Anthropology (ANTH) 272

Introduction to Archaeology (Revision 2)

ANTH 272 Course cover

Revision 2 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Anthropology Studies home page

ANTH 272 is not available for challenge.

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This course is designed to provide you with an extensive overview of the theories, methods, and practice of archaeology. It examines the nature and aims of archaeology; the methods and material remains used to reconstruct the past; the economic, social, political, and ideological systems of human experience; the biology of people of the past; the causes of culture change; and the place of archaeology in our contemporary world.


The course consists of the following three units:

Unit 1: The Framework of Archaeology

Unit 2: Discovering the Variety of Human Experience

Unit 3: The World of Archaeology


To receive credit ANTH 272, you must achieve a minimum of D (50%) on both the midterm and final examination, and an overall grade of “D” (50 per cent) for the entire course. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Quiz 1 Assignment 1 Midterm Exam Quiz 2 Assignment 2 Final Exam Total
5% 20% 20% 5% 30% 20% 100%

The midterm and final examinations for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Muckle, Robert J. (ed.). 2008. Reading Archaeology: An Introduction. Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press.

Renfrew, Colin and Paul Bahn. 2012. Archaeology: Theories, Methods, and Practice. 6th edition. New York: Thames and Hudson Inc.

Other Materials

All other course materials are provided online via the course homepage.

Additional Course Components:

To successfully complete this course you must watch the video program The African Burial Ground: An American Discovery. 1994. Produced and directed by David Kutz. Brooklyn: Kutz Television, Inc. This video is available from the Athabasca University Library. Note: If you are unable to view this program, an alternative reading is given in the Study Guide.

Optional Course Components

Seventeen video programs are listed as optional, but highly recommended, viewing for this course. All of the videos are available from the Athabasca University Library. Although the videos are not required viewing, they will add significantly to your learning experience. If you are unable to view all or any of these programs, your tutor may recommend alternative readings.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 2, February 7, 2013.

View previous syllabus