• Course Description


    Winter 2018

    TF 8:00-9:50

    Professor Dean Saitta

    Department of Anthropology 

    This course fulfills the Common Curriculum’s “Scientific Inquiry:  Society and Culture” requirement by investigating the virtues and limitations of the scientific method and other ways of knowing for understanding human society and culture.  To accomplish this goal, it uses selected mysteries and puzzles from the human past that have intrigued professional scientists and the general public alike. We will explore a variety of topics having anthropological relevance—Atlantis, Bigfoot, Extraterrestrial visitation, Pre-Columbian “Lost Tribes”, and other phenomena—in an effort to sort out hard facts, pure fantasies, and genuine mysteries.  The course examines where the more outrageous explanations of archaeological phenomena come from, and investigates why such explanations are of continuing popularity in modern society.

    Upon completion of this course students will

    • Be able to distinguish scientific and non-scientific approaches to understanding human society and culture;
    • Be able to identify the social and cultural forces that influence how and why scientists and citizens come to believe certain things about human history, and the broader social consequences of those beliefs;
    • Be able to describe a little bit of the variation in cultural lifeways that characterized human groups in the different times and places considered.
  • Course Materials

  • University Student Belief Poll Data

  • Course Assignments

  • Paranormal Research Topics

  • Research Paper Guidelines

  • Research Presentation Schedule

  • Course Syllabus

  • Syllabus, Winter 2018

  • Course Readings

  • Course Slide Shows

  • Week 2: Maya Archaeology

  • Week 3: Bosnian Pyramids

  • Week 4: Atlantis

  • Week 5: A Bigfoot Miscellany

This portfolio last updated: 06-Feb-2018 6:32 PM