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Professor Patrick V. Kirch
Archaeological Research Facility
2251 College Ave.
University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA 94720
Professor Kirch with students

Courses taught by Professor Kirch
at the University of California, Berkeley

Prof. Kirch regularly teaches a variety of undergraduate courses and graduate seminars in Oceanic archaeology and prehistory, archaeological theory and method, and related topics. Recently taught courses include the following:

Anthropology 124A, Prehistory of Oceania
Anthropology 124B, Hawaiian Ethnohistory
Anthropology 128, Prehistoric Agriculture
Anthropology 132, Analysis of Archaeological Materials
Anthropology 226, Seminar in Oceanic Archaeology
Anthropology 228, The Archaeology of Global Change
Anthropology 229A, History of Archaeological Thought
Anthropology 229B, Research Design in Archaeology
Anthropology 230, Demography and Archaeology

For information on Prof. Kirch’s current courses, refer to the Department of Anthropology web site or the schedule of classes found through the UC Berkeley homepage.

Syllabus for Anthropology 124A

Archaeology and Prehistory of the Pacific Islands
(Fall 2004)

Time: Tu/Th 3:30-5:00 pm
Place: 155 Kroeber Hall
Office hours: Tuesdays 1:00-3:30 pm, or by appointment
Office: Room 206, ARF Building (2251 College); Phone 643-8346;

Anthro 124A is an intensive review of the archaeology and prehistory of the region known as Oceania, including the classically defined Melanesian, Micronesian, and Polynesian culture areas. (Australia and Tasmania will be covered only with reference to the Pleistocene settlement of Sahul. Island Southeast Asia will be considered peripherally, as the ultimate source area for human settlement of the inner Pacific.) For the Oceanic islands and archipelagoes we will systematically review current evidence as to their settlement histories, as well as what is known of the development of their distinctive patterns of technology, economy, sociopolitical organization, and ideology as indicated by the archaeological record. I work within an explicitly holistic anthropological approach, in which secondary evidence from linguistics, comparative ethnography, and human biology is also drawn upon whenever relevant. Particular emphasis will be placed on the controlled comparison of different island cultures, for insights this provides to general patterns of cultural change and transformation.

Anthro 2 (Introduction to Archaeology), or the equivalent. If you have not had Anthro 2, I strongly urge that you quickly read one of the basic introductory textbooks to anthropological archaeology, as background.

Please note that lectures are mandatory. Much material provided in lectures is not repeated in the assigned text, and may not be available elsewhere. Therefore, to satisfactorily pass the exams you will need to attend the lectures, unless you are already an expert in this field. As a matter of policy I do not provide copies of my personal lecture notes to students, and I do not post lecture notes on a web site, so if you miss a lecture, you are advised to obtain a copy of the notes taken by one of your fellow students. You may tape-record my lectures if you wish; however, such tapes are for your personal use only and may not be re-recorded, transcribed, published, or otherwise distributed without my written consent.

Required Text:
The principal text is On the Road of the Winds, P. V. Kirch, University of California Press, 2000 (paperback edition 2001). Chapter readings are assigned on a weekly basis (see weekly outline below). Although my lectures will chronologically follow the text, there is a great deal in lectures not reviewed in the text, and exams will cover materials from both lectures and text.
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Requirements and Grading:
The requirements for this course are straight-forward: attend the lectures, read the required text, sit the two mid-term exams, and the final exam. Grades are determined on a cumulative point system, in which each mid-term is worth 25% and the final exam is worth 50%. You must also pass a map-quiz in order to pass the course (see below), but this does not contribute to your grade.

The mid-term and final exams will both be a combination of short-answer, and medium-length essays. I am more interested in your ability to intelligently discuss and synthesize data in relation to general concepts, rather than your ability to mindlessly regurgitate facts and figures. Requests for a reconsideration (re-grading) of your mid-term exam must be submitted to me in writing (specifying why a reconsideration is in order) no later than 2 weeks after the exam is returned to you. Requests for a reconsideration of your final exam must be submitted to me in writing no later than one month after the beginning of the next semester. This is a fixed rule to which I make no exceptions! The only valid excuses for not sitting an exam at the specified time are for serious circumstances such as medical reasons or extreme personal emergencies, which I expect to be justified by written documentation.

The Map Quiz:
An understanding of Oceanic geography is essential to the issues and problems we will deal with in this course. Therefore, you will need to be able to pass an in-class map quiz by identifying a range of locations (see attached list) on a blank map of the Pacific. You must pass this quiz to pass the course; no exceptions. You may take the quiz as many times as necessary to pass, but no one passes the course without passing the map quiz. If you fail to pass the map quiz during the semester, you will receive a grade of Incomplete.

Office Hours:
I hold 2.5 hrs of scheduled office hours each week; additional times can be arranged by appointment if you cannot meet during the scheduled hours. I prefer that you use the sign-up sheet system; sign-up sheets are posted on my office door. Oceanic archaeology is my specialty and my passion--I enjoy nothing more than discussing its intellectual issues in detail with inquiring undergraduates. If there is anything arising from the class that you would like to discuss in greater detail, my office hours provide that opportunity.
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Disabilities and Special Situations:
If you have a disability or other personal situation which affects your ability to take notes, perform in the classroom, or requires special testing circumstances, etc., it is your responsibility to inform me of this fact at the beginning of the semester, so that special arrangements may be made. In particular, I must be advised in advance of any special testing requirements.

The Research Essay:
In addition to the exams and map quiz, you are expected to research and write a short (8-10 pages) essay on a topic of your choosing (within, of course, the broad subject matter of this course). The essay must be submitted to me by the specified due date of December 5, in clean word-processed format. I will return hand-written essays unread. The essay should be accompanied by a bibliography of references, and all quoted matter should be properly attributed to sources. I strongly encourage you to discuss your proposed topic with me during office hours as soon as possible. In any event, a one-paragraph summary of your proposed research essay topic must be submitted in class on September 19. I will comment on this proposal in writing and return it to you the following week. Late essays will be graded down a grade (e.g., A to A-) for each day they are late. Take special note, should I discover that your essay has wholly or substantially derived from a plagiarized source, such as a commercial web site providing “canned” term papers, you will receive a grade of F for the entire course, regardless of your performance on the exams.
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Tentative Schedule of Lectures and Exams

Week 1 (31 Aug., 2 Sept.): Introduction to the course; Oceania as an area with tremendous variation in culture, language, biology—necessity of applying a holistic approach within Anthropology. Reading: ORW, pp. 1-11.

Week 2 (7, 9 Sept.): Discovering the Oceanic past: The history of archaeological research in Oceania. Reading: ORW, pp. 12-41.

Week 3 (10, 12 Sept.): The Pacific Islands as a human environment. Origins and types of islands; island ecosystems and human adaptation to them; human impacts on island environments. Reading: ORW, pp. 42-62.

Week 4 (14, 16 Sept.): Near Oceania and “Old Melanesia”: The Pleistocene settlement of Sahul and Near Oceania. Reading: ORW, pp. 63-84.

Week 5 (21, 23 Sept.): The Austronesian diaspora: Southeast Asian origins; linguistic and other lines of evidence. Reading: ORW, pp. 85-93. 23 September: First Mid-Term Exam (in class).

Week 6 (28, 30 Sept.): The Lapita Cultural Complex: the Lapita ceramic series; dating and dispersal; subsistence economies; exchange systems. Mussau Islands case study. Reading: ORW, pp. 93-116

Week 7 (5, 7 Oct.): Lapita transformations; Lapita to Polynesian transition; Niuatoputapu case study.

Week 8 (12, 14 Oct.): The prehistory of “New Melanesia”: post-Lapita in the Bismarcks and Solomons; developments in mainland New Guinea; the Motu coast and the Gulf. Reading: ORW, pp. 117-135.
Week 9 (19, 21 Oct.): Post-Lapita prehistory in Vanuatu, New Caledonia, and Fiji. Reading: ORW, pp. 135-164.

Week 10 (26, 28 Oct.): The prehistory of Micronesia; colonization and early settlement; cultural sequences; atoll adaptation; development of complex societies. Reading: ORW, pp. 165-206. 26 October: Second Mid-Term Exam (in class).

Week 11 (2, 4 Nov.): The Polynesians: origins, phylogeny, and history; Western Polynesian prehistory. Reading: ORW, pp. 207-230.

Week 12 (9 Nov.): The Polynesian Outliers (Anuta and Tikopia case studies).
Reading: ORW, pp. 142-147, 179-181. (Nov. 11 is a holiday.)

Week 13 (16, 18 Nov.): Central Eastern Polynesia (Cooks, Societies, Marquesas). Reading: ORW, pp. 230-267.

Week 14 (23 Nov.): Marginal Eastern Polynesia: Easter Island.
Reading: ORW, pp. 267-301.
Week 15 (30 Nov., 2 Dec.): Marginal Eastern Polynesia: Hawaii.

Week 16 (7, 9 Dec.): Big structures and large processes in Oceanic prehistory: synthesis. Review in preparation for final exam. Reading: ORW, pp. 302-325.
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The Map Quiz: List of Islands and Archipelagoes:
As stated in the Requirements section of the syllabus, a map quiz will be given sometime after the third week of the course. The quiz will ask you to attach a selected list of geographic names to their correct positions on a map of the Pacific. You may also be asked to answer some general questions about geographical relationships. In preparation for this quiz, you should become familiar with the following islands and archipelagoes. One of the best maps to use for this purpose is the National Geographic Atlas map of the Pacific region. As you study this or another map of the Pacific, do not just try to memorize names. THINK about what you are looking at. Ask yourself what implications the patterns of island distribution might have for understanding the human colonization of this vast region.

Island Southeast Asia
Santa Cruz Is. Manu'a
Bougainville Marshall Is. South Island
Buka Kiribati (Gilbert Is.) Nihoa Is.
Collingwood Bay Yap Marquesas Is.
Guadalcanal Polynesia Bay of Islands
Halmahera Anuta Vanuatu (formerly
New Hebrides)
'Uvea (Wallis Is.)
Huon Peninsula Micronesia Tuamotu Is.
Indonesia Sulawesi Tikopia Futuna (Hoorne Is.)
Manus (Admiralty Is.) Nukuoro Equatorial Is.
Massim Region Rota Uahuka
Mussau (St. Matthias Is.) Kapingamarangi Hawaiian Is.
New Britain Pohnpei (Ponape) Rapa Nui (Easter Is.)
New Georgia Is. Samoa Chatham Is.
New Ireland Kosrae (Kusaie) Henderson Is.
New Guinea Island and Adjacent Region Fiji Society Is. (Tahiti)
Papua Lau Islands Huahine
Philippines Vanikoro Niuatoputapu (Keppel's Is.)
Port Moresby Marianas Is. Nukuhiva
Sepik River Viti Levu Mo’orea
Solomon Is. Truk North Island
Taiwan (Formosa) Eastern Melanesia Tonga
Timor New Caledonia (Grande Terre) Mangaia
Torres Strait Palau Mangareva (Gambier Is.)
Trobriand Is. Guam
Pitcairn Is.
Wallace’s Line Loyalty Islands Cook Is.

Western Melanesia
(Near Oceania)

Caroline Is.
Austral Is.

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Syllabus for Anthropology 132
Analysis of Archaeological Materials
(last taught Spring 2001)

Anthro 132 is an upper-division laboratory course designed for advanced Anthropology majors in order to provide an intensive, in-depth understanding of the laboratory analysis of archaeological materials. This course satisfies the methods requirement for the Anthropology major.

The following classes of archaeological materials will be covered: ceramics, lithics, worked shell, worked bone, and unmodified faunal materials (vertebrate and invertebrate). Analytical approaches to these material classes will be reviewed through lectures, readings, and laboratory exercises. After the first few weeks, students will join together in teams of three, with each team being assigned an archaeological assemblage from one of the New Caledonian sites excavated by E. W. Gifford in 1952 (curated in the Hearst Museum of Anthropology). Working together as a team, you will design an appropriate laboratory analytical procedure (protocol) and data base recording system, with a goal of reanalyzing your site in order to reinterpret it in the context of current knowledge of New Caledonian prehistory. Your team will acquire the necessary data through intensive work with your site assemblage, will perform the qualitative and quantitative analysis of data necessary, and will prepare a professional-quality report, complete with illustrations, and supported by the back-up data. At various scheduled times, your team will report to the entire class on its progress, and each team will make a final oral presentation to the class as a whole.

This course is demanding of your time; in addition to the required 6 hours of lecture and laboratory per week, you will need to spend additional laboratory hours on your research project. If you are not totally committed to this class, please do not waste your time or mine!

The course also requires a commitment to a team-based approach. I stress this pproach because modern archaeological work is almost always carried out by groups of individuals who cooperate in the field and laboratory. Learning to work together as an effective team is thus an important aspect of becoming a professional archaeologist. In your team, you will discover that certain team members have various strengths and weaknesses; the challenge is to draw on each person’s strengths to make an effective team.

Anthro 2 and permission of instructor

Course requirements:
All students are expected to attend all lecture and laboratory sessions; attendance will be taken, and any absences will seriously affect your grade.

Everyone is also expected to assist in maintaining the Hearst 16 laboratory in a clean and responsible manner. Negative points will be given to anyone who mishandles equipment or specimens, does not clean up after themselves, etc.

Expect surprise quizzes based on the readings and on the lectures at various times; these will also count toward your final grade.
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The major requirement for this course is the design, implementation, and completion of a research project based upon an archaeological collection which will be assigned to you as part of a team. This will entail preparation of work for evaluation by the instructors at various stages during the course, as follows:

Stage 1: Selection of appropriate research methods/techniques and development of specific laboratory research protocol. The specific methods you plan to use will be outlined in writing, and the protocol prepared, including all variables and attribute states to be recorded, and data recording forms. These will be presented orally by your team on March 20. Your team may be asked to revise these and resubmit as necessary until they are judged adequate by the instructors.

Stage 2: Data recording. In this stage, you will actually work with a collection of archaeological materials, applying the methods and protocol you have developed in Stages 1-2. You will be expected to record your data and to enter these into a computer database system for numeric analysis. On April 10, the teams will orally describe their results to date, including any problems arising. This must include a sample printout of your database to date.

Stage 3: Data Reduction and Analysis. Once your team’s data are fully recorded and entered into a database, you will analyze these using appropriate statistical procedures. Your team’s progress in this analytical phase will be presented orally to the group on April 24.

Stage 4a: Report Preparation. Once your analyses are completed, your team will prepare a written report of your research project. Your will be expected to divide the tasks of writing equally among team members. This report should be between 20-40 pages in length, and must follow the editorial standards of the journal American Antiquity. The paper should be accompanied by such illustrations, charts, diagrams, and tables as are necessary to fully convey the results of your analysis. The paper should also discuss these results in relation to similar studies published in the archaeological literature, and these should be fully referenced in the proper American Antiquity style. Illustrations, charts, etc. should be prepared so that they are suitable for camera-ready publication. In short, I expect a professional level presentation, one that would be acceptable for publication in a scholarly journal. Your team’s report, which must be submitted in hard copy, as well as in electronic disk format, is due on May 14. There will be no late exceptions.

Stage 4b: Verbal presentation. Your team will also make a 20-minute verbal presentation of your research results. This should be well prepared and practiced beforehand, as if you were delivering this presentation at the Annual Meetings of the Society for American Archaeology. You will be held to 20 minutes, and will be expected to complete your presentation within that time. Each member of the team must participate. If appropriate, you may illustrate your presentation with slides or overhead projections. There will be a discussion following each team’s presentation.

Your course grade will be based on all of the requirements listed above, as follows: quizzes and evaluation of individual laboratory exercises, 33%; materials presented in stages 1-3, 33%; final paper and verbal presentation, 33%.
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Substantative Orientation to the Course:
In addition to serving a didactic function, this course is designed to make a substantive contribution to the archaeology and prehistory of Oceania, through the reanalysis of a significant collection of archaeological materials excavated by Prof. E. W. Gifford in New Caledonia in 1952. This collection is a part of the Hearst Museum of Anthropology, which is making it available for use in Anthro 132.

Prof. Gifford pioneered stratigraphic excavations in Oceania, beginning in Fiji in 1947 and continuing in New Caledonia in 1952. During this 1952 expedition, Gifford excavated several key sites, including the type site of the Lapita culture (Site 13, named “Lapita”). Gifford's results were published in the Anthropological Records of the University of California, Vol. 18(1), 1956.

Although Gifford's publication was quite thorough and up to the standards of the times, our knowledge of Oceanic prehistory, as well as the methods of archaeological analysis of materials, have advanced greatly since the early 1950s. Thus, a reanalysis of the collections from these key sites can be expected to yield new insights into Oceanic prehistory; this will be the aim of Anthro 132 for the spring semester. The specific Gifford sites to be chosen for reanalysis (because they have the largest and most diverse collections) are:

Site 6, Baye (E coast)
Site 19, Anse Vata (W coast)
Site 20, Anse Longue (W coast)
Site 44, Nôwé (E coast)
Site 50, Dowalwoué (E coast)

The research projects to be assigned in this course are designed to produce results of significance to Oceanic prehistory. It is my hope that your research projects will be of sufficient merit and professional quality to be publishable. Such a volume of student papers was published from an earlier class of Anthro 132, which provides a model for you to emulate (in the Kroeber Anthropological Society Papers). If the same high standards are met in this class, we will also endeavor to publish the results.

Required Text:
E. B. Banning, 2000. The Archaeologist’s Laboratory: The Analysis of Archaeological Data. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.

Other assigned readings, especially those pertaining to New Caledonian prehistory, will be distributed in class.
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Tentative Sschedule of lecutres and exercises:

Jan. 16: Orientation to the course
Jan. 18: Lecture: Systematics and Classification in Archaeology

Jan. 23: Lecture: Measurement, Data, Sampling, and Quantification
Jan. 25: Laboratory Exercise: Capturing and Reporting Data

Jan. 30: Lecture: Introduction to the New Caledonian Collections
Feb. 1: Lecture: Ceramics--An Overview

Feb. 6: Lecture: The Analysis of Archaeological Ceramics
Feb. 8: Laboratory Exercise: Ceramic Analysis

Feb. 13: Lecture: Lithics--An Overview
Feb. 15: Laboratory Exercise: Lithic Analysis

Feb. 20: Lecture: Worked Bone and Shell Artifacts
Feb. 22: Laboratory Exercise: Bone and Shell Artifacts

Feb. 27: Lecture: Floral and Faunal Materials
Mar. 1: Laboratory Exercise: Floral and Faunal Materials

Mar. 6: Lecture: Basic Geoarchaeological Analysis
Mar. 8: Laboratory Exercise: Geoarchaeology

Note: Research Teams and Assignments Decided by March 8

Mar. 13: Group Discussion: Protocols, Data Recording, Databases
Mar. 15: Lecture: New Caledonian Prehistory in Regional Context

Mar. 20: Team Presentations: Preliminary Protocols and Research Design
Mar. 22: Laboratory Section (teams at work on analysis)


Apr. 3: Laboratory Section
Apr. 5: Laboratory Section

Apr. 10: Laboratory Section: Oral Presentations by Teams on their Progress
Apr. 12: Laboratory Section

Apr. 17: Laboratory Section
Apr. 19: Laboratory Section

Apr. 24: Laboratory Section: Oral Presentations by Teams on their Progress
Apr. 26: Laboratory Section

May 1: Laboratory Section
May 3: Team Presentations of Final Results

May 8: Team Presentations of Final Results
May 14: Written Final Reports Due (no exceptions)

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Photo courtesy of Patrick Kirch.