RE: bare-bones archaeological text book
- Thanks, everyone, for all the good advice. I'll be waiting for Bob Muckle's book and have a few other titles on my list to check out. I hadn't ever seen or heard of Bahn's "Very Short Introduction." My goal with this course is to offer an environmental introduction without prerequisites alongside our existing courses of cultural anthropology and physical anthropology. (I hope to add Principles of Archaeology next year.) For Environmental, I want to acquaint students with anthropological writing concerning both current and past cultures while giving them enough proper theory to assess what they are reading. I expect I shall have to put strong emphasis on lecture to tie this all together. I think I will start with the current societies and then do the past societies since the latter are more complex and, in my view, require more theory in order to be understood correctly. I also think it would be a good experience for the students not to have an ordinary textbook outlining the entire course, for a change. To answer Mary Pulford's question, I'm using Robert Netting's Cultural Ecology (2nd ed., Waveland Press) for sure and Brian Fagan's trade book, The Long Summer," quite probably. I'm also using two short ethnographies. (Because Allyn & Bacon offer a discount with certain pairs of books), I'm looking at "AlterNatives: Community, Identity and Environmental Justice on Walpole Island" by Robert VanWynsberghe and "Ariaal Pastorialists of Kenya (studying pastoralism, drought, and development*" by Elliot Fratkin, both published by AB Longman. I either provide the archaeological theory completely by lecture and video, or I find something really short and cheap. Total cost is always an issue.
I own a copy of Clive Gamble's book and find it very heavy on theoretical approaches. I'm afraid that will be too off-putting to beginners who are also not majors in the field. I just got a copy of Kevin Greene's "Archaeology: an Introduction," 4th ed. It is still too much text (and too costly) for my purposes but a very nice book for an archaeology course.
Deborah J. Shepherd, Ph.D.
Anthropology and Sociology
Anoka-Ramsey Community College
Coon Rapids Campus