Side of North American Prehistory. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Chapter 11 "Some Tales the Rude Monuments Tell"

Week 6


Reading
Myth of the Moundbuilders
Monday October 11: Film Review Myths and Moundbilders
Wednesday October 13: No Class!
Textbook: Feder Chapters 6-7

Week 7


Reading
The Atlantis Caper
Monday October 18: Film Review Atlantis
Wednesday October 20: Discussion Position Paper 2 Due!
Textbook: Feder Chapter 8
Reader: Williams, Stephen 1991 Fantastic Archaeology: The Wild Side of North American Prehistory. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Chapter 7 "Catastrophism"

Week 8


Reading
Aliens: 1 Humanity: 0
Monday October 25: Film Review Chariots of the Gods?
Wednesday October 27: Discussion
Textbook: Feder Chapter 9, Hurst Thomas Chapters 3-4

Week 9


Reading
Humanity: 1 Aliens: 0
Monday November 1: Discussion
Wednesday November 3: Discussion
Textbook: Feder Chapter 10, Hurst Thomas Chapters 5-6

Week 10


Reading
Archaeomythology
Monday November 8: Discussion
Wednesday November 10: No Class!
Textbook: Feder Chapter 11
Reader: Williams, Stephen 1991 Fantastic Archaeology: The Wild Side of North American Prehistory. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Chapter 12 "Psychic Archaeology"

Week 11


Reading
The Real Deal I
Monday November 15: Film Review "The Lost Vikings"
Wednesday November 17: Discussion Position Paper 3 Due!
Textbook: Feder Chapter 12, Hurst Thomas Chapters 7-8

Week 12


Reading
The Real Deal II
Monday November 22: Film Review "Icemummies: Return of the Iceman"
Wednesday November 24: Discussion FINAL PAPER DRAFT DUE!
Textbook: Hurst Thomas Chapters 9-10
Reader: Dickson, James H., Klaus Oeggl and Linda L. Handley 2004 The Iceman Reconsidered. Reprinted in Linda L. Hasten (ed.) Annual Editions in Archaeology 04/05, pp. 49-54. Dubuque, IA: McGraw-Hill/Dushkin. First published in Scientific American May 2003.

Week 13


Reading
The Curse of Indiana Jones
Monday November 29: Film Review "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom"
Wednesday December 1: Discussion
Textbook: Hurst Thomas Chapter 11
Reader: Arnold, Bettina (forthcoming) Pseudoarchaeology and nationalism. In Garrett G. Fagan (ed.) Archaeological Fantasies: How Pseudoarchaeology Misrepresents the Past and Misleads the Public. London: Routledge. (D2L post)

Week 14


Reading
Cyberarchaeology: Beyond Lara Croft
Monday December 6: Discussion
Wednesday December 8: Discussion Position Paper 4 Due!
Hoopes "The Future of the Past" at http://www.cc.ukans.edu/%7Ehoopes/mw/
Romey "Multimedia: Web Links to the Past" at http://www.archaeology.org/0009/etc/multimedia.html

Week 15


Reading
21st Century: Crisis or Opportunity?
Monday December 13: Film "Plunder!"
Wednesday December 15: Discussion
Textbook: Hurst Thomas Chapter 12
Reader: Cameron, Catherine 1994 The destruction of the past: nonrenewable cultural resources. Reprinted in James M. Bayman and Mirian T. Stark 2000 Exploring the Past, pp. 529-546. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press. First published in Nonrenewable Resources 3(1):6-24.

  Final Paper Due Thursday December 16 by 4:00pm!!

The Final Paper may expand on one of the themes covered by one of the four position papers, or it may cover an entirely new topic (10 pages minimum). Follow the Position Paper Guidelines for formatting.

Possible Final Paper Topics:
"Pyramid Power" Kensington Runestone       Piltdown
Mayan Astronauts       Atlantis Erich von Däniken
Nazca Lines Stonehenge "King Tut's Curse"
Big Foot Noah's Ark Ark of the Covenant at Tara
 
  We will track media coverage of archaeological topics in the local or national papers (Tuesday NYT, for example), magazines (Discover, National Geographic etc.), television (network and cable), and the internet. Please bring clippings or advance notice of TV programs to class, or send URLs to the course site on D2L. The course reflector e-mail address is: fantastic@uwm.edu.  


© 2004 Bettina Arnold, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Design: Homer Hruby, Last Updated: September 21, 2004