Anthropology 367 East Asian Prehistory Syllabus

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Anthropology 367

East Asian Prehistory


Kenneth M. Ames

Cramer 141-H

Office Hours TTH 9:30 – 10:30 AM



Gina L. Barnes: The Rise of Civilization in East Asia: The Archaeology of China, Korea and Japan. Thames and Hudson (paperback edition)

Keiji Imamura Prehistoric Japan, University of Hawaii

Miriam Stark Archaeology of Asia, Blackwell Publishing

Additional readings on WebCt.
Course Description

The course examines the culture history of East and Northeast Asia -- China, Korea, Japan and eastern Siberia -- from the earliest evidence of hominid occupation to the development of Civilization and the establishment of imperial states in the region. Our coverage will extend from as early as 1.7 million years ago to about AD 700. However, the course will focus on the most recent 18,000 years, particularly on the development of complex hunter-gatherer societies in Japan (the Jomon) and the Neolithic and Three Dynasties period of Northern China.


You will have three take-home exams. The library doesn’t have sufficient resources for all of you to do research papers, so the take home exams substitute for the usual writing requirements. The first two exams are midterms, the final is a cumulative final exam. The exam instructions are on the back of this sheet.

There will also be a map quiz. On January 20th, I will hand out a blank map of East Asia, and ask you to locate 10 of the places listed on the attached list. Your score on the map quiz will be 5% of your final grade.

Please note: 1) You must take all three exams to pass the class; and 2) If you are taking the class Pass/No Pass, you must have a “C” (an overall average of 8 or better) to receive a “P.” If you have a C- (8.5 or lower average) at the end of the term, you will receive an NP. This follows University policies.

Due Dates:

Map Quiz: In class, January 20th (5% of final grade)

First Midterm: Due: Feb. 4th (27.5% of final grade)

Second Midterm: Due: Feb. 24th (27.5% of final grade)

Final Examination Due: March 18th, 10:15 (40% of final grade).
Grading Scale:

I use this system for assigning grades on written work.

1 A+

2 A

3 A-

4 B+

5 B

6 B0

7 C+

8 C

9 C-

10 D+

11 D

12 D-

14 F


Week 1: (January.10th): Barnes, Preface, Chapters 1 & 2, Imamura, Chapter 1, Stark, Chapters 3 & 4.

Week 2: (Jan 17th):Barnes, Chapter 3 & 4, Imamura, Chap. 2 & 3, WebCt Schick and Zhuan

Week 3: (Jan 24th): Barnes, Chapter 5, Imamura Chapter 4, Barnes 7 Map Quiz, January 26th

Week 4: (Jan 31th): Imamura, Chapters 5 & 6, Stark 5 & 6

Week 5: (Feb 7th): Imamura Chapters 7 – 9 First Midterm Due: Feb. 9th

Week 6: (Feb 14th): Barnes, Chapter 6 – 8, Stark 8 - 9

Week 7: (Feb 21st): Barnes, Chapters 10 – 12, Stark 10

Week 8: (Feb 28th): Imamura Chapters 10 & 11, Barnes 11 Second Midterm, March 4th

Week 9 (March 7th): Barnes, Chapters 13 & 14, Imamura, Chapters. 14 & 15., Stark 12

Week 10 (March 14th): Barnes Chapters 15 & 16, Imamura, Chapter 16, Stark 14.

Week 11: Final Examination, Thursday, March 23rd, 10:15

The two midterms should be no longer than 1000 words, the final 1200 words.
1. All papers are to be typed, double-spaced. They may not be hand-written. They should have reasonable margins (1” right and left minimum). Fonts and print sizes should be rational: 10 or 12 point will do (if you don’t understand that, it’s probably not a problem for you).
2. Papers must follow a standard format for citing references, and have a "references cited" section at the end. If you don’t know how to do this, see me about it. If a paper lacks either of these, it will be returned to you unread. You must cite sources in the text. Not doing so is grounds for failing the assignment.
4. Put your name on your paper, along with the course number, the term and year; number its pages.
5. Staple the paper together at the upper left–hand corner. Do not waste money on nice covers or binders. I hate them and will throw them away.
6. Proof read your paper. Spell checkers do not correct poor word choice, bad grammar, illogic, or lack of organization.
7. You are graded on both content and form (66% content/33% form). Content is basically what you say and includes the difficulty of the topic, how much thought you have put into it, are your discussions and arguments cogent, logical, clear: do you support your arguments with data; what kinds of evidence do you have, is it well integrated into the text, and the like. Do you understand the material? Have you thought about it? Form includes spelling, syntax, grammar, organization (does the paper have an introduction, a body and a conclusion; do you have topic sentences for your paragraphs, transitional sentences, and so on). Form also includes my sense of how much effort you put into the paper. If I feel I’ve spent more time reading your paper than you spent on the entire assignment, your grade will reflect that.
8. Papers have a pretty standard format, which includes an introduction (in which you summarize what you are going to say), the body, in which you say it, and a conclusion, in which you summarize what you said, tell the reader what your main points where and why you think they were important.
9. When writing your paper, keep in mind a mythical being called The Reader (TR). The Reader, not me, is your audience. The Reader is an educated person with a basic knowledge of your subject, but who knows less about it than you do, and to whom you need to explain your topic. In other words, do not assume that “Dr. Ames knows I know this crucial information, so I don’t need to put it in,” or “he knows I know this, so I don’t need to explain it.”) The Reader, unlike the Shadow, doesn’t know.
10. Your written work -- in both content and form -- should seem as though you take it seriously. I do. It usually takes me a week to 10 days to grade a class assignment. I appreciate your patience.
Much of this sounds cranky and picky. It is. I spend a lot of time reading and grading papers, sometimes literally hundreds of hours in a term. I want to be focused on what you are saying and how you are saying it, rather than wondering whether you wrote the assignment in the waning seconds of a party.
Most of this handout deals with the form of your papers. Please remember however, that 66% of your grade is content. A beautiful, clearly written paper with no content is just as vacuous as a sloppy paper with no content.

Incompletes, and Plagiarism:

University and departmental policies require a petition for an Incomplete. I loath, abhor, detest, and excoriate incompletes, so you must have an extremely good reason to even ask. Incompletes will only be given if 1) you are passing the course at the time of the request; 2) you have a documented crises of some kind. Documentation will be required. Incompletes have to be approved by the Department Chair. I am Department Chair.

The Anthropology Department has posted its policy on plagiarism on the web at You are required to read the document and to adhere to it. Ignorance of the document is not a defense. If an assignment is plagiarized, it will receive an F. Note that you must pass ALL assignments to pass the class.

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