ANTHRARC 292 - The Archaeology of Michigan
Section: 001
Term: FA 2010
Subject: Anthropology, Archaeological (ANTHRARC)
Department: LSA Anthropology
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

The course is designed to provide students with an introduction to the archaeology of Michigan. After a brief introduction to the field of anthropological archaeology, the course will proceed chronologically through the history of human occupation in the state of Michigan, which began over 11,000 years ago. Three main episodes in Michigan prehistory and history will be considered in turn. The first will be a consideration of the earliest occupants of the state. This section will begin with the original settlement of the state by big-game hunters at the end of the ice age, known as the Paleo-Indian period. The developments after the retreat of the last glacial advance, designated as the Archaic period, will be covered next. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the changes communities throughout the Great Lakes region made in order to adjust to the significant environmental changes occurring after the ice age. The Early Woodland period, which followed the Archaic, marked by the first production of ceramics, will end this section of the course. The second section of course will cover the rest of the Woodland period, beginning with the Middle Woodland period, when developments outside of Michigan caused, for the first time since it was settled, marked social inequality among individuals and communities within Michigan. The development of the elaborate Hopewell complex in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois will be discussed to understand the cultural patterns observed in Middle Woodland Michigan. The Late Woodland period will be considered next. The Late Woodland is separated into an early and late period by an increased reliance on maize agriculture that caused major social shifts throughout Michigan. The discussion of this period will focus on reconstructing the social, economic, and ideological organization of Native American communities throughout the state just prior to the disruptive changes caused by European Contact. The third section of the course will begin with European contact. Native American interaction with the first Europeans in the Great Lakes region, the French, and the development of the fur trade and forts in the state will be considered. The movement of tribal communities into and out of Michigan in the contact period will be considered. British rule of the state will be touched upon next. This will be followed by the history of the American government's interaction, including treaties and removal attempts, with Native American communities in Michigan. The relations between Euro-American and Native American residents of Michigan during the historical period will also be explored. This section, and the course, will end with a consideration of the current legal, political, social, and economic status of Native American tribes in the state of Michigan today. Throughout this course, the natural settings of Michigan will be examined and human interaction with the environment will be a major topic of consideration. Another central theme of the course will be the exploration of how different social systems relate, from interactions between native communities with different social structures in prehistoric time periods, to Native American interaction with the foreign entities of European empires and America in the historic period. Readings for the course will come from one main textbook with some additional readings distributed electronically through CTools. The textbook will be Retrieving Michigan's Buried Past: The Archaeology of the Great Lakes State, edited by John Halsey and Michael Stafford, 1999. The course will include a field trip to the Missaukee Earthworks (20MA11- 12) site at the University of Michigan's Missaukee Preserve.

Intended audience: We expect this course to interest a wide range of students, both within and outside of the discipline of anthropology. As an introductory course, the materials will be accessible to both lower and upper class students.

Course Requirements: The course requirements are two exams and a written term project of 10 pages, excluding maps and illustrations. The term projects are typically a problem set by me which the students must then address using published archaeological, anthropological and historical evidence in an area of the state and time period of their choosing.

Class Format: 3 hours/week in lecture format with some discussion, including hands-on materials & demonstrations. If enrollment warrants, it could be converted to a 4 cr hr class to include sections providing more opportunity for hands-on experience & discussion.

ANTHRARC 292 - The Archaeology of Michigan
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
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