Ph.D on Anthropology and Cultural Anthropology from Washington State University

For Updates communicate with

Department of Anthropology

Washington State University

PO Box 644910, College Hall 150

Pullman, WA  99164-4910

The University:  WSU is a public, multi-campus, land grant university with strengths in research, teaching and public service. The Pullman campus of WSU nestles among the rolling hills of the Palouse region of southeastern Washington. The 600-acre campus encompasses one of the largest residential universities in the nation, with more than 70 percent of all students living on or near campus. In addition to the main campus at Pullman, branch campuses are located in Spokane, the Tri-Cities (Richland), and Vancouver, Washington. The Pullman campus has nearly 1,500 faculty members and over 17,000 students, of whom approximately 2,000 are enrolled in graduate programs. Students come from every state in the nation, and from 80 foreign countries.

Pullman, Washington:  Pullman is 75 miles south of Spokane and has a population of 25,000. Originally named Three Forks, the town was settled in the late 1870s, near the confluence of Missouri Flat Creek, Dry Fork Creek and the South Fork of the Palouse River. The name was changed to Pullman in 1881. Washington State University was founded here in 1890, and officially accepted students in 1892. Today, Pullman retains its small-town atmosphere and charm.

The Department of Anthropology:  Originally combined with Sociology, Anthropology became a separate department in 1966. At that time, cultural anthropology and archaeology were housed in separate buildings, across campus from each other. The first PhD was given in 1971. In the mid-1980s, the Anthropology Department moved into its current home in College Hall, in the center of campus. Since that time, all subdisciplines have shared the same building.

Throughout its history, the Anthropology Department has emphasized original field research. To aid student research, the Department offers excellent laboratory facilities and study collections.

Laboratory Facilities:  College Hall has well-equipped, modern laboratories for palynology, geoarchaeology, zooarchaeology, lithic analysis, and physical anthropology, as well as several general laboratories for artifact collections analysis. The department also maintains ethnographic and archaeological research collections, and study collections of floral, faunal, palynological and lithic materials.

Museum of Anthropology:  Permanent exhibits at the Museum of Anthropology illustrate topics in human biological and cultural evolution, and the culture of the native people of the Columbia Plateau. The Museum houses archaeological collections from the interior Northwest that represent a record of the last 11,000 years of human occupation. This is the most extensive collection of archaeological materials from the Columbian Plateau, and it forms an important research resource for those interested in this region’s archaeological history. Research collections representing faculty archaeological research in the Southwestern U.S. are also maintained.  In addition, there are important collections of historic period Native American basketry from several parts of western North America.

The museum is open Monday through Friday during the academic year, plus selected Saturdays.  About 4,500 people visit the museum each year. The museum staff include Dr. William Andrefsky, Jr., Director; Dr. Mary Collins, Associate Director; and Joy Mastroguiseppe, Curator. Student volunteers act as interpreters.

Graduate Study in Anthropology at WSU:  Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Anthropology are offered in both cultural anthropology and archaeology. Courses in linguistics and bioanthropology support these degrees. Graduate students specialize in one subdiscipline, but are expected to acquire a background in the other three. The program in archaeology emphasizes the prehistory of western North America (including Alaska); modeling and simulation; lithic analysis; behavioral ecology; and environmental archaeology (including geoarchaeology, zooarchaeology, and palynology). This combination is unique to WSU. The program in cultural anthropology emphasizes international development, psychological anthropology, cultural ecology, medical anthropology, gender studies, and Darwinian approaches to the study of small-scale cultures.

Admission Requirements:  Applicants must meet requirements set by both the Graduate School and the Department of Anthropology.

Graduate School Requirements:  Submit application and $35 application fee directly to the Graduate School (at the address noted in the next sentence).  Official transcripts that include your last 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours must be sent directly from the institution(s) you attended to the Graduate School, Washington State University, PO Box 641030, Pullman, WA 9964-1030.

Departmental Requirements:  To be submitted by the student: Please send a copy of your Graduate School application, a current curriculum vitae, and a statement of your educational and professional goals to the Chair, Department of Anthropology, Washington State University, PO Box 644910, Pullman, WA 99164-4910.  You may submit one or two undergraduate papers to document your research and writing abilities.  If you have completed an M.A. or M.S., you must submit a copy of your thesis or master’s research paper. To be sent directly to the department: Official transcripts of all post-secondary education, three letters of reference, and official scores from the Graduate Records Exam (taken within the last five years) must be sent directly to the Department chair at the departmental address provided above. There is no special form to be filled out by your references; their letters should note how familiar they are with you and your work, and should provide an evaluation of your promise for success in graduate studies, research, and a career in either archaeology or cultural anthropology.

To be considered for TA/RA support for fall semester, applicants are advised to apply by January 15.  Students may still be considered for admission if they apply after that date, but their chances of being offered funding will be decreased.  We prefer that students enter in the fall semester, but we will consider exceptional applicants for entry in the spring semester.  For spring semester admission, students are urged to apply by October 15.

Financial Aid: The Department has a limited number of teaching assistantships available, open to both incoming and continuing students on a competitive basis. The Department also has two special awards, the Daugherty Research Assistantship and the Scoales Fellowship. These awards are available to students in archaeology. Please contact the Department for applications. For all other financial aid details contact:

International students have additional requirements which include submitting official TOEFL scores (taken within the last two years, minimum score of 550) to both the Graduate School and the Department. International students should contact the Graduate School regarding specific application deadlines and additional requirements.

Office of Student Financial Aid

Washington State University

PO Box 641068, Lighty 380

Pullman, WA  99164-1068


 The Cultural Anthropology Program: 

The graduate program in cultural anthropology at WSU is designed to prepare students for professional participation in a variety of academic and non-academic settings.  Students are encouraged to specify career interests early in their course of study and tailor their individual programs accordingly. Topical specializations of the faculty in this program include international development, historical anthropology, psychological anthropology, cultural ecology, medical anthropology, gender studies and Darwinian approaches. The cultural faculty has particular regional expertise in Latin America, South Asia, Oceania, North America and Africa.

The M.A. program offers appropriate training for those seeking teaching positions in community colleges or four-year colleges with undergraduate programs in anthropology or general social sciences.  It also qualifies individuals for non-academic positions where graduate training in anthropology is desirable—for example international development, social service work, high school teaching, and social marketing.

At the M.A. level there is a core program that includes several areas of emphasis, corresponding to faculty specializations. It is also possible, however, for a student to design an alternative area of specialization with his or her committee.  All of these emphases are theoretical and interdisciplinary, drawing on the larger resources of the university. The first area of emphasis is general anthropology, providing training in all four subfields of the discipline: cultural, linguistics, biological anthropology, and archaeology. The second area, international development, focuses on critical approaches to development and the impact of global-scale cultures on small-scale societies. The third emphasis is historical anthropology, focusing on cultural memory and cultural change. Students are also encouraged to draw upon the resources of the History Department and the American Studies Program. The fourth emphasis is psychological anthropology, which focuses on cross-cultural infant, child, and adolescent development, language and discourse, dreaming, psychoanalytic approaches and cognitive anthropology. It is coordinated with the Psychology, Sociology, and Human Development departments. The fifth area of emphasis is cultural ecology, focusing on evolutionary ecology and ethnobotany. In this instance, archaeology faculty provide expertise in western North American environments and computer modeling. Students are encouraged to take relevant courses in biology, environmental studies, and sociology. The sixth area of emphasis is medical anthropology, including traditional medicine and healers, cross-cultural psychiatry, primary health care in developing countries, and cultural aspects of infectious and parasitic disease transmission and control. Again, students are encouraged to take courses in related disciplines, such as nutrition, health science, and psychology. The seventh area of interest is gender and culture, which provides background and training in the rapidly growing field of gender studies, with a focus on kinship, sexuality, and social history. Students are encouraged to take courses in the Women Studies Department and in the American Studies Program’s gender track.

The Ph.D. in cultural anthropology offers highly individualized training in a variety of areas following the specializations of the faculty.  Often interdisciplinary programs are developed that draw on specialists in other departments.  A student is expected to develop a research­ proposal in cooperation with his or her adviser to obtain outside grant support.

All graduate programs in cultural anthropology emphasize the importance of field work.  All students are encouraged to conduct original field research as part of their graduate training.  A foreign language is required at both the M.A. and Ph.D. levels.

Requirements for the M.A. Program in Cultural Anthropology

Core Program (18 units): Completing each course with a grade of B or better is required. 

  •  ANTH 507: Advanced Studies in Culture Theory
  •  ANTH 501: History of Anthropological Theory
  •  ANTH 528: Historical Ethnography (or an independent study on their cultural area)
  •  ANTH 530: Introduction to Archaeological Method and Theory (or equivalent archaeology course approved by the cultural faculty)
  •  ANTH 550: Descriptive Linguistics
  •  ANTH 554: Anthropological Field Methods Seminar
  •  ANTH 565: Human Evolution or ANTH 561: Current Trends in Physical Anthropology (or equivalent biological or physical anthropology  course approved by the cultural faculty)

Specialized Courses in Area of Emphasis (9 units):

Students are encouraged to select one of the following seven areas of emphasis described above.  Within these areas students may individually vary their coursework with approval of their committee. It is possible for a student to design a different area of specialization with his/her committee approval.

III. Research/Thesis (minimum 4 units):

The student is to develop a preliminary research proposal for the thesis in his/her first semester as part of the course requirements in Anthropological Methods (ANTH 554). A final version of the research proposal should be submitted to his/her committee by the end of the first year of coursework. Students are expected to have their research proposal approved by their committee before they begin research. The thesis should be based on original fieldwork. Ideally, the student would conduct fieldwork during the summer after the first year or during the first semester of the second year.

The cultural program has two options for fulfilling the thesis requirements of the M.A. program. At the M.A. level, the “traditional option” consists in writing a thesis, which will be ethnographic in content and broad in scope. Alternatively, the student may choose the “professional paper option,” consisting of writing a publishable paper (a paper that has either been accepted for publication or is deemed publishable by the cultural faculty), and presenting a paper at a conference.

Additional Requirements:

  •  Reading and/or speaking knowledge of one foreign language
  •  Final Master’s Oral Exam

Requirements for the Ph.D. Program in Cultural Anthropology

For a Ph.D., the Graduate School requires a total of 72 hours; 34 of these must be graded course credits. Students who have completed the M.A. in this department and who are admitted into the Ph.D. program may use all their M.A. credits toward the Ph.D. Students entering with an M.A. from another department typically use about half of their previous credits; each case will be handled individually through faculty discussion.

The department requires one course beyond those required in the M.A. program of all Ph.D. students in the cultural anthropology program—ANTH 593: Publishing and Professional Communication. Other course work is determined on an individual basis for each student by the student’s dissertation committee. Ph.D. students are required to take graduate courses from at least three different faculty members. Students with an M.A. in anthropology from another institution are required to take the 18 units of the Core Program outlined above for the M.A. However, if the student has already taken very similar courses he or she may petition the cultural faculty to waive one or more of these requirements. In this case, the student needs to submit course syllabi or other course material demonstrating that a previous course is very similar to one offered in the core program of this department.

Examinations:  A student must pass a preliminary examination in order to become a Ph.D. candidate. This requirement includes both a written and an oral examination. Normally, this exam is taken in the semester prior to the student’s dissertation fieldwork.

Dissertation:  Ph.D. students must submit a dissertation research proposal that is approved by their committee.  Students are strongly encouraged to seek outside funding for their proposals; in most years the Department also has some funds for international travel for which students may competitively apply.  Fieldwork for the dissertation usually covers one year; writing the dissertation normally takes an additional year.  To complete the Ph.D., a student must submit and orally defend the dissertation.  The cultural program has two options for fulfilling the dissertation requirements of the Ph.D. program. The “traditional option” will consist of writing a dissertation, which will include an ethnographic study of considerable depth and scope. Alternatively, the student may choose the “professional paper option” of submitting three publishable papers (a paper that has either been accepted for publication or is deemed publishable by the cultural faculty), united by separate introductory and concluding sections.

The Archaeology Program: 

The graduate program in archaeology is well-known for its depth in Western North American prehistory, modeling and simulation, lithic analysis, behavioral ecology, and environmental archaeology (including geoarchaeology, zooarchaeology, and palynology). Recent faculty and graduate student research ranges from Mesoamerica to Alaska, and from the northern Plains to the Northwest Coast. Spacious, well-equipped laboratories are devoted to pollen and plant macrofossil analysis, geoarchaeology, lithic replication and analysis, zooarchaeology, and statistics and simulation. In addition, laboratory space is available for analysis of collections and field records. Instruction and practical experience in GIS and remote sensing are available through other departments on campus, and both faculty and graduate students frequently employ these methods in their research. Members of the faculty regularly offer archaeological field schools and conduct other field research projects that provide graduate students with opportunities to gain experience and to obtain data for thesis or dissertation research. The collections of the Museum of Anthropology also provide opportunities for research leading to the M.A. and in some cases, to the Ph.D.

Over the years, this department has produced a significant proportion of the currently practicing professional archaeologists in North America. This is supported by a recent survey conducted by the Society for American Archaeology (reported in The American Archaeologist, by Melinda Zeder, Altamira Press 1997). In this survey, WSU was tied for third (with CU-Boulder) for M.A.-level archaeologists, and was tied for seventh (with the U. of Chicago and UCLA) among archaeologists holding the Ph.D. The survey included archaeologists working in academic, museum, and cultural resource management contexts.

It is assumed that students who apply to the graduate program in archaeology already have field experience at least equivalent to that provided by an intensive 6 or 8-week archaeological field school. Prior experience in artifact analysis or other aspects of laboratory research is also desirable. Students are encouraged to obtain additional field and laboratory research experience during the course of their graduate study unless they have had extensive experience prior to entering.

The M.A. and Ph.D. programs are focused on developing professional archaeologists, so the course requirements emphasize archaeology rather than general anthropology. It is expected, however, that incoming students have knowledge of general anthropology equivalent to that gained by completing a solid four-field undergraduate major. Each incoming student is required to take a short counseling exam that identifies any deficiencies in undergraduate background in general anthropology. Depending on the results of the exam, the student may be counseled to take additional courses in subfields that need reinforcement.

The required courses for the M.A. and the Ph.D. provide a general archaeological background in support of each degree. They are designed to furnish the student with a sound theoretical and methodological background, and a familiarity with professional archaeological research emphasizing western North America. Each student works with a graduate committee consisting of a chair and at least two other faculty members to develop a program of study that may include courses in addition to the basic requirements, depending on their relevance to thesis or dissertation research. The graduate committee also provides guidance as the student develops a research project leading to a thesis or dissertation. It is advisable for students to choose a committee chair, form a committee, and file a course program during the first year of graduate study.

A thesis based on original research is required for completion of the M.A. and a dissertation is required for the Ph.D. In some cases, a set of articles that have been published in peer-reviewed journals or that are deemed suitable for publication in such journals by the student’s committee can be substituted for the dissertation.

There is no comprehensive examination at the M.A. level, but an oral exam is conducted after the thesis has been submitted. Students wishing to defend a thesis or dissertation must submit a complete draft to his/her committee on or before March 10 to defend in the spring semester or October 20 to defend in the fall semester. The complete draft is reviewed by the student’s committee chair . If approved the thesis or dissertation is then reviewed by the student’s committee. Theses or dissertations not submitted on or before these dates are not guaranteed for consideration for a defense during the desired semester.  Completion of a research-based M.A. thesis (either at WSU or another school) is required before students are admitted to the Ph.D. program. To be admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D., a student must pass a preliminary examination that usually covers at least one geographic area and one or more topical areas relevant to the dissertation research. This exam consists of two days of written essays and a two to three-hour oral exam, and is ordinarily taken after the completion of required classes. There is an oral defense of the dissertation after it has been submitted. There are no foreign language requirements for the M.A. or Ph.D., unless required by the committee as relevant to the student’s research.

NOTE:  The graduate program in archaeology is a participant in the Western Regional Graduate Program of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). This makes high-quality graduate programs available to WICHE-state students at a reasonable cost. Through this program, residents of Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming are eligible to enroll at resident rates of tuition.

Course Requirements for the M.A. Program in Archaeology

The minimum number of units required for the Master’s Degree is 30. Lecture and seminar courses provide 3 units, laboratory courses, 4. In creating a program, students choose the indicated number of units from the following course groups:

Group A – Required Courses:  [M.A.]

530 Intro to Archaeological Method & Theory 3 units
537 Quantitative Methods in Anthropology 4 units

Group B – Topical Courses: [M.A. choose 2]

513 Lithic Technical Organization 4 units
535 Cultural Resource Management 3 units
536 Ethnoarchaeology 3 units
547 Models and Simulation 3 units
5XX Ceramic Analysis 4 units
5XX Hunter-Gatherers Past & Present 3 units

Group C – Environmental Courses:  [M.A. choose 2]

570 Sediments in Geoarchaeology 4 units
573 Zooarchaeology 4 units
576 Palynology 4 units

Group D – Area Courses: [M.A. choose 1]

539 Prehistory of the Upland Southwest 3 units
540 Prehistory of the Northwest Coast 3 units
542 Prehistory of Alaska & Eastern Siberia 3 units
543 Plateau Prehistory 3 units
546 Prehistory of the Desert West 3 units

Group E – Electives: [M.A. minimum 4 units]

M.A. students are required to have a minimum of 4 thesis hours (ANTH 700).

Group F – Electives: [M.A. minimum 3 units]

Electives other than thesis, dissertation and research units, as required by student’s own program specialization.

 Course Requirements for the Doctorate in Archaeology

The minimum number of units required for the PhD Degree is 72. Lecture and seminar courses provide 3 units, laboratory courses, 4. In creating a program, students choose the indicated number of units from the following course groups:

Group A – Required Courses:  [Ph. D.]

530 Intro to Archaeological Method & Theory 3 units
537 Quantitative Methods in Anthropology 4 units

Group B – Topical Courses: [Ph. D. choose 3]

513 Lithic Technical Organization 4 units
535 Cultural Resource Management 3 units
536 Ethnoarchaeology 3 units
547 Models and Simulation 3 units
5XX Ceramic Analysis 4 units
5XX Hunter-Gatherers Past & Present 3 units

Group C – Environmental Courses:  [Ph.D. choose 3]

570 Sediments in Geoarchaeology 4 units
573 Zooarchaeology 4 units
576 Palynology 4 units

Group D – Area Courses: [Ph.D. choose 3]

539 Prehistory of the Upland Southwest 3 units
540 Prehistory of the Northwest Coast 3 units
542 Prehistory of Alaska & Eastern Siberia 3 units
543 Plateau Prehistory 3 units
546 Prehistory of the Desert West 3 units

Group E – Electives: [Ph.D. minimum 20 units]

Ph.D. students must have at least 20 dissertation and research hours (ANTH 800).

Group F – Electives: [Ph.D. minimum 12 units]

Electives other than thesis, dissertation and research units, as required by student’s own program specialization.

Graduate Course Descriptions

ANTH 501 –  This course focuses on the “golden age of modern anthropology” — the century from approximately 1875 to 1975, we will survey the leading anthropological personalities, their published works and theoretical contributions, and the background and historic context.  The course will consist of lecture and discussion, personal reading and study, and written exams.  Lectures and readings will stimulate questions and discussion.

ANTH 502 – CROSS-CULTURAL GENDER AND KINSHIP:  [3] This course covers the fundamentals of anthropological kinship and applies this knowledge to theoretical issues in the study of gender. The early part of the course introduces key kinship concepts and tools for kinship diagramming. Topics covered are descent systems, residence, and marriage systems. These topics are introduced with a focus on gender issues. Questions concerning gender hierarchies, sex roles, and the cultural constructions of human reproduction are raised. Students develop a major paper on a kinship/gender topic which they present to the companion undergraduate class (ANTH 402).

ANTH 504 – TRIBAL PEOPLES AND DEVELOPMENT:  [3] This class offers global and historic perspective on the complex issues surrounding the problem of tribal peoples and development. We will review the broad history of the interaction between small-scale cultures or indigenous peoples and the state throughout the world. Relevant issues include:  the distinctive features of small-scale cultures in contrast to states; the history of the conquest of tribal territories by states; the formal and informal policies pursued by particular states in their dealing with tribal groups and indigenous peoples; the impact of “development” on indigenous peoples and tribal groups; the present political struggle of indigenous peoples; the role of anthropologists, missionaries, and political organizations; the institutional structure of development.

ANTH 507 – ADVANCED STUDIES IN CULTURE THEORY:  [3] This seminar acquaints students with contemporary cultural theory that has influenced anthropological writing in recent decades. Through in-depth reading of seminal texts, ideas of postmodernism, poststructuralism, and critical theory are surveyed and critiqued. The course also aims to help students develop a theoretical frame for their own projects and to situate their projects within the context of current theory.

ANTH 510 – FUNDAMENTALS OF CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY:  [3] This course is designed to establish a common graduate-level background in the history of theory in cultural anthropology and a broad understanding of world ethnography. It is part of the core curriculum for the cultural anthropology graduate program and will also be useful for students in archaeology. Culture scale is used as the organizing theme for world ethnography with coverage divided between domestic-scale tribal cultures, political-scale centralized chiefdoms and ancient civilizations, and commercial-scale cultures based on the market economy. A select sample of representative cultures and cultural areas will be examined in order to emphasize prehistoric context, environment, and the integration of culture. We will read representative ethnographic and theoretical materials and will examine the historical development of dominant theoretical approaches and basic concepts.

ANTH 513 – LITHIC TECHNOLOGICAL ORGANIZATION:  [4,L**] This course provides an intensive coverage of lithic artitfact analysis.  Lectures and laboratory give the student hands-on experience with analytical techniques and place the techniques into the broader field of anthropological interpretation.  The laboratory component of the class covers methods and techniques of stone-tool reduction sequence analysis, debitage analysis, and classification.  The lecture component of the class places the methodological techniques into the context of prehistoric exchange and interaction, human technological organization, and prehistoric mobility and sedentism. Although the course deals with stone artifacts and artifact analysis, the underlying structure is built to carry the student from the archaeological data to analysis and to behavioral interpretations. In this regard the course helps the student formulate research design using bridging arguments to articulate any kind of data set with analysis and interpretation.

ANTH 519 – INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT:  [3] This course investigates the modern arena of international development as an anthropological field of study.  It serves as both an introduction to the field of development anthropology and a critical examination of the impact of the post-WWII economic development on societies of developing countries.  This course opens with discussion of the political and social history of international development from 1950 to present.  Through this historical framework, the origins, activities and “cultures” of important donor agencies are covered.  This is followed by presentation of key concepts and trends in current development efforts, the strengths and limitations of “participatory” development strategies, theories of development, and post-modern perspectives on the nature of international development.  Several case studies of international development projects are examined, drawing largely from the regions of South America and Southeast Asia.

ANTH 530 – INTRODUCTION TO ARCHAEOLOGICAL METHOD & THEORY:  [3] This class emphasizes the conceptual foundations of archaeological research and interpretation, with the majority of examples drawn from American archaeology. It is not a course on specific methods of excavation or data analysis. The course is organized around reading and discussion of papers from the anthropological and archaeological literature. Students are evaluated on the basis of several short papers, performance as assigned discussion leaders, and general contributions to class discussion. The first two-thirds of the course is devoted to the history of archaeological method and theory. We review several major theoretical positions developed in anthropology (e.g., the American historical approach; functionalism; cultural ecology; etc.) and analyze how research based on these positions has been implemented in archaeology. In the last third of the course, we examine a sampling of papers from the contemporary journal literature in order to discuss the theoretical positions held by their authors, and to analyze the fit among research problems, methods, data, and conclusions.

ANTH 535 – INTRODUCTION TO CULTURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT:  [3] This course is designed to introduce students to: 1) concepts of archaeological and historical properties as resources for society; 2) the legal and institutional frameworks within which cultural resources (including archaeological sites and historic places and structures) are preserved and managed in the United States; 3) goals and procedures in the management of cultural resources by federal and state agencies and Indian tribes; 4) the role and conduct of research in a CRM framework; and 5) the role of interpretation and public education in the preservation and management of cultural resources. The course should help students begin developing a professional capability in cultural resource management. It will be useful for those who expect to work in CRM-based research, or in a federal or state agency position in which they have responsibility for managing cultural resources. Grades are based on short take-home assignments, usually involving problem solving in a CRM context; a class project, submitted in the form of a report; and contributions to class discussions.

ANTH 536 – ETHNOARCHAEOLOGY:  [3] Ethnoarchaeology involves the integration of accumulating data from historical, ethnographic and archaeological investigations during the course of archaeologically oriented research projects. The data shared across the three investigative fields generate new research questions or avenues for investigation. The field has rapidly developed with the greatest potential for research in late prehistoric to historic periods where documentary evidence is available. To investigate developments in ethnoarchaeology and current directions in the field, students will critically evaluate approaches advocated by leading scholars. The focus in the later part of the course will be on specific case studies to illustrate the application of the ethnoarchaeological approach. The research component of the course is centered on the continuing study of the abandoned town of Elberton. Research begun by students in 1989 has provided a beginning corpus of data for additional research. Studies have been conducted of the cemeteries, churches, grocery stores, banks, sawmills, schools, poor farm, and the Elberton picnic area.

ANTH 537 – QUANTITATIVE METHODS IN ANTHROPOLOGY:  [4,L] This lecture and laboratory course provides a general introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics; introduces elementary concepts of sampling and probability; provides training in use of SAS applications; and discusses issues surrounding the quantification of anthropological data. The emphasis is normally on archaeological problems because usually most students in the class are in archaeology; however, content will depend to some extent on the interests and skills of the students. Discussion of descriptive data analysis and display will move through the traditional techniques to spend time with exploratory data analysis. We will quickly review the materials covered in a first statistics course while spending more time on regression approaches than is common in such courses. The unique problems of sampling for archaeological data will be discussed. Various multivariate techniques will be considered on an elementary level towards the end of the semester. Considerable emphasis will be placed on constructing visual summaries of data. Students in the class will learn to recognize situations in which different quantitative approaches might be productive, as well as those in which they might be inapplicable or superfluous. Understanding the assumptions demanded by various statistical techniques, and the constraints imposed by many data sets in meeting those assumptions, will be emphasized. Lectures will include discussion and individual presentations by students on relevant research articles in anthropology. There will be one midterm examination about two-thirds of the way through the semester, a final project at the end of the semester, and weekly lab problems.

ANTH 539 – PREHISTORY OF THE UPLAND SOUTHWEST:  [3] This graduate seminar focuses on interpreting the archaeological record of the upland portions of the American Southwest, with emphasis on Puebloan cultures. After a review of ethnography, geography, past environments, history of research, and archaeological sequences the course focuses on discussion of current research topics. The last sessions of the course are ordinarily reserved for the presentation of student research papers.

ANTH 540 – PREHISTORY OF THE NORTHWEST COAST:  [3] This seminar will provide a synthesis of the archaeological phases and culture complexes of the Northwest Coast, as well as specific complexes which make up the local cultural expression from Yakutat Bay to Cape Mendicino. Consideration is given to paleoenvironmental contexts, for several reasons. The Northwest Coast has been glaciated; it is tectonically unstable; it has been invaded by new floral and faunal species during the Pleistocene and throughout the Holocene; and it may have been the early route for the movement of human populations into the Americas. The course begins with a consideration of the ethnographic coverage of resident indigenous peoples, ethnographic subsistence patterns, and associated material culture to use as a baseline for archaeological comparison. The Northwest Coast is further investigated in terms of the geomorphological and paleo-environmental dynamics of the region. Following these initial background studies, the course moves into a discussion of local and regional components and phases, artifact types, complexes, site features, and site distribution from the earliest evidence to the historic period. An integrated research paper is required in which specific archaeological questions relevant to Northwest Coast prehistory are considered.

ANTH 542 – PREHISTORY OF ALASKA & SIBERIA:  [3] This seminar is a synthesis of the archaeological phases and cultures of Alaska and Siberia with the cultural relationships between Asia and North America emphasized. The course begins with a consideration of the ethnographic coverage of resident indigenous peoples, ethnographic subsistence patterns, and associated material culture to use as a baseline for archaeological comparison. The Beringian landscape is explored to provide an ecological and paleo-environmental context for the analysis of the earliest cultural occupations. Following these initial background studies, the course moves into discussion of the local and regional components and phases. The research project for the class is based on analysis of archaeological collections which span the interval from 10,000 years ago to the emergence of late prehistoric Eskimo culture. Seven culture phases are available for study. The focus will be on the description of artifacts to familiarize the student with the specifics of the assemblages on which each of the cultural phases has been defined.

ANTH 543 – PLATEAU PREHISTORY:  [3] This is a seminar course covering the archaeology of the interior Plateau region of the Pacific Northwest. This class begins by reviewing the environment, ethnography, and culture history of the Plateau. These topics are the foundation for a critical review and evaluation of each of the Plateau archaeological phases. Archaeological phase review and evaluation draws upon site excavation reports, with an emphasis on artifactual, feature, floral, faunal, and environmental contexts. Several discussion topics are used to synthesize prehistoric adaptive strategies on the interior Plateau. These topics are keyed to specific readings on sedentism and resource use, hunter-gatherer archaeology, prehistoric exchange, hunter-gatherer social organization, and prehistoric mobility. Class participation is an integral part of course performance.  Each week several students are required to lead a discussion topic.  In addition, an archaeological research paper oriented toward a small geographic area of the interior Plateau is required.  Each paper provides a detailed synthesis of sites, components, features, and artifacts from a specific area on the Plateau.

ANTH 545 – HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY:  [3] (University of Idaho cooperative course; ANTH 531)  Excavation and analysis of historic archaeological sites, includes three 1-day field trips.

ANTH 546 – PREHISTORY OF THE DESERT WEST:  [3] This seminar discusses changing desert environment and human adaptations, perspectives for understanding desert prehistory, and the ancient lifeways of the American Desert West.

ANTH 547 – MODELS AND SIMULATION:  [3] Over the years, the content of this graduate seminar has been somewhat flexible to address emerging areas of interest in anthropology. For example, a recent offering concentrated on the logic and practice of evolutionary and behavioral ecological approaches to understanding human cultural diversity; on the study of human societies as complex adaptive systems; and on use of the Swarm agent-based modeling to simulate social and spatial processes. Within these broad approaches special emphasis was placed on the problem of the emergence of cooperation, starting from the observation that one factor distinguishing human societies from other primate societies is the unusually high degree of cooperative behavior among unrelated individuals. In this course, primary emphasis is placed on student presentations of reading assignments and on classroom discussion; lecturing by the professor is de-emphasized but not entirely absent. In various portions of the class there are opportunities for developing simulation approaches to understanding problems of human interaction. During the semester students will hand in outlines for their assigned class presentations, and one research paper will be required at the end of the semester. Each student will give several presentations during the course of the semester. Throughout, the course emphasizes recent, promising, innovative approaches to general themes that cross the subdisciplines of anthropology and impinge on neighboring social and biological sciences.

ANTH 549 – WORLD ARCHAEOLOGY:  [3] This course offers an overview of current literature regarding some of the major transitions in human life over the last 3 million years, drawing on research from around the world. These transitions include hominization, sapienization, the rise of storage economies, the advent of domestication, the formation of villages, and the rise of state-level societies.  It is intended for graduate students in all subfields of anthropology. Primary emphasis is placed on student presentations of reading assignments and classroom discussion. During the semester students will hand in outlines for their assigned class presentations, and prepare annotated bibliographies on two topics. Each student will give several presentations during the course of the semester.

ANTH 550 – DESCRIPTIVE LINGUISTICS:  [3] This class is an introduction to the basic issues of descriptive linguistics:  phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics.  Students are expected to master general linguistic principles as well as to experience “getting their hands dirty” through working on numerous concrete problems derived from a wide range of the world’s languages.  In addition to linguistic description and analysis, students examine the fundamentals of descriptive linguistics as they illuminate and are reflected in children’s acquisition of language and the structures of pidgin and creole languages.  Finally, the class introduces students to some of the main theoretical issues in contemporary linguistics, especially those that have influenced thinking outside the disciplinary boundaries of linguistics itself.

ANTH 554 – ANTHROPOLOGICAL FIELD METHODS SEMINAR:  [3] The focus of this course is to assist graduate students in the art and science of developing a research problem. The major requirement of this course is the formulation and writing of a research proposal for submission to a funding agency. Early in the course, time is spent discussing the concept and utility of a research “problem” in anthropology. Time is devoted to training in proposal writing, with particular attention given to the development of consistency between the research problem and the theoretical framework of a proposal. Field methods will be introduced as students develop their own proposals. The importance of relating particular methods to specific problems is emphasized. Students also will participate directly in field research exercises, or will design field exercises of their own, to gain experience in the use of a variety of methods. Specific methods covered in the course include participant observation, interviewing techniques, life history collection, questionnaire construction and the use of sample surveys. Throughout the course, professional standards, controversies, and contemporary concerns with fieldwork ethics will be stressed.

ANTH 561 – CURRENT TRENDS IN PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY:  [3] This course provides graduate students with an opportunity to think critically about, discuss, and debate the utility of approaching human behavior from the perspective of evolutionary biology.  The goal of this seminar is to examine the foundations of evolutionary thinking about human behavior by delving into some of the most influential writings in evolutionary psychology and Darwinian anthropology.  Topics will include, but not necessarily be limited to:  cooperation, violence, mating, marriage, parenting, language, landscape preferences, spatial abilities, optimal foraging, social exchange, status, group vs. individuals as units of selection, and culture.

ANTH 563 – HUMAN RACES:  [3] (University of Idaho cooperative course; ANTH 512) Geographical variations in the human species are described and explained. Each pertinent anatomical trait is discussed in terms of how its variations function as climatic adaptations, and where these variations are distributed over the world. By using variations of any such traits, a set of “climatic races” is developed for humanity that is analogous to the subspecies of other widespread species. The distribution of these races in recent times is compared to those prior to migrations caused by agricultural practices. The human species is also divided into a set of major breeding populations based on nonadaptive traits such as blood types, which are distributed by chance factors independently of the climatic races.  These “descent groups” are also followed from early times through the agricultural disruptions.  The concept of race is treated as a natural biological phenomenon that includes no variations in the culture-bearing capacity of the different peoples involved.  Interested students inevitably observe themselves, their friends, and other people with a new understanding.

ANTH 565 – HUMAN EVOLUTION:  [3] (University of Idaho cooperative course; ANTH 511)  Human evolution is covered from the higher primates to modern Homo sapiens. The emphasis is on learning how the fossil evidence records a series of evolutionary adaptations that our ancestors passed through during the last 20 million years. These major events were the development of brachiation, erect bipedalism, big-game hunting, and articulate speech. Each of these events is described in the context of the ecological circumstances of time and place, and why our ancestors responded as they did. The pertinent changes are explained in terms of functional anatomy and their behavioral significance, and are related to known fossils and their archaeological contexts. A continuing theme is to relate this evidence to the origin and development of our culture-bearing capacity.

ANTH 566 – HUMAN OSTEOLOGY:  [3] (University of Idaho cooperative course; ANTH 551)  Students gain an intimate familiarity with the human skeleton by observing and handling many examples of each of the bones. The first goal is to recognize any bone, often only from a small part, and to know if it is from the right or left side of the body. This enables the archaeologist to judge the layout of the skeleton from just a few exposed bones before excavating further. The second goal is to make a set of basic measurements so that all data will not be lost if there is a prompt reburial. Additional goals are to learn how to estimate the age, sex, and race of skeletal remains as accurately as possible. Each class session begins with an explanation of how to recognize certain bones, then a lab session follows where students examine many specimens to gain familiarity. Later in the term the same procedure is used for variations in age, sex, and race. The last few weeks are devoted to taking standard measurements.

ANTH 570 –  SEDIMENTS IN GEOARCHAEOLOGY:  [4,L] This class includes laboratory and field work and is designed to give students practical experience in geoarchaeology. It is suitable for students with little or no formal geological training. Lectures during the first part of the course focus on the research domains of geoarchaeology and the fundamentals of sedimentology and stratigraphy. Special emphasis is given to how sediments and stratigraphy are described in the field. Discussed also are the relationships between sampling strategy, laboratory analyses, and research goals. We take several field trips and students are divided into groups to record and sample stratigraphy from different geomorphic contexts. These groups then perform a variety of mechanical and chemical analysis in the department’s sediments and geochemistry laboratories. Field and laboratory data are combined and interpreted for assessing questions such as origin of sediment, mode and environment of deposition, post-depositional processes, and any other paloenvironmental and archaeological evidence. Each group then presents its findings. Students are assigned readings to supplement material covered in lecture. Grades are based on exams, laboratory exercises, and presentation of their group projects. After taking the class, students should have the information necessary to design and perform a geoarchaeological investigation of a site or area.

ANTH 573 –  ZOOARCHAEOLOGY:  [4,L] This course provides students with basic skills in the identification of animal bones and introduces them to the methods used to analyze faunal remains. This class combines lectures and in-class discussion with a hands-on learning laboratory. Lectures and in-class discussions cover a wide range of current issues that involve the interpretation of faunal assemblages. Recent examples include the use of faunal remains to infer site function, season of occupation, social hierarchies, meat-sharing practices, and prehistoric carcass utilization and acquisition strategies. In the laboratory, students learn skeletal identification and are introduced to the basic methods used to quantify and analyze faunal remains. Type specimens modified by different taphonomic agents are used in the lab to give students experience identifying different processes. These specimens in concert with in-class readings will give students a fuller understanding of the potential influence of taphonomic processes on archaeological assemblages. Students also obtain practical experience in the laboratory by examining and analyzing case studies of archaeological and ethnographic faunal assemblages.

ANTH 576 – PALYNOLOGY:  [4,L] This laboratory class covers pollen and spore morphology, evolution, production, dispersal and preservation. Index fossils, dating, archaeology, and vegetational history are also discussed.

ANTH 593 –  PUBLISHING & PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION:  [3] This course provides students with practical experience in presenting their own research results in a professional manner. Ideally, students enter the class having already completed, or largely completed, a research project that can form the basis for a professional presentation of research results. By the end of the course, each student will have a polished version of a professional presentation for a national meeting and an article suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed journal, as well as a professional curriculum vitae and job application letter.

ANTH 5XX – HUNTER-GATHERERS PAST & PRESENT: [3] This course examines different approaches to forager archaeology. Lectures and in-class discussion examine more recent approaches to the archaeological record of hunter-gatherers. These include ethnoarchaeology and the use of models based on evolutionary theory.

Source– Washington State University, Pullman, WA

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