ARTH 250: Art and Archaeology of Ancient America, Spring term, 2005
Professor Joanne Pillsbury
Lecture: M/W 9:00 am – 9:50 am
Art/Sociology Building, Room 2203
Teaching Assistant: Juliet Wiersema
Discussion Section: 0101 Monday 10:00-10:50AM ASY 3211
Contact information: email@example.com
Office Hours: Wednesdays 11:00-1:00 p.m. Office 4226
Purpose and Goals:
This discussion section aims to reinforce ideas presented in lecture, clari fy concepts if need be, and review key
terms relating to the art and archaeology of the ancient Americas. By the end of the course you should have an
understanding of distinctions between and similarities among the great traditions in art and architecture of the
Olmec, Zapotec, Maya and Aztec people in Mesoamerica as well as the Chavin, Paracas, Moche and Inka cultures in
Andean region of South America. You should also finish this course with a knowledge of major works and
monuments created by these cultures and an understanding of their respective significance.
What do I already know of the Pre-Columbian world? What would I like to get from this class? What do I expect to
You are expected to come to class every week.
You are expected to arrive on time every week.
You are expected to have done the required reading every week.
You are expected to complete and hand in a weekly writing assignment of 30-50 words.
You are expected to take the weekly slide identification quiz.
You are expected to be courteous to your fellow students, to their ideas and their opinions.
You are expected and encouraged to participate in class and share your views.
You are invited to ask questions, seek answers, thrive and prosper in this course.
Discussion Section Grading:
20% of your final grade comes from discussion section. 20% is a significant amount. This portion of your grade will
come from weekly questions answered at home and brought to class (details below) and weekly qui zzes, given at
the beginning of every discussion section (details below). Both constitute a full grade. In other words, if you take
the quiz but have not prepared the answer to the assigned question, you will receive a ZERO for that week. If you
are absent, you will receive a ZERO for that week. If you show up with your answer to the weekly question and do
not take the quiz, you receive a ZERO for the week. The lowest of the weekly quiz grades will be thrown out.
At the beginning of each class there will be a short quiz, composed of slide identifications, vocabulary terms and
essay question(s). This quiz will last 10 minutes and will consist of 5 questions. For slide identifications, you will
need to supply information about the object, culture, and time period. The vocabulary terms come from your
reading. For essay questions, you will be asked to establish a relationship between two different images.
Each week, you will bring to class a short response to an assigned question about the reading (30-50 words). The
answer should reflect that you have done the reading and given some thought to the question. The purpose of this
assignment is to allow you a chance to reflect on the reading assignments before our discussion section meets. You
can hand write or type your answer. Emailed responses to questions will not be accepted. Questions must be
turned in at the beginning of each discussion section for credit.
Cheating on exams and quizzes is not tolerated. Plagiarism is not tolerated. If you are not familiar with the
University’s policy on academic integrity, visit UMD’s webiste for clarification.
Midterm – March 16
Paper Due – May 2
Final Exam – May 19 (8:00 -10:00 a.m.!)
Please note that these dates are final and that there will be no make-up exams. Also, late papers will be marked down 5
points for each day that they are late.
Weekly Question/Assignment Schedule for ARTH 250 Discussion Section 0101
Monday, 31 January - Introductions
Review Syllabus, Review quiz format, Review weekly question and/or assignment. Complete index cards.
Monday, 7 February - Information and Methodologies, The Formative Period and Olmec Culture
(The Art of Mesoamerica, chap. 1-2; Haslip-Viera et al., 1997 “Robbing Native American Cultures. Van Sertima's
Afrocentricity and the Olmecs.” Current Anthropology 38, 3: 419-441, www.Jstor.com.
Question due in class Feb. 2: Where does our information on ancient Mesoamerica come from? Describe at least
two sources of information and discuss what each provides OR describe similarities and differences between the
Las Limas figure and the relief at Chalcatzingo. 50 words or <. Focus on core points.
Monday, 14 February - The Late Formative Period and Teotihuacan (The Art of Mesoamerica, chapter 3 and 4)
Question due in class Feb. 9: What are distinguishing characteristics of Teotihuacan and the art produced there?
How does Teotihuacan differ from what we know of the Olmec? 50 words or <. Focus on core points.
Monday, 21 February - Classicisms’: Monte Albán and Veracruz (The Art of Mesoamerica, chap. 5). Question due in
class Feb. 16: These cultures shared an interest in the ball game. Give evidence for the ballgame in both cultures.
Visit www.ballgame.org This site does not cover another important culture who played the ballgame. Which
culture is not featured on this site and how do we know about their preoccupation with the sport of life and death?
50 words or <. Focus on core points.
Monday, 28 February - The Early Classic Maya: Tikal (The Art of Mesoamerica, chap. 6; Pasztory, 1996 “Aesthetics and
Pre-Columbian Art.” Res 29/30: 318-325, McKeldin electronic reserves)
Question due in class Feb. 23: How does Maya art, architecture and society differ from the cultures we have studied
thus far (Olmec, West Mexico, Teotihuacan, Zapotecs)? i.e. What distinguished them in your view? Think in terms
of writing/recording, art and architecture. 50 words or <. Focus on core points.
Monday, 7 March - Palenque and Bonampak (The Art of Mesoamerica, chap. 7)
Question due in class Mar. 2: Pick two Maya stelae or relief sculptures from Classic period sites. Compare and
contrast their respective sculptural forms as well as the type of message and imagery they convey. 50 wor ds or <.
Monday, 14 March - The Aztecs and the Creation of History (The Art of Mesoamerica, chap. 9)/Midterm Review
Question due in class Mar. 9: How has information about the Aztecs come to us? Pick two examples and explain
how each differs. 50 words or <.
Wednesday, 16 March - MID-TERM EXAM
Spring Break March 19-March 25
Monday, 28 March - The Initial Period and the Chavín Culture (The Art of the Andes, chap. 2)
Question due in class Mar. 30: Give two examples of “supernatural” depictions in Chavi n art and explain why this
term has been applied. 50 words or <.
Monday, 4 April - Paracas and Nasca (The Art of the Andes, chap. 3)
Question due in class Apr. 6: Textiles and ceramics are predominant "art" forms in these periods and later. Choose a
textile from 2 different cultures (Chavin, Paracas, Nasca) and compare and contrast subject matter, style and
imagery. 50 words or <.
Monday, 11 April - Looting, Archaeology, and the Moche and Moche Narrative and Portraiture (The Art of the
Andes, chap. 4; Boone, 1993 “Collecting the Pre-Columbian Past: Historical Trends and the Process of Reception
and Use.” In Collecting the Pre-Columbian Past, 315-350 (Elizabeth Hill Boone, ed.), McKeldin electronic reserve;
Donnan, 2001 “Moche Ceramic Portraits.” In Moche Art and Archaeology in Ancient Peru, 127-139, McKeldin electronic
Question due in class Apr. 13: How does Donnan’s investigation change what was previously thought about Moche
Portrait Vessels? 50 words or <.
Monday, 18 April - Tiwanaku and Wari (The Art of the Andes, chap. 5)
Question due in class Apr. 20: TBD
Monday, 25 April - The Empire of Chimor (texts TBD)
Question due in class Apr. 27: TBD
Monday, 2 May - PAPERS DUE AT THE BEGINNING OF CLASS to TA
Monday, 2 May - The Conquest and the Inca (Art of the Andes, chap. 7 and Murra, 1962 “Cloth and Its Function in the
Inca State.” American Anthropologist 64(4): 710-728 on www.jstor.org)
Question due in class May 4: What similarities can you find between Inca textiles and Inca masonry? 50 wor ds or <.
Monday, 9 May - Final Review
Thursday, 19 May - Final Exam 8:00 -10:00 a.m.