interdepartmental, graduate, program, archaeology, state, university, new, york, stony, brook, stonybrook" name=keywords>

Higher Education and Development for Archaeology
SUNY at Stony Brook

USAID-Iraq HEAD Program Award RAN-A-00-03-00099-00
Stony Brook University Work Plan: 1 FEB 03–28 FEB 05


While, as a result of changes in the start date of the program (the original proposal presumed an August 2003 start date) and our discussions with our colleagues in Iraq, there are some changes in the current work-plan from our original proposal; overall objectives, expected results, partners and management structure are largely unchanged from the Cooperative Agreement. We have extracted paragraphs relevant to this year’s execution of Objectives (below), with changes to Cooperative Agreement text indicated by underscore.

Program Description

1. Introduction and Overview

For the 2003–04 funding year, The proposed Stony Brook-led initiative focuses on two challenges:

  • To provide the tools and training to enable faculty at Iraqi universities to modernize curricula in Archaeology and Assyriology and conduct research using modern analytical methods

  • To provide the tools and training to enable faculty at Iraqi universities to develop curricula in environmental health and conduct environmental research programs using modern techniques and methods.

The long-term objective of our proposal is to provide the tools for Iraqi Universities to develop modern academic programs in these two areas, while at the same time playing an important role in the current relief and rebuilding phase of the country. To meet the short-term and long-term objectives, tools and training will be delivered to four Iraqi universities (Baghdad University, Al Mustansiriyah University in Baghdad, Mosul University and Basra),[1] representing the three regions identified by USAID. These tools, such as access to inter-library loan, digital, telephone and internet access, re-equipped teaching labs in both archaeology and environmental health, and environmental testing labs can be deployed in the first year.

More sophisticated tools, such as geographical information system (GIS) training and a fully-functional digital library will be deployed if the grant is extended for more than one year, once the basic teaching and research needs of the faculty have been met. Training in the use of these tools will be conducted through a combination of intensive workshops both in the U.S. and on site. To deliver the workshops, Stony Brook will draw upon its faculty as well as faculty from the University of California, Berkeley, Boston University, Copenhagen University, the University of Oklahoma, and Yale University. The strategy is for Iraqi scientists to take over training as the project matures and build long-lasting collaborations with Stony Brook faculty. While the implementation of the proposed plan will involve four of the 14 major Iraqi universities, it will also benefit other Iraqi institutions. In particular, a web-based library system can be made available to all 24 Iraqi institutions of higher education. Furthermore, travel funds will be made available to faculty at other Iraqi institutions to participate in intensive training courses offered at any of the four Iraqi partner institutions. This strategy is expected to lead to enhanced collaboration among Iraqi universities, one of the key strengths of the American academic system.

With intensive training prior and during the deployment of the tools, Iraqi scientists will be able to create state-of-the-art information systems that will assist the new government in protecting the more than 10,000 archeological sites around the country as well as address some of the most pressing environmental health problems faced by its people. As the relief and rebuilding phase transitions into a phase of normal activity, Iraqi scientists will be able to use their experience and tools to train a new generation of Iraqi scholars and undertake archeological and environmental research. The proposed plan described below will also foster joint Stony Brook and Iraqi academic research programs as well as visiting student programs that will be the foundation for long-lasting US-Iraq academic collaborations. At that stage, Stony Brook faculty can become research collaborators, leveraging some of the universities unique capabilities and expertise. The proposed plan is a roadmap for Iraqi universities to catch up with modern technology, develop modern curricula, conduct research, and return Iraqi academic institutions to the prominence they once enjoyed in the Middle East.

The first challenge, enabling Iraqi Universities to develop and conduct modern Archeological research, leverages the long-standing research programs and connections of Drs. Elizabeth Stone (Stony Brook University), Paul Zimansky (Boston University & Stony Brook adjunct), Alan Walmsley (Copenhagen University), Marian Feldman(UC Berkeley), David Snell (U. of Oklahoma), Eckart Frahm, and Kathryn Slansky(Yale University) with Iraqi scientists and institutions.

The second challenge, enabling Iraqi universities to develop and conduct modern environmental health research and training, recognizes that Iraq is currently facing acute and chronic environmental health problems. Given the complexity and magnitude of these problems as well as lack of resources and trained personnel the Environmental Health challenge aims at developing a strong, multidisciplinary country-wide environmental health program through the creation of national Environmental Health Education and Resource Centers (EHERC) in Baghdad, Mosul and Basra with the following goals:

  • long-term: provide training to university personnel and those working in the field of environmental health and are affiliated with government and private agencies, enable them to conduct research and studies that would help with identification, assessment and prevention of adverse environmental health impacts; and to be effective in the planning and intervention strategies at the regional and the national levels.

  • short-term: provide tools and training for Iraqi faculty, centers’ personnel and academic leaders so they will be able to develop training and research programs intervene when necessary, improve their teaching capabilities and continue working with them on relevant research projects.

Objective 1: Management and Administration


See Attachment 2: Organization Chart). Stony Brook University will be the lead agency. The Research Foundation of the State University of New York (RF-SUNY) will be the fiscal (D.Nicholas) and contract (K.MacCormack) agent for the award. Faculty from UC Berkeley, Boston University, Copenhagen University, the University of Oklahoma, and Yale University will participate in the archaeology summer workshops. Dr. Elizabeth Stone and Dr. Wajdy Hailoo, M.D. will be the principle investigators, with Dr. Stone as the overall project director.

Chief of Party–Archaeology: Dr. Donny George is a respected archaeologist in Iraq. He was trained at the Archaeology Department of Baghdad University, and received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D degrees there. He may be reached by email at>.

In addition, Prof. Stone expects to spend significant time in Iraq over the remaining seven months of the grant. In addition to her trip to Iraq in March, Stone expects to be in Iraq from June to October. She will be accompanied by Assistant Director Dr. Jennifer Pournelle, a landscape archaeologist who also has considerable experience in IT, General Services Contracting, and international development. Pournelle facilitates day-to-day program execution.

Objective 2: Archaeology:


The deposed regime promulgated a skewed version of archaeology—one that emphasized cultural icons that glorified martial conquest, exalted cruel and ruthless leadership, and valued appropriation by force as legitimate aims of a national government. This view of Iraq’s past (a view that engendered the wrath of the dispossessed) is a view utterly out of touch with the aims and products of World archaeology. Over the past two decades, the international archaeological research community has become increasingly concerned with understanding the archaeology of everyday life (as opposed to elite central palaces); with the evolution of successful social integration (as opposed to litanies of conquest and war); and with interactions between broad-scale social practice and environmental variability (such as the long-term economic benefits and consequences of top-down, engineered irrigation and drainage schemes).

Thus, the very process of providing the tools and training to enable faculty at Iraqi universities to modernize curricula in archaeology and Assyriology, and to conduct research using modern analytical methods, is a transformative one with far-reaching, consequences. In this process, as compared to entities (such as museums) that are primarily concerned with preserving and displaying objects, university programs in archaeology and Assyriology in Iraq have several specific national functions. These include:

  • Providing leadership and direction for ongoing graduate research and education that meets new demands for understanding the past in ways that undergird a civil society.

  • Providing undergraduate university training (and re-training) for antiquities curators, who provide public outreach and education and frame the context of public displays. Good curators are not simply entrusted with displaying objects: they are entrusted with helping the public to understand how these objects relate to past and present-day life, and preparing materials and exhibits to accomplish this.

  • Providing undergraduate university training (and re-training) for antiquities inspectors, who exercise control at the national and provincial level over what archaeological activities may be undertaken on the ground. Good inspectors block activity aimed solely at quickly ripping high-value, saleable objects from the ground. They facilitate long-term research programs that provide stable employment and ongoing public involvement in rural areas often starved of any other significant economic opportunity.

  • Related to this, providing undergraduate university training (and re-training) for cultural resource managers, who work hand-in-hand with other governmental (and especially development) agencies to protect or, where protection is impossible, efficiently excavate and preserve, cultural property in imminent danger of destruction. Such salvage operations are also significant sources of local employment.

  • Providing undergraduate university training (and re-training) of other educators, who develop primary and secondary school curricula to teach Iraq’s children about their rich past. Such curricula should rightly emphasize the immense contribution to that process of those outside the palaces, without written history, who are revealed to the present only through archaeological study.

The net sum of these activities plays a profound role in shaping Iraq’s understanding of the potentials for its civil future. Iraq’s many pasts provide alternative visions to that of the rigid, hierarchical state system imposed during its recent history. Iraq’s archaeological heritage provides many models for the rule of law, democratic institutions, federated political systems, and the checks and balances provided by multiple lines of political authority.

Yet, given the average age of existing faculty, and the number removed during de-politicization of university departments, the responsibility for undergirding this alternative view rests on a surprisingly small number of shoulders. Focused attention on a strategically chosen cadre will effectively change how education in archaeology throughout Iraq is conducted for years to come.

In order to efficiently and effectively accomplish this transformation, we must

  • Create a cadre of mutually supporting faculty and senior graduate students within Iraq, who have acquired critical knowledge needed to immediately upgrade their teaching curricula. These will also become the long-term sponsors and mentors of more junior scholars, who will ultimately constitute their replacements. To do this, we will conduct intensive summer workshops, followed by intensive tutorial in curriculum integration (see 2.3, below).

  • Empower those currently charged with research and teaching responsibilities to exercise thought and action independent of state control. We must multiply their options, by giving them access to the ongoing support of their international institutional colleagues, and concrete examples of state-of-the-art studies. Such introduction will spawn long-term research collaboration and a concomitant flow of monetary and training support. The quickest and most cost-effective way of accomplishing such face-to-face introductions is to bring faculty and Ph.D. students to 4ICAANE , the largest and most prestigious international conference in the field, at the end of March, 2004.

  • Create a new generation of University faculty capable of sustaining graduate education. In the field of archaeology, none of the essential functions of higher education can happen absent rigorous graduate (M.A. and Ph.D.) training. We must quickly create a stream of younger scholars capable of replacing retiring faculty—or the value of the shorter-term investment listed above will quickly be lost. Unfortunately, Iraq’s isolation has left its university departments with skills inadequate to train a new generation of M.A. and Ph.D. students. We aim to bridge this gap with a rigorous graduate-prep program that identifies the most promising candidates for graduate study in archaeology, and makes them competitive for admission to graduate programs in archaeology outside Iraq. Exposure to the competitive, standards-based admissions process to such a premier opportunity is in and of itself transformative. (See 2.4, below).

  • Support ongoing teaching and research with replacement and renovation of archaeology libraries, labs, and facilities and provide startup training to ensure their effective use. (See 4.4–4.6 below).

  • Conduct in-country program review, to assess and ensure that upgrades to undergraduate curricula are being actively taught at Baghdad and Mosul University, and that library and IT resources are effectively administered and utilized.


Aim: To update our Iraqi colleagues who have had difficulty in maintaining contact with developments in the outside world in the past decade. Short Term Goals: To update our Iraqi colleagues on research and approaches that have been developed outside Iraq over the past 15 years, and provide new material that can then be incorporated into the curricula offered by the Departments of Archaeology and Cuneiform Studies at Baghdad and Mosul Universities, and by faculty teaching archaeology courses outside of these programs.

Workshops for Iraqi faculty and postgraduate students were completed 26 August 2004: see the Final Report. They expanded in scope, changed venue and scheduling–the latter necessitating some changes in personnel.

  • The workshops were held in the summer vacation, since otherwise the faculty at Baghdad and Mosul would not have been able to attend. The location will be chosen in accordance with thr security assessment.

  • The Iraqi summer vacation was shortened by one month in 2004, so the workshops could not be 12 weeks long as we had originally planned. We held the workshops for 10 weeks from mid-June to the end of August. After that time Stone and Zimansky spent weeks in Iraq working with the faculty to incorporate the workshop material into their curricula. Depending on academic schedules, 3–6 workshop faculty (Stone, Zimansky, and others), will return to Iraq at the of the semester (January 2005) to conduct an external review of the revamped teaching program, including interviews with students and faculty, to assess the effectiveness of curriculum integration.

  • The faculty asked that their graduate students be able to attend, so we expanded the size of the workshops to meet that request.

  • The heavy emphasis of Iraq University training in Islamic archaeology made it necessary for us to add an Islamic archaeologist to our roster of those leading the workshops. Alan Walmsley of the University of Copenhagen kindly agreed to participate.

What follows is the pre-workshop plan, completed during the workshops.

Elizabeth Stone and Paul Zimansky will spend 14 weeks in the region in 2004, and other faculty, 5 weeks each, conducting intensive 5-week workshops with faculty and graduate students from Baghdad, Mosul and other Iraqi Universities on recent advances in Mesopotamian archaeology, in Ancient History, in Assyriology and in Museology and Art. The workshops will allow participants to catch up with changes in the field since 1990. They will be modeled in part on NEH summer institutes (designed to upgrade the quality of college teaching in the US), a program in which Paul Zimansky has been a faculty member. They will be followed by two weeks sessions each in Mosul, and Baghdad, where Stone, and Zimansky work with their colleagues as they incorporate the materials and information that they have gained in the workshops into the archaeology and cuneiform studies curricula at Baghdad and Mosul Universities.

To prepare for these workshops, faculty met at SBU for three days (arrival, meeting, and departure) in April, 2004.

Faculty involved in these programs were also provided with travel, living allowances and registration fees to allow the archaeologists to attend the 2004 International Conference on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East in Berlin (4ICAANE).

Duration: The workshops will run from the middle of June until the end of August, during the summer vacation of the Iraqi Universities, followed by curriculum development at home institutions during September (two weeks at Mosul, and two weeks at Baghdad).

Location: Workshops will be held at a location away from both Baghdad and Mosul, so that all participants will be actively engaged in the workshops for full work days. We have selected a suitable location, and booked hotel and conference facilities.

Participation: Workshops will be open to archaeology and Assyriology faculty and graduate students from any Iraqi University. We will hire English-Arabic translators so that these workshops are available for faculty no matter the quality of their English. Since we will be taking the faculty and graduate students away from summer employment, we will be offering each participant an honorarium to allow them to participate.

Faculty from both Mosul and Baghdad Universities were also provided with travel, living allowances and registration fees to attend the 2004 International Conference on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East in Berlin

2.3.1. Workshops to be offered

The following workshops will be offered in the course of two 5-week sessions:

Session I:

Islamic Archaeology, led by Dr Alan Walmsley

Tools: Detailed notes and digitized slides will be provided to the participants.

Training: This workshop will examine the advances that have been made in the study of Islamic archaeology over the past fifteen years. It will focus on specific projects that have made advances in the ways in which we now understand that archaeological record of the Islamic period.

Assyriology: Economy and History, led by Dr. Daniel Snell

Tools: Detailed notes will be provided to the participants.

Training: This workshop will review developments in the study of ancient textual documentation of Iraq with especial emphasis on historical research. This includes topics such as the development of early cuneiform writing systems, textual criticism in historical reconstructions, and advances in the teaching of languages written in cuneiform.

History and Culture of Greater Mesopotamia in Early Historic Periods I, led by Paul Zimansky

Tools: Detailed notes will be provided to the participants, and digitized slides illustrating the archaeological record will be provided on CDs.

Training: This workshop will present an overview of cultural developments in the period from the introduction of writing to the middle of the Second Millennium B.C. It will relate materials from Iraq to recent archaeological and textual discoveries in Syria, Turkey, Iran, and the southern Levant, of which scholars in Iraq have received little direct information in recent years. The emphasis will be on issues currently being investigated such as the nature of ancient trade and economic systems, rather than a strict chronological presentation. The central focus will be on southern Mesopotamia.

New Theoretical and Methodological Approaches in Archaeology, led by Dr. Elizabeth Stone.

Tools: Detailed notes will be provided to the participants, and digitized slides illustrating the archaeological record will be provided on CDs.

Training: The past 13 years have witnessed major changes in both the conceptualization of research problems in archaeology, especially with the new emphasis on meaning, and in the methods that can be brought to bear. The first half of this workshop will review these changes and provide examples of ways in which the new techniques have been used. In the second half of the workshop these themes will be explored by an examination of Mesopotamia’s role in the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods within the broader framework of Near Eastern Archaeology. The following workshops will be offered in the second 6-week session to be held in Mosul:

Session II:

Assyriology I: led by Dr. Daniel Snell

Tools: Copies of web-based and electronic data on Mesopotamian literature and religion which can be loaded onto the departmental server.

Training: In recent years, major developments have occurred in the availability of ancient Sumerian and Akkadian literature, as well as in tools for our understanding of the languages such as both web-based /DVD materials and sources such as the Concise Dictionary of Akkadian. This workshop will introduce participants to the new material through basic, traditional-style text-reading classes, as well as demonstrating the use of the new tools. The outcome would also be to refresh their familiarity with this enormous ancient heritage and to revive skills which they may not have had the opportunity to exercise.

Museology and Art, led by Dr. Marian Feldman

Tools: Provision of detailed notes and digitized slides for the participants.

Training: This workshop will review the newest developments in the study of the ancient art of Iraq. In the last decade these have become more integrated into the developments of art history in general, from a style and iconography approach, to one that includes the social and intellectual background of the creators and patrons of the art. Her review sessions will include a special section to discuss developments in museography, that is the preservation and exhibition of objects.

History and Culture of Greater Mesopotamia in Early Historic Periods II, led by Dr. Paul Zimansky

Tools: Detailed notes will be provided to the participants, and digitized slides illustrating the archaeological record will be provided on CDs.

Training: This workshop follows upon Early Historic Periods I, covering the period from the mid Second Millennium B.C. to the Hellenistic era. The center of gravity shifts from southern Mesopotamia to Assyria, and the key issue is the development and maintenance of imperial systems in southwest Asia. The impact of the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian empires on surrounding lands will be explored in detail. As in the previous workshop, the objective is to bring Iraqi scholars up to date on the relationship between Mesopotamian materials and the work that has been done elsewhere in the Near East in recent years.

Research Design in Greater Mesopotamian Archaeology, led by Dr. Elizabeth Stone

Tools: Detailed notes and digitized slides will be provided to the participants.

Training: This workshop will examine a number of topics in Near Eastern archaeology-- including the origins of agriculture, the origins of complex society, the Uruk expansion, urbanism, and the structure of Mesopotamian society–and analyze the integration of theoretical approaches and archaeological research through the detailed examination of specific projects, all of which have been published over the past fifteen years.

Both Sessions:

Introduction to Classroom Information Technology (Program Staff)

Tools: Hands-on practice with computers, electronic distance measurers (EDM), and Global Positioning System (GPS) transponders

Training: Introduction to computing including keyboard and mouse skills, introduction to Microsoft Office suite with emphasis on the use of Microsoft PowerPoint for preparation and presentation of instructional slides, introduction to online browsing, introduction to email, introduction to web-based research including bibliographic search and retrieval and specialized web sites and databases, and introduction to digital mapping in archaeology. Interaction between the US and European faculty and our Iraqi colleagues in the computer room is a significant part of the summer workshops, and was an activity specifically requested by our Iraqi colleagues.


Workshop participants will return to their home institutions with packets of materials for incorporation into and improvement of curricula. These include:

  • Over 1,500 digitized slides, and sufficient familiarity with Microsoft Powerpoint and Adobe Photoshop to incorporate them in their teaching. Laptops and digital projectors will already be available at their Universities.

  • Bibliographies, abstracts and detailed notes on new approaches to the Archaeology of the Near East and Assyriology, which they can incorporate into their lesson plans.

  • Knowledge of specialized web-available resources to help in teaching Near Eastern Archaeology. Computers and communications will already be available at their Universities.

  • New technologies now standard in archaeological fieldwork, including Electronic Distance Measurement (EDM), Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and use of computer graphics programs (ArcView) for mapping archaeological data.


In the field of archaeology, none of these essential functions of higher education (generation of new knowledge, introduction of that new knowledge across a society’s educational institutions, or preservation/transmission of esoteric knowledge)can happen absent rigorous graduate training.[2]

Essential to sustaining graduate educational programs in archaeology is development of a new generation of University faculty who can provide students with training in research, teaching techniques, cultural resource management skills, and ongoing curriculum development (in the field, laboratory or library). Unfortunately, Iraq’s isolation has left its university graduates with inadequate skills and training. We aim to bridge this gap with graduate training that will help prepare a new generation to assume significant teaching responsibilities.

During March 2004, we interviewed recent graduates that already hold or are about to receive 4-year BA degrees from the Archaeology Departments of Baghdad and Mosul Universities. Prospective candidates will be administered English examinations in Iraq, and will be required to demonstrate adequate proficiency for admission to a graduate program at SBU. The interviews are designed not only to assess the academic potential of these students, but more importantly to identify those who life goals are to pursue archaeological research and fieldwork within the context of higher educational institutions in Iraq. To that end we added a second essay to the usual Stony Brook University application form where we ask them their long term goals. Ten of the best graduates of Departments of Archaeology in Iraq (i.e., Baghdad and Mosul Universities) will be invited to Stony Brook. We anticipate that ultimately five or six will obtain the necessary travel documents and visas[3]. Because of the difficulties in obtaining US visas, as outlined by the American Consul in Baghdad, it is necessary for us to provide evidence that they will be funded for a full year if they are to be successful. Under these circumstances we have designed a program beginning in July 2004 and ending in May 2005. All funds to support these students (room, board, health insurance, etc.) will be expended by February 28, 2005.

Program elements include the following:

  • During the summer, we will first provide students with the intensive 6-week orientation where they learn the computing, research, and English discursive skills needed to undertake successful graduate work.

  • During Fall 2004, students will attend intensive seminars in which they will read recent books in English on Mesopotamian archaeology and discuss their readings with faculty (Stone and Zimansky). This segment is designed to help shift their mode of learning from rote memorization to independent thinking, and ensure that they have acquired the specialized English vocabulary that they will need for advanced study.

    §         Students will simultaneously acquire online research skills essential to contemporary graduate study. American students would normally acquire these in the course of their undergraduate education; Iraqi students have not had this opportunity.

    §         Students will also take a course in Landscape Archaeology in Near Eastern Archaeology (see course description in Appendix 1). In the process they will learn of the usefulness of the analysis of remotely sensed data (mostly satellite imagery) and GIS in archaeology.

  • During Spring Semester 2005, students will continue intensive graduate courses in Archaeology. All fees for their room, board, health insurance, etc. will be expended before Feb 28, 2005. Courses include:

  • §         Archaeological Method and Theory (all) (see sample syllabus, Appendix 1)

    §         New Research in the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (all)

    §         Origins of Agriculture (for students of pre-literate periods)

    §         Comparative Civilizations (for students of post-literate periods) (see sample syllabus, Appendix 1).

  • If the grant is not renewed years 2 and 3, Stone and Zimansky will work with the students in the Fall of 2004 as they prepare application forms for continuing their graduate study in the United States by obtaining funded positions in advanced degree programs in archaeology at Stony Brook and elsewhere in the United States. With the skills and training that these students will be provided under this program, we have no doubt that all will be placed in suitable programs. Should funding be available for years 2 and 3, they would continue in the Stony Brook MA Program that we have developed for this group in Near Eastern and Mesopotamian Archaeology within the context of our more generalized MA in Anthropology.


As outlined in Cooperative Agreement para 4.4 (p. 28), our overall GIS strategy will not be executed this year. We cannot proceed with GIS training (next year) until students have had some introduction to general computing (this year). As noted above, we will introduce summer workshop attendees and graduate students at SBU to the concept of GIS as part of our introduction to the use of computers and electronic mapping in archaeology. We do note that industry standard[4] software with full support has already been donated by ESRI, so that computers can be loaded for demonstrations in anticipation of Year 2 training. We are in communication with UN HIC instructors in Iraq, and intend to continue this coordination in anticipation of Year 2/3 training.

4.5. Library, Archaeology

Rebuilding and modernizing academic libraries is a key component in creating a viable higher education system. SBU will rebuild the libraries of the participating universities in the areas of archeology and environmental health/science. The strategy is to start with a document delivery and print acquisition program to address immediate needs and move to a web-based library. Since we doubt that we will be able to bring communications systems to the Iraqi Universities until later this spring, it is likely that the use of interlibrary loan will be more limited that we had hoped when we first submitted the proposal. In its place we plan to begin a pilot program of digitizing books to be made available on line. We are also purchasing books and print journals which we would then provide to Baghdad and Mosul Universities.

4.5.1 Supply books and journals for current research and teaching (Archaeology)

Following refitting (facilities renovation) of library space to render it fit to receive materials, establishing a cataloging system, and training Iraqi librarians in its use, (Activity 2.1.2), we will rebuild collections by hiring an SBU program librarian to select and purchase books and journals, execute the purchases, and ship materials to Iraq. The selection process for the archaeology materials is now complete.

4.6. Basic Computer Skills (Archaeology)

Aim: To provide training in basic computer skills to Iraqi Archeology students.

Leveraging the investment in student PC labs (see 4.2), instruction in basic computing skills and the use of standard word processing, spread sheet, and presentation software will be combined with an introduction to GIS uses in archaeology (see 4.4). The faculty and graduate students in archaeology and cuneiform studies who participate in summer workshops will have already completed these two components of the program, and will be qualified as teaching assistants and instructors to provide ongoing support following initial IT training when the labs are first installed.

Appendix 1: Sample Course Syllabi

A. ANT 512: Comparative Civilizations

This course will provide you with a look at the beginnings of complex society around the world. It will begin with a discussion of some of the current theories and will continue with a review of the archaeological evidence for this transformation in the six geographic areas where it was first manifested: Mesopotamian, Egypt, Mesoamerica, Peru, the Indus Valley and China. At the end of the semester we will investigate similarities and differences between these civilizations in terms of their social, political, economic and religious organization. Readings will be derived from the course-pack that I have put together for you, and most are also on reserve in the library. This course-pack is offered for sale through the Anthropology Department. In addition to the lectures, we will meet weekly in a seminar format for discussions arising from the new book by Bruce Trigger (2003).


The course requirements includes three exams, the first two of which will count for 20% of the final grade in this course, with the final worth 25%. For each exam, a number of study questions will be distributed the week before the exam. Some of these questions will make up the actual exam.

You are also required to write a 12-15 page paper which will be worth 25% of the grade for this course. You are asked to compare the development of any of the two civilizations which we have studied in this course. Note: A comparison does not consist of the description of one civilization followed by the description of the other. Instead you should try to break the two civilizations into a number of different topics (on the basis of history, institutional structure, or whatever) and look at the similarities and differences in each of those. A number of books are on the recommended list or have been put on reserve to help you to obtain the needed sources. No web based sources may be used without written permission from the instructor.

In order to ensure that you do not get behind in your papers, and that you are on the right track, a topic and bibliography must be turned in during Session 11, and an outline of the paper during Session 15. Each of these will be worth 5% of the total grade for the course, i.e. you get a free 10% of the final grade if you turn these in on time. I will return these to you with appropriate comments and suggestions which you are strongly recommended to follow.


Required and recommended readings are available at the University Bookstore. Most of the sources used for the Course-pack collection, as well as some other useful but out of print books are also on reserve.

Required Books

Course-pack Collection of Readings for ANT 358, available from the Department of Anthropology, Social and Behavioral Sciences Building, S 501.

Trigger, Bruce. 1993. Early Civilizations: Ancient Egypt in Context. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press.

The Sources for the Course-pack Collection--on Reserve

  1. Charles Redman. 1978. The Rise of Civilization. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman & Co.

  2. Kwang-Chih Chang. 1986. The Archaeology of Ancient China. New Haven: Yale University Press.

  3. Kemp, Barry. 1989. Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilization. New York: Routledge.

  4. Moseley, Michael. 1992. The Incas and their Ancestors. New York: Thames & Hudson.

  5. Lloyd, Seton. 1978. The Archaeology of Mesopotamia. London: Thames and Hudson.

  6. Bridget and Raymond Allchin. 1997. Origins of a Civilization: The Prehistory and Early Archaeology of South Asia. New Delhi: Viking Press.

Other Books Only on Reserve

  1. Chang, K.C. 1980. Shang Civilization. New Haven: Yale University Press.

  2. Kenoyer, Johathan Mark. 1998. Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization. Oxford: American Institute of Pakistani Studies.

  3. Wheeler, Sir Mortimer. 1966. Civilizations of the Indus Valley and Beyond. New York: Thames and Hudson.

  4. Postgate, N.J. 1992. Early Mesopotamia. New York: Routledge.

  5. Coe, Michael. 1993. The Maya. New York: Thames and Hudson.

  6. Bruce Trigger et al. 1983. Ancient Egypt: A Social History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  7. Bridget & Raymond Allchin. 1982. The Rise of Civilization in India and Pakistan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  8. Trigger, Bruce. 2003. Understanding Early Civilizations: a comparative study. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


  1. Session 1          Introduction; General Theory.
    Readings: Coursepack I, Section 1: Redman 214-243, Trigger, 1-26.

  2. Session 2          Mesopotamia
    Readings: Coursepack I, Section 2: Lloyd 37-64, Coursepack II, Lloyd 88-171.

  3. Session 3          Egypt
    Readings: Coursepack I, Section 2: Kemp 1-107.

  4. Session 4         Students are encouraged to attend the Provost’s Lecture Series, Wang Center.

  5. Session 5          Mesoamerica
    Readings: Coursepack II, Sections2-4: Blanton et al. 1-27, 106-135 [not the last paragraph], 158-190 [not the last paragraph])

  6. Session 6          Discussion

  7. Session 7          Exam I

  8. Session 8          Peru
    Readings: Coursepack II, Section 1: Moseley, 123-230

  9. Session 9          Indus Valley
    Readings: Coursepack I, Section 3: Alchin & Alchin, 113-205

  10. Session 10        China
    Readings: Coursepack: Chang, 234-338

  11. Session 11       Paper Topic and Bibliography Due

  12. Session 12        Discussion

  13. Session 13        Exam II

  14. Session 14        Social Organization
    Readings: Trigger 27-54).

  15. Session 15        Economic Organization Paper Outline Due

  16. Session 16        Political Organization
    Readings: Trigger 55-8.

  17. Session 17        Religious Organization
    Readings Trigger 86-112

  18. Session 18        Discussion Papers Due

  19. Session 19        5:00 p.m. Final Exam

B. ANT 526: Method and Theory in Archaeology


This class is designed to acquaint you with the different approaches to archaeological data which have developed over the past century, and especially over the last 30 years. While some case studies will be presented as illustrative examples, by and large this class will not teach you the details of the archaeological record itself. There will be a large amount of reading required for the course, but to partially compensate for this, grading will be based on three essay exams only, with no paper. Exams I and II will each be worth 30% of the grade, and Exam III 40%. The format of the course will be partly lecture and partly discussion in a seminar format.


Most of the readings for this course are articles which are on closed reserve. Those articles not available in the library (marked *) can be read in the Anthropology Department (5th Floor, Social and Behavioral Sciences). You cannot expect to do well–or even pass–this class unless you keep up with the readings.

Required Readings

Bruce Trigger: A History of Archaeological Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1989.

Ian Hodder: Reading the Past. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986.

Articles on reserve:

  1. Childe, V. Gordon. 1936 Man Makes Himself. New York: Signet Classics (1951 ed.), pp. 9-19.

  2. Willey, Gordon and Philip Philips. 1958 Method and Theory in American Archaeology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1-57.

  3. Binford. Lewis R. 1962 "Archaeology as Anthropology," American Antiquity 28: 217-225.

  4. Binford, Lewis R. 1965 "Archaeological systematics and the study of cultural process," American Antiquity 31: 203-210.

  5. Flannery, Kent 1973 "Archaeology with a Capital 'S'," in C. Redman ed., Research and Theory in Current Archaeology, pp. 47-53.

  6. Hill, James N. 1968 "Broken K Pueblo: Patterns of Form and Function," in Binford & Binford, New Perspectives in Archaeology, Chicago, Aldine Press: 103-142.

  7. Flannery, Kent V. 1982 "The Golden Marshalltown: A Parable for the Archaeology of the 1980s," American Anthropologist 56: 42-54.

  8. Hodder, Ian 1982 "Theoretical Archaeology: a Reactionary View," in Hodder, ed. Symbolic and Structural Archaeology. Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press, pp. 1-16.

  9. Moore, James A. and Arthur S. Keene 1983 "Archaeology and the Law of the Hammer," in Moore & Keene eds. Archaeological Hammers and Theories. New York: Academic Press, pp. 3-17.

  10. Leone, Mark 1986 "Symbolic, Structural and Critical Archaeology," in Meltzer, Fowler and Sabloff eds. American Archaeology: Past and Future Smithsonian Press, 415-438.

  11. Watson, Patty-Jo 1990 "The Razor's Edge: Symbolic-Structuralist Archeology and the Expansion of Archaeological Inference," American Anthropologist 92: 613-621.

  12. Shanks, Michael & Tilley, Christopher 1982 "Ideology, Symbolic Power and Ritual Communication: A Reinterpretation of Neolithic Mortuary Practices," in Ian Hodder ed., Symbolic and structural archaeology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 129-154

  13. Hodder, Ian 1984 "Burials, Houses, Women and Men in the European Neolithic," in D. Miller and C. Tilley, eds., Ideology, Power and Prehistory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 51-68.

  14. Bordes, François, 1973 "On the Chronology and contemporaneity of different palaeolithic cultures in France," in Renfrew ed., Explanation in Culture Change.

  15. Binford, Sally 1968 "Variability and Change in the Near Eastern Mousterian of Levallois Facies," in S. Binford & L. Binford, New Perspectives in Archaeology Chicago: Aldine: 49-60.

  16. Christenson, Andrew & Dwight W. Read. 1977 "Numerical Taxonomy, R-Mode Factor Analysis and Archaeological Classification," American Antiquity 42: 163-179.

  17. Hill, James, & R.K. Evans. 1972 "A Model for Classification and Typology," in Models in Archaeology, David Clarke ed., London: Methuen & Co., 231-273.

  18. Clarke, David L. 1968 Analytic Archaeology. London: Methuen & Co., 43-82.

  19. Plog, Fred T. 1975 "Systems Theory in Archaeological Research," Annual Review of Anthropology 4: 207‑224.

  20. Flannery, Kent V. 1968 "Archaeological Systems Theory and Early Mesoamerica," IN Betty Meggars ed. Anthropological Archaeology in the Americas. Washington, D. C..: Anthropological Society of Washington, pp. 67‑87.

  21. Ascher, Robert. 1961 "Analogy in Archaeological Interpretation," Southwestern Journal of Anthropology 17: 317-325.

  22. Binford, Lewis. 1977 "General Introduction," in Binford ed. For Theory Building in Archaeology. New York: Academic Press, pp. 1-10.

  23. Binford, Lewis. 1985 "'Brand X' versus the recommended product," American Antiquity 50: 580-59.

  24. Gould, Richard. 1980 Living Archaeology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 29-47.

  25. Yellen, John. 1976 Archaeological Approaches to the Present New York: Academic Press, 1-12.

  26. Wylie, Alison. 1982 "An Analogy by Any Other Name is just as Analogical," Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 1, 382-40.

  27. Binford, Lewis. 1981 "Behavioral Archaeology and the 'Pompeii Premise'," Journal of Anthropological Research 37: 195-207.

  28. Schiffer, Michael B. 1972 "Archaeological Context and Systemic Context,: American Antiquity 37: 156-165.

  29. Binford, Lewis. 1967 "Smudge Pits and Hide Smoking: the Use of Analogy in Archaeological Reasoning,: American Antiquity 32: 1-12.

  30. Binford, Lewis. 1988 "Hyena Scavenging Behavior and Its Implications for Interpretation of Faunal Assemblages from FLK22 (the Zinj Floor) at Olduvai Gorge," Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 7: 99-135.

  31. Shea, John. 1998 “Neanderthal and Early Modern Human Variability: A Regional Scale Approach to Lithic Evidence for Hunting in the Levantine Mousterian,” Current Anthropology

  32. *Binford, Lewis. 1971 "Mortuary Practices: their study and their potential," Memoires of the Society for American Archaeology 25: 6-29.

  33. Deetz, James. 1968 "The inference of residence and descent rules from archaeological data," IN Binford & Binford eds. New Perspectives in Archaeology. Chicago: Aldine Press, pp. 41-48.

  34. Conkey, M.W. and J.D. Spector. 1984"Archaeology and the study of gender," Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory 7: 1-38.

  35. Conkey, Margaret W. and Joan Gero. 1991 "Tensions, Pluralities, and Engendering Archaeology: An Introduction to Women and Prehistory," in Gero & Conkey, Engendering Archaeology. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 3-30.

  36. Wylie, Alison. 1991"Gender Theory and the Archaeological Record: Why Is There No Archaeology of Gender," in Gero & Conkey, Engendering Archaeology. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 31-54.

  37. *Murphy, Cullen. 1991"Archaeology: Pay Dirt," The Atlantic 267/3: 26-42. 37.

  38. Lewis Binford. 1980 "Willow smoke and dogs' tails: hunter-gatherer settlement systems and archaeological site formation" American Antiquity 45: 4-20.

  39. Binford, Lewis. 1982 "The archaeology of place." Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 1: 5-31.

  40. Roper, Donna C. 1979 "The Method and Theory of Site Catchment Analysis: A Review." Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory 2: 119‑40.

  41. Brumfiel, Elizabeth. 1976 "Regional Growth in the Eastern Valley of Mexico: A Test of the "Population Pressure" Hypothesis," in Flannery, Kent, ed., The Early Mesoamerican Village. New York: Academic Press: 234-249.

  42. Evens, Susan T. 1980"Spatial Analysis of Basin of Mexico Settlement: Problems with the use of the Central Place Model," American Antiquity 45: 866-875.

  43. Bernstein, David. 1990 "Prehistoric Seasonality Studies in Coastal Southern New England," American Anthropologist 92: 96-115.

  44. Stone, Elizabeth. 1997 “City States and their Centers: The Mesopotamian Example,” in Deborah Nichols and Thomas Charleton, eds. The Archaeology of City States: Cross Cultural Aporoaches. Washington: Smithsonian Press, 15-26.

  45. William H. Marquandt and Carole Crumley. 1987“Theoretical Issues in the Analysis of Spatial Patterning,” in Carole Crumley and William Marquandt, eds. Regional Dynamics: Burgundian Landscapes in Historical Perspective. New York: 1-18.

  46. Wendy Ashmore and Bernard Knapp. 1999“Archaeological Landscapes: Constructed, Conceptualized, Ideational,” in Wendy Ashmore and Bernard Knapp, eds., Archaeologies of Landscape: Contemporary Perspectives. Oxford: Blackwells, 1-30.

  47. Kohl, Philip. 1993"Limits to a post-processual archaeology (or, The dangers of a new scholasticism), in Yoffee & Sherrat, Archaeological theory: who sets the agenda?. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 13-19.

  48. Wylie, Alison. 1993. "A proliferation of new archaeologies: 'Beyond objectivism and relativism,'" in Yoffee & Sherrat, Archaeological theory: who sets the agenda?. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 20-26.


  1. Session 1: Introduction, History of archaeology I: The Beginnings. Readings: Trigger 1-147

  2. Session 2: History of archaeology II: The Early 20th Century.

  3. Session 3: History of archaeology III: Culture History. Readings: Trigger 148-206, Articles 1-2.

  4. Session 4: Culture History Projects

  5. Session 5: History of Archaeology IV: The New Archaeology. Readings: Trigger 244-28, Articles 3-5.

  6. Session 6: New Archaeology Projects I Articles 6

  7. Session 7: New Archaeology Projects II

  8. Session 8: Discussion

  9. Session 9: Exam I

  10. Session 10: History of Archaeology V: Evaluation of the New Archaeology Articles 7-9.

  11. Session 11: History of Archaeology VI: Post-Processualism I, Readings: Hodder, Articles 10-11.

  12. Session 12: Post-processual Projects Readings: Articles 12-13.

  13. Session 13: Methods in Archaeology I: Typology. Readings: Articles 14-17.

  14. Session 14: Methods in Archaeology II: Systems Theory. Readings: Articles 18-20.

  15. Session 15: Methods in Archaeology III: Analogy and Middle Range Research. Readings: Articles 21-24.

  16. Session 16: Methods in Archaeology IV: Ethnoarchaeology and Experimental Archaeology

  17. Session 17: Discussion

  18. Session 18: Exam II

  19. Session 19: Methods in Archaeology I: Site Formation Processes. Readings: Articles 27-28.

  20. Session 20: Modern Archaeological Research II: .Middle Range Research. Readings: Articles 29-33.

  21. Session 21: Modern Archaeological Research III: The Archaeology of Gender & Social Organization. Readings: Articles 34-36.

  22. Session 22: Modern Archaeological Research IV: Cultural Resource Management and Ethics. Readings: Articles 37

  23. Session 23: Modern Archaeological Research V: Spatial Archaeology. Readings: Articles 38-40.

  24. Session 24: Spatial Archaeology Projects. Readings: Articles 41-43.

  25. Session 25: Modern Archaeological Research VI: Cultural Ecology. Readings: Articles 43-44

  26. Session 26: Modern Archaeological Research VII: Landscape Archaeology. Readings: Articles 45-46.

  27. Session 27: Archaeology Today. Readings: Articles 47-48.

  28. Session 28: Discussion.

  29. Session 29: Final Exam

C. ANT 518: Ancient Landscapes

Although archaeology has traditionally focused on excavating settlements, ancient human activity took place over the entire landscape. Archaeological traces of economic, social, political and ideological activities survive in the landscape as fields, roads, canals, monuments and other features. This course will discuss the nature of these features, their spatial relationships, and what they can reveal about the societies that produced them. Students will also be introduced to the archaeological techniques for documenting and analyzing ancient landscapes, including field survey, remote sensing (aerial photography and satellite imagery) and Geographic Information Systems.

[1] As noted on the detailed Work Plan (attached), Archaeology collaborates with Baghdad Univ. and Mosul Univ. as well as with individual faculty from other Universities included in the summer workshops. Environmental Health works with Baghdad Univ., Mosul Univ., Mustansariyah Univ., and Basrah Univ. The proposed conference will be implemented in collaboration with Babylon Univ. In general, it appears that there is an overlap with the partner universities, but the actual work will be done with different colleges and departments that not only have different fields but also separated geographically. Hence the activities within each of the Challenges’ Work Plan are specific to that Challenge.

[2] A note on U.S. vs. U.K. educational terms: In U.S. usage, “graduate” training refers specifically to Masters’, Professional, or Doctoral degree programs that follow a 4-year university degree in a relevant field. Graduate students are students who have already received a four-year B.S., B.Sc., or B.A. degree prior to entering graduate study, and who on completion of graduate study will have completed an advanced degree. This is equivalent to “post-graduate” training in U.K. usage.

[3] The field of Mesopotamian archaeology is, compared for example to Medicine or Engineering, very small. In any given year, 6-10 students constitutes approximately one-third to one-half of total admissions to graduate (M.A./Ph.D.) programs world-wide. Further, the vast majority of jobs for graduate-level Mesopotamian archaeologists are located in Iraq; therefore, these students will have strong incentive to return to their home country.

[4] ESRI ArcGIS is used, for example, by the UN HIC/JHIC.