Great Discoveries in Archaeology

Return to Teaching eHRAF: Tile View | Table View

View exercise overview

Exercise ID: 2.5
Class size: Medium 25-50
Level(s): III
Source: Produced by HRAF

Learning Objectives

Does the exercise compare 2 or more cultures? Yes
Subject selection: Multiple subjects specified by teacher
Subjects/OCMS, if applicable: Fieldwork, Surveys, Digging, Dating, People, Plants, Animals, Society, Politics, Historical, Heritage
Region selection: pre-selected
Region, if applicable: Various
Culture selection: Set by teacher
Cultures/OWCs, if applicable: Inca, Maya, Aztec, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Mesopotamia, England, China, Cambodia

Classroom Guide

Instructions for navigating eHRAF included? Yes
Assignments for students to complete in groups? Yes
Assignments for students to complete on their own? No
Instructions for Microfiche version? No

Matthew Longcore, Human Relations Area Files & University of Connecticut

Download: Syllabus | Team Presentation Instructions | Course Schedule

University of Connecticut, Stamford Campus
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Anthropology Department
Spring 2020


COURSE:                   ANTH 1500 Great Discoveries in Archaeology
INSTRUCTOR:          Matthew Longcore, M.A.
CLASSROOM:           UConn Stamford Room 137
TIME:                         Friday 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM


  • I will use HuskyCT to send emails, post information, assignments, and readings.
  • You are responsible for retrieving any information uploaded to HuskyCT and staying current with your readings and teamwork for presentations.


  • Students are strongly encouraged to attend all class meetings and to be on time.
  • If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to catch up with any readings.


  • I will respond to emails within 24-48 hours.  Emails responses will only occur in the evening after 6:00 PM or on the weekend.
  • Available for pre-scheduled virtual appointments (via phone, Skype, etc.) in the evening after 6:00 PM on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.


Great Discoveries in Archaeology is a survey of important discoveries in archaeology spanning the whole of human prehistory across the globe. The course also covers current issues, methods, and techniques in the field of archaeology.


  • Understand how archaeological discoveries have shaped our understanding of the past.
  • Achieve a general, fundamental familiarity with archaeology.
  • Compare social and technological developments in the human past cross-culturally in pursuit of understanding commonalities and idiosyncrasies.
  • Understanding the ethical implications of archaeological research and the use of that research in historic preservation and popular culture.


Archaeology is the study of the ancient and recent human past through material remains. Archaeologists might study the million-year-old fossils of our earliest human ancestors in Africa. Or they might study 20th-century buildings in present-day New York City. Archaeology analyzes the physical remains of the past in pursuit of a broad and comprehensive understanding of human culture. – Society for American Archaeology (SAA)


Archaeology: Down to Earth, 5th Edition

Robert L. Kelly; David Hurst Thomas

ISBN-10: 1-133-60864-7

ISBN-13: 978-1-133-60864-6

The book is available for purchase through the UConn Bookstore. All other required readings will be available on HuskyCT. Periodically, readings will be augmented with appropriate web links. These links will also be posted on HuskyCT.


Students are expected to maintain behavior appropriate for classrooms. Cell phones must be muted during the duration of lecture. Students engaged in disruptive behavior, including checking email, sending text messages and talking will be asked to leave the room. You are also expected to limit the use of your laptops to note- taking. Watching videos and content not related to note-taking affects those in proximity to you and is also disruptive. Students are expected to be in class on time. Walking into class late is disruptive and is strongly discouraged.


You are expected to know and abide by the rules of the institution as they pertain to the Student Academic integrity in undergraduate education and research. Particular attention should be directed to the proper use of on-line sources. It is important that you read and understand the ethical use of information. Cheating in any of your academic work is a serious violation of the Code of Academic Conduct and may result in an F for the entire course.  Such violations include turning in another person’s work as your own, duplicating information from any source without proper citation, and having someone else do your academic work for you. If you are not sure what is acceptable, consult the instructor before submitting your essay.

Please see UConn tips on how you can avoid breaching the student code of academic integrity at:


Any student with a learning disability should inform the instructor at the beginning of the course.


Grades will be based on the following:

  • Midterm Exam:          1/3 of final grade
  • Final Exam:                1/3 of final grade
  • Team Presentation:    1/3 of final grade


  • Active participation in class discussion is very important.
  • Attendance and timeliness will be factored into grades.
  • Unexcused absences, arriving late, and leaving early will lower grades.


  • The midterm exam will cover 5 chapters (chapter 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5)
  • The final exam will cover 5 chapters (chapter 8, 10, 11, 12, and 13)
  • Both exams will be multiple choice format.
  • Both exams will have a review session the week prior to the exam.


  • The class will have 9 teams each comprised of 5 or 6 members.
  • Each team will make a PowerPoint presentation on a topic related to the course material.
  • The topics and dates of the presentations are listed on next page.
  • Each topic is from a story featured by National Public Radio (NPR).
  • Presentations should be 30-45 minutes in length.
  • Following each presentation there will be approximately 15-30 minutes for discussion.



  • What are the main points about the archaeological discovery presented in the NPR story?


  • What additional relevant information can you find about this archaeological discovery through online research which is not covered in the NPR story?


  • What additional data have you found in eHRAF Archaeology that relates to this tradition and/or subject? Comparative and cross-cultural analysis is strongly encouraged.


  • How does this archaeological discovery connect to information, terminology, and concepts in your textbook?


  • What additional questions do you think could be explored through further research?
  • What questions do you have for your classmates which can lead to class discussion?


RED TEAM – Man’s First Best Friend Might Have Been A Fox – February 19, 2011

YELLOW TEAM – Sarah Parcak: How Can Crowdsourcing Be A Tool For Modern Archaeological Discovery? – March 18, 2016

GREEN TEAM – Drones Lead Archaeologists To New Discovery In Petra, Jordan – June 10, 2016

BLUE TEAM – Hundreds Of Roman Gold Coins Found In Theater Basement – September 10, 2018

PURPLE TEAM – Archaeologists Discover ‘Huge’ Ancient Building In Egypt – September 25, 2018

AQUA TEAM – Archaeologists Discover Evidence Of Connecticut’s Earliest English Colony – November 2, 2018

BROWN TEAM – Mexican Archaeologists Discover Pre-Hispanic Temple of ‘The Flayed Lord’ – January 2, 2019

GREY TEAM – Archaeologists Find Trove Of Maya Artifacts Dating Back 1,000 Years – March 10, 2019

PINK TEAM – Archaeologists Discover Ancient Greek Royal Tombs Dating Back 3,500 Years – December 17, 2019