Last modified 2/29/24. Refresh browser to see the latest changes below.
Professor Vin Steponaitis
Course Description: This seminar will focus on current issues and interpretations in the archaeology of the American South. It is intended for anyone with a serious interest in the ancient Indian cultures of this region, as understood through the lens of archaeological research. Through weekly readings and discussions, students will explore the lifeways and changes that characterized each major period of the South’s ancient history, from the late Pleistocene to the beginnings of European colonization. The lines of evidence considered will include settlement patterns, architecture, food remains, funerary objects, and everyday tools. This is a challenging course, and students are expected to come to class prepared.
Course Structure: The seminar meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00 to 3:15 pm. In general, discussion topics and readings will be assigned on weekly basis, with final readings posted a full week before they’re due. Typically, the readings for each topic will include some titles that everyone reads, and others that are divided among the students in the class. Students must do the assigned readings before each class meets. In class, students will discuss the general readings, and also present brief reports and critiques on the readings specifically assigned to them. Brief written exercises may be assigned if needed. In addition, each student will be expected to write a 10-15 page term paper on a topic of their choosing; this topic must be discussed with the instructor as soon as possible, and certainly no later than February 12th. At the end of the semester, each student will briefly present the results of the term-paper project orally to the class, and will also hand in the full written version.
Course Requirements: In addition to the assigned readings, requirements include class participation (30%, including the class discussions and written exercises), an end-of-semester oral report (10%), a term paper (30%, due 5/2 @ 5 pm), and a final exam (30%, 5/3 @ 12 pm). Note that regular class attendance is essential. It will be taken into account by reducing your class participation grade by 5% for each unexcused absence. If you must miss class, please discuss it with me in advance if possible. If this is not possible, then please contact me as soon as possible afterwards. In general, illness or unavoidable family obligations (like weddings) are the only valid reasons for an absence.
Textbook: David G. Anderson and Kenneth E. Sassaman (2012). Recent Developments in Southeastern Archaeology: From Colonization to Complexity. SAA Press, Washington, D.C.
Course Syllabus: Posted below are a PDF version of the course outline and weekly readings, which will be updated throughout the semester:
Additional Resources: Google Earth overlays, Exercises, and other resources will be posted below as they are assigned:
Honor Code: Students are expected to adhere to UNC's Honor Code. In particular, you must refrain from “lying, cheating, or stealing” in the academic context. If you are unsure about which actions violate that honor code, please see me or consult the web (honor.unc.edu).
Generative AI Usage Guidance: Use of generative AI in your coursework is based on the following principles: (1) AI should help you think, not think for you. Use these tools to give you ideas, perform research (in compliance with point 2 below), and analyze problems. Do not use them to do your work for you, e.g., do not enter an assignment question into ChatGPT and copy the response as your answer. (2) Engage with AI technologies responsibly, critically evaluating AI-generated outputs and considering potential biases, limitations, and ethical implications in your analysis and discussions. (3) You are 100% responsible for your final product. (4) You are the user; if AI makes a mistake and you use it, then it’s your mistake. (5) The use of AI must be open and documented. (6) The use of any AI in the creation of your work must be declared in your submission and explained. Details on how to source your AI usage are explained below. For more information go here.
UNC Class Attendance Policy: As stated in the University’s Class Attendance Policy, no right or privilege exists that permits a student to be absent from any class meetings, except for these university approved absences: (1) authorized university activities; (2) disability, religious observance, or pregnancy; and (3) significant health condition and/or personal/family emergency. See the UNC Class Attendance Policy for details (catalog.unc.edu/policies-procedures/attendance-grading-examination/#text). Also see the "Course Requirements" above.
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