Academic Information 2016

Course Offerings

Registration for courses offered during the 2016 excavation season at Tall al-`Umayri must happen before you come to Jordan. Please communicate in advance with the contact person listed for the institution through which you hope to obtain credit (only MPP-affiliated and MPP-`Umayri consortium schools can grant credit for courses taken on this project) in order to register before the summer begins. Unless otherwise indicated, credits are undergraduate quarter units. Some courses may require reading and research before and/or after the excavation season. Mount Royal University, Pacific Union College, and Walla Walla University students will register through La Sierra University for units directly transferable to students' respective schools.

La Sierra University Package Plan -- Contact Douglas Clark
Contact: Douglas Clark - (951) 785-2632 | dclark@lasierra.edu
All La Sierra University students must register in advance of the summer.
Course ID Name Type units
ANTH/ARCH 216 Introduction to Archaeology (fulfills Theme IIB requirement in University Studies) Undergrad 4
ARCH/RELB 445 Old Testament Archaeology (fufills Theme IIIC requirement in University Studies) Undergrad 4
ARCH/RELB 494 Fieldwork in Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology Undergrad 1-8
ARCH/RELB 545 Archaeology of the Old Testament World Graduate 4
ARCH/RELB 594 Fieldwork in Middle East Archaeology Graduate 1-8
Burman University $TBD Canadian/semester unit
Contact: Larry Murrin - (403) 782-3381
All Burman University students must register in advance of the summer.
Course ID Name Type units
RELB 485 Archaeological Fieldwork Undergrad 3-9

The book, Ancient Ammonites and Modern Arabs: 5000 Years in the Madaba Plains of Jordan, is required reading for any fieldwork credit, as is "From the Stone Age to the Middle Ages in Jordan: Digging up Tall al-`Umayri" in Near Eastern Archaeology 72/2 (June 2009): 68-97. A copy of each will be made available to participants before the dig begins or in Jordan. It would also be helpful to brush up on colloquial Arabic with the booklet, Arabic for Archaeologists, published by the American Center of Oriental Research in Amman, Jordan; copies of this too will be provided to participants. In addition, the recently released Madaba Plains Project: Forty Years of Archaeological Research into Jordan's Past, eds. Douglas R. Clark, Larry G. Herr, Oystein S. LaBianca, and Randall W. Younker, will be of interest to anyone working on one of the Madaba Plains Project excavations; copies available through David Brown Book Company.

SYLLABUS FOR EARNING FIELDWORK CREDIT

OBJECTIVES

Through the academic dimension of the Madaba Plains Project we intend to encourage thoughtful inquiry and investigation into Jordan's past and to foster learning about archaeological theory and practice in the broadest sense as well as experiencing Jordanian culture, past and present.  Hopefully the course structure and associated activities will accomplish these goals in the most responsible, integrative, and productive fashion for students.

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

By the conclusion of their participation in this course, graduate or undergraduate, students will:

        •Know the theoretical research design that drives this project

        •Know the basic archaeological field techniques used in the Middle East

        •Have developed skills in modern archaeological research

        •Know the history and contributions of this project

REQUIRED READING

The book, Ancient Ammonites and Modern Arabs: 5000 Years in the Madaba Plains of Jordan, is required reading for any fieldwork credit, as is "From the Stone Age to the Middle Ages in Jordan: Digging up Tall al-`Umayri" in Near Eastern Archaeology 72/2 (June 2009): 68-97. A copy of each will be made available to participants before the dig begins or in Jordan. It would also be helpful to brush up on colloquial Arabic with the booklet, Arabic for Archaeologists, published by the American Center of Oriental Research in Amman, Jordan; copies of this too will be provided to participants. In addition, the recently released Madaba Plains Project: Forty Years of Archaeological Research into Jordan's Past, eds. Douglas R. Clark, Larry G. Herr, Oystein S. LaBianca, and Randall W. Younker, will be of interest to anyone working on one of the Madaba Plains Project excavations; copies available through David Brown Book Company.

REQUIREMENTS FOR COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY CREDIT

Students wanting academic credit for participating in a Madaba Plains Project excavation will apply to the consortium school of their choice, since only consortium institutions can give credit.  Grades and tuition fees are to be arranged through that institution.  For the sake of consistency, the requirements for the courses in archaeological fieldwork will cover the same basic topics for all students seeking credit, although modifications may be needed for specialization or elaboration in certain circumstances.  Those in the field for only three weeks instead of the full five-week field season will only be expected to meet requirements available to them while they are in Jordan (including an orientation) and they will be treated accordingly.  The final exam/evaluation will be graded, keeping in mind the distinction in requirements between undergraduate and graduate credits.

        Work Assignments:

A large part of the student's grade will be determined on the basis of how well s/he has performed in the assigned task or work area.  The field supervisors will have evaluation sheets with which to assess industry, accomplishment, quality of work, growth, and contribution to the project.  It goes without saying that performance in one's work assignment is central to the success of the dig and to the entire learning enterprise in archaeology.

Fieldwork exposes students to and requires their engagement in a wide range of techniques and disciplines, including but not limited to 1) proper excavation practices based on the stratigraphic system of Wheeler/Kenyon (modified and updated through use and development over four decades); 2) recording procedures utilizing digital data-retrieval hardware (iPads and iPods) and an electronic excavation manual, all of which feed detailed data almost paperlessly into an open-source online database, as well as digital photographic systems for recording activity in the field and artifacts in addition to 3D and LiDAR recording systems for reconstruction and visualization; 3) metrics data collection through traditional field approaches as well as GPS geo-referencing; 4) use of research tools like xrf; 5) initial processing of all categories of finds, including ceramics, faunal and botanical remains, and other objects and artifacts such as lithics and metal remains; and 6) the intellectual exploration of anthropological and historical issues in the context of the Madaba Plains Project which began its work in Jordan in 1968.

        Lectures:

There are two introductory lectures near the beginning of the project. They are noted below and will be held from 7:00 to 8:00 pm at ATC:

Tues 28 June     – Archaeological Periods in Jordan and Surrounding Regions
Thur 30 June    – Research Design of the Madaba Plains Project

        Learning Stations:

Students (and others who are interested) will hear presentations by specialists on remains with which archaeologists deal every day.  The first two involve presentations (visual and tactile), one on each of two major types of finds: lithics and ceramics.  In the third learning-station session the group will divide into two sub-groups who will alternate between lab areas dedicated to processing finds (objects, artifacts, ecological samples, etc.) and those involving archaeological documentation (computer, database, and technical and artistic renditions).  The sessions, which will take place from 7:00 to 8:00 pm on the designated dates, will allow for hands-on learning and increased awareness of standard archaeological procedures as applied to our study of `Umayri and to our understanding of Jordan’s past.  The dates for visits to the learning stations are:

Tues 5 July      – Ceramics, Lithics and Geology
Thur 7 July    – Processing and Documentation

        Town Hall Meetings:

Town hall meetings are held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings (see schedule below) from 7:00 to 8:00 pm and are required of all students.  Each session will synthesize some aspect of archaeological results represented on the excavation. Specialists will present work in their fields in the context of the larger project. In the process, we hope to address the broader cultural issues at the site, paint the wider picture, and relate how our present research ties together many lines of scientific inquiry.  Discussion, questions, and comments are encouraged as they will add to the educational value of the sessions.  Tentatively, the schedule is:

Tues 12 July     – Figurines at Tall al-`Umayri (Regine Hunziker-Rodewald)
Thur 14 July     – Jewelry at Tall al-`Umayri (Josephine Verduci)
Tues 19 July     – The Early Iron Age – Daily Life surrounding the Four-room House and Its Neighborhood (Douglas Clark and Monique Vincent -- meeting at the tell)
Thur 21 July     – On the Trail of Ancient Ammonites (Craig Tyson)

        Final Take-home Exam/Evaluation:

The final examination will assess the student's acquisition and synthesis of information from lectures, learning stations, town hall meetings, Ancient Ammonites and Modern Arabs, the `Umayri article in Near Eastern Archaeology, and, more generally, experience gained from the field excavation and recording processes.  The exam consists of 1) a set of essay questions drawn from the MPP lectures, town hall meetings, and learning station visits and 2) a final, more reflective and longer essay on what the student thought this dig was about, critiques of the dig (design and operation), and an assessment of the student's contribution to the larger enterprise.

GRADE

The grade for academic credit is determined on the basis of 1) the student's Field supervisor's assessment of work quality and experience; 2) attendance at all lectures, learning stations, and town hall meetings; 3) reading of the required sources (Ancient Ammonites and NEA article); and 4) the final examination/evaluation.

CHECKLIST FOR FULFILLING ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS

At the end of a lecture or meeting, obtain the initials of one of the Madaba Plains Project Academic Program Coordinator(s), or the person in charge of the program you attend, in the blank space preceding the meeting title. At the conclusion of the dig, give this sheet to the professor.

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