of Mesoamerica

Hours: 1-2:15 PM
Spring 2006

Dr. Antonio de la Cova

Office: Sycamore Hall 043
Hours: 11AM-Noon  T-TH
Phone: 855-4745

COURSE OBJECTIVES:  Historical ethnography of the major pre-Columbian civilations, especially the Olmec, people of Teotihuacan, the Maya, Aztec, the Zapotec and Mixtec. Emphasis of the social life, cultural achievements, religion, world view, and political systems to illustrate the diversity and richness of Amerindian life before the Spanish conquest.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: There will be Power Point lectures, video analysis, and readings that require taking notes. Students are expected to use logical arguments sustained with evidence in class discussions and to improve their reading, writing, analytical, and speaking skills. The IU Writing Tutorial Services can provide Discipline- and Course-Specific Tutoring if needed, which includes appropriate citation styles.

READINGS: You are expected to read all of the texts assigned to this course and the homework assigned readings. Questions regarding the texts will appear on the exams. The texts available at the bookstore are:

    Richard Townsend, The Aztecs. ISBN 0-500-28132-7
    Michael D. Coe, The Maya. ISBN 0-500-28505-5
    Mary Ellen Miller, The Art of Mesoamerica. ISBN 0-500-20345-8
    Julia Hendon & Rosemary Joyce, Mesoamerican Archaeology: Theory and Practice. ISBN 0-631-23052-1

LATINO STUDIES RESOURCES WEBSITE:  Contains topics and data related to this course.

GRADING: Your grade will consist of a Mid-Term Exam (30%), a Final Exam (30%), two Oncourse essay quizzes (15% each), and participation and attendance (10%). Missing eight or more classes will further drop you another letter grade.The exams will cover material from the readings, lectures and presentations.

(100-92=A), (91.9-90=A-), (89.9-88=B+), (87.9-82=B), (81.9-80= B-), (79.9-78=C+), (77.9-72=C), (71.9-70=C-), (69.9-68=D+), (67.9-62=D), (61.9-60=D-), (Below 59.9= F).

MAKE-UP EXAMS: It will only be given if you have a valid physician's excuse or a verified family emergency. Makeups are different and considerably more difficult than the regularly scheduled test.

MISCONDUCT: Plagiarism and cheating will be dealt with according to the IU Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct.

Please contact me the first week of classes if you have special learning needs. The IU Adaptive Technology Center can also assist you.


Jan. 10-12     Overview of the course                 Exam and study guides 
               Crossing theories                      Why Anthropologists Study Human Remains     

Jan. 17-19     First Settlers                         Mesoamerican Archaeology, 1-42
               Film segment: The First Americans      Mesoamerican Archaeology, 43-72

Jan. 24-26     Olmec society and religion             Art of Mesoamerica, 9-37
               Olmec architecture and art             Mesoamerican Archaeology, 73-96     
Jan. 31        Teotihuacan city-state                 Mesoamerican Archaeology, 97-123           
Feb. 2         Film segment: Teotihuacan              Mesoamerican Archaeology, 124-147        
Feb. 7-9       Teotihuacan art and religion           Art of Mesoamerica, 67-81
               Teotihuacan society                    State and Society at Teotihuacan
Feb. 14-16     The Zapotecs (1300 BC-700 AD)          Art of Mesoamerica, 38-65
               San Jose Mogote phase                  Mesoamerican Archaeology, 192-216

Feb. 21-23     Classic Monte Alban                    Mesoamerican Archaeology, 217-238
               Mixtecs                                Mesoamerican Archaeology, 239-264

Feb. 28        The Toltecs                            Art of Mesoamerica, 162-196
March 2        Mid-term Exam

March 7-9      The Totonacs                           Grotesques and Sacrificial Iconography 
               Classic Veracruz and Huaxtec           Art of Mesoamerica, 83-101 

March 11-19    Spring Recess

March 21-23    Maya Pre-Classic Period                The Maya, 7-58
               Film segment: The Riddle of the Maya   The Maya, 59-110

March 28-30    Maya epigraphy and mathematics         The Maya, 111-160
               Maya pyramids and architecture         The Maya, 161-176

April 4-6      Maya religion                          The Maya, 177-203
               Maya society                           The Maya, 204-255

April 11-13    The Mexica                             The Aztecs, 7-43
               Aztec society                          The Aztecs, 44-79

April 18-20    Film: Aztecs:The Hidden Empire         The Aztecs, 80-115
               Aztec warfare and expansionism         The Aztecs, 116-150 

April 25-27    Aztec religion and human sacrifice     The Aztecs, 151-186
               The conquest and syncretism            The Aztecs, 187-219

May            Final Exam (Day & time to be announced)

The preceeding schedule and procedures in this course are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances.