Anthropology (ANTH) 377

Ancient Cultures of North America (Revision 1)

ANTH 377 Course website

Revision 1 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: ANTH 272 or ANTH 277. Students who have completed introductory courses in other disciplines may request permission to register from the Course Coordinator.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Anthropology Studies home page

ANTH 377 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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ANTH 377 Ancient Cultures of North America is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the precontact cultures of North America, from the first peopling of the continent to the arrival of Europeans. The course has three major objectives:

  1. an appreciation for the dynamic field of North American archaeology, particularly the gathering of information and interpretation of past cultures;
  2. an understanding of the general historical sequence of North America’s past and an appreciation for the diversity of the peoples and cultures that thrived here;
  3. the ability to evaluate the ways in which contemporary archaeologists consider and communicate with other stakeholders in North America’s past.


Part I Introducing North American Archaeology

  • Unit 1 Nature and Practice of North American Archaeology
  • Unit 2 Culture and Environment

Part II The North American Past

  • Unit 3 Peopling of the Americas
  • Unit 4 Foragers of the North
  • Unit 5 Complex Hunter-Gatherers on the Northwest Coast
  • Unit 6 Rivers, Roots, and Rabbits
  • Unit 7 Diversity and Complexity in California
  • Unit 8 Mobility, Flexibility, and Persistence in the Great Basin
  • Unit 9 Foragers and Villages of the Southwest
  • Unit 10 Bison Hunters and Horticulturalists
  • Unit 11 Tribes and Chiefdoms in the Southeast
  • Unit 12 Foragers and Farmers of the Midwest
  • Unit 13 Fishing, Foraging, and Farming in the Northeast

Part III The Future of North American Archaeology

  • Unit 14 North American Archaeology for the Twenty-First Century


To receive credit for ANTH 377, you must complete a map quiz, an essay assignment, a research paper outline, a research paper, and a midterm and final examination, and you must achieve a minimum grade of “D” (50 percent) on both the midterm and final examinations, and an overall grade of “D” (50 percent) for the entire course.

Map quiz Essay assignment Midterm exam Research paper outline Research paper Final exam Total
5% 15% 25% 10% 20% 25% 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


Neusius, Sarah W. and G. Timothy Gross. 2007. Seeking Our Past: an Introduction to North American Archaeology. New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Other materials

Course Manual,Student Manual and Digital Reading Room found online

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the ANTH 377 challenge registration, you must complete a map quiz, an essay assignment, a paper outline, a research paper, a midterm exam and a final exam and receive at least a “D” (50 per cent) on the each of the exams and an overall course grade of "D" (50 per cent). The weightings of each activity are listed below:

Map quiz Essay assignment Midterm exam Paper outline Research paper Final exam Total
5% 15% 25% 10% 20% 25% 100%

Midterm and final exams are each 3 hours long and written at an invigilation Centre.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

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 1, October 26, 2012.