Dr. Antonio de la Cova
Office: Sycamore Hall 043
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 viewm and political systems to illustrate the diversity and richness of Amerindian life before the Spanish conquest.
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:
Samuel M. Wilson, ed. The Indigenous People of
the Caribbean. Univ. Press of Florida, 1999. ISBN: 978-0813016924
Mary Ellen Miller, The Art of Mesoamerica (4th ed., 2006) ISBN 0-500-2039-2X
Nigel Davies, The Ancient Kingdoms of Peru. Penguin, 1997.
OTHER MATERIAL: Documentaries and overhead projections presented are part of class lectures, requiring taking notes on these occasions. Homework will be assigned from the Latin American Studies web page.
GRADING: Your grade will consist of three exams with an essay component and a research paper. The exams will cover material from the readings, lectures and presentations. There will be NO "Extra Credit." The final grade is:
First exam 15% Second
exam 25% Third exam 30%
Research Paper 30%
A = 100-90; B+ = 89-87; B = 86-80; C+ = 79-77; C = 76-70; D+ = 69-667; D = 66-60; F = 59-0
RESEARCH PAPER: Choose your own topic related to this course. Eight to ten pages in text length, typed in 12-point font, double-spaced, with standard margins, without illustrations. Include at least three citations from the Latin American Studies web page, three books and three journals. A late paper will lose ten points. Turn in a paper copy and one on disk or by e-mail.
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.
ATTENDANCE: The roll will be taken at every class. Absences totaling
8 classes (20% of the course) will result in an F for the course.
CLASSES LECTURE TOPICS ASSIGNED READINGS
March 4-8 Introduction and study guides Crossing Theories Early Migrants by Land and Sea First Settlers Monte Verde Revisited Film: The First Americans Thor Heyerdahl, Adventurer
March 11-15 Olmec society and religion Olmec architecture and art Mystery of the Olmec Teotihuacan city-state The Nubians and Olmecs Film: Teotihuacan State and Society at Teotihuacan March 18-22 Teotihuacan art and religion Teotihuacan society Dig uncovers clues about Mexico pyramids The Totonacs The Life Style of El Tajin First exam. Classic Veracruz Sacrificial Iconography Research paper prospectus and bibliography are due.March 25-29 The Zapotecs (1300 BC-700 AD)
The Maya Pre-Classic
Epigraphy and mathematics The Maya Sweat House
Maya pyramids and architecture In Guatemalan Jungle, A Mayan Wall Street?
Film: The Riddle of the Maya In Guatemala, a Rhode Island-Size Jade Lode
Maya society The Maya Finally Speak
The Toltecs Divers Discover Maya Relics in Caves
Second exam The Rise of the Toltec Empire
Warfare and expansionism The Enigma of Aztec Sacrifice
Human sacrifice Aztec Cannibalism: An Ecological Necessity?
Film: Aztecs:The Hidden Empire The Incidence of Disease among the Aztecs
April 29 Chavin de Huantar -May 3 Paracas and Nazca anthropologist ponders 'center of centers' Moche Ancient History Imperiled in Peru Film: Peru's City of Ghosts the Mystery of the Moche Warrior-Priest May 6-10 The Incas Government and society Entirely Preserved Inca Mummies Found Engineering and architecture Peru's native language still widely heard Film: Death Cults of the Incas A Place That May Have Been Incas' Refuge Research paper due
May 13-17 The Taino The Siboney Mining Threatens Ancient Cave Art The Carib Cuba finds bones of ancient population Third exam
The preceeding schedule and procedures in this course are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances.