Course: ANTH 636 - Fall Semester, 2004
Title: Computer Graphics in Archaeology
Time: 9:10 - 12:20 am / Fridays
Instructor: C. Wayne Smith
Room: Student Computing Center (SCC) 114
Computers have changed the way archaeologist’s conduct excavations and present scholarly reports. This
course will investigate the effective use of digital and analog technologies for documenting archaeological
processes, slide presentations, peer-review articles, poster sessions, electronic publishing and other applications.
This is a loosely-structured course. It is so structured to accommodate special issues, experiments, and presentations as they arise. Grades will be assigned on the basis of your class participation, presentations, and assignments. Your grade is dependant on your own individual effort and projects, and not upon comparisons with others in the class. Structuring the course this way makes it possible for you to experiment with many aspects of digital imagining. This also provides you with the freedom to focus your efforts to advance your thesis or dissertation research.
Requirements and Conditions:
1. Enrolment is limited to 25 students - exceptions are by permission of the instructor.
2. Each student must have access to a PC for assignments. For special projects, students will need to use special computers and printers. Facilities will be available for use in completing special assignments. Computers are available in the EDMS section of the Evans Library Annex and at the SCC. Owning your own computer is an asset.
3. Each student must have access to hand-in media for storage of projects and classroom assignments. (Zip disc or CD-ROM discs;
4. Each student must have access to Microsoft Word or WordPerfect - these programs are available at an inexpensive academic price through the University Book Store, located in the Memorial Student Center (MSC). These programs are also available on computers located in the EDMS and SCC computer labs.
5. Students must have a rudimentary knowledge of using a PC and Windows operating system.
6. From experience, Mac users have a tough time completing assignments for this class. Although I
will not limit the class to PC users, Mac users must be aware that there are some program
incompatibility problems that they are responsible for working with....
This class will focus on the acquisition, manipulation and presentation of archaeological data and images. A variety of state-of-the-art technologies will be employed to develop professional desktop publications, slide and digital presentations, electronic publications and images.
Library Materials and Text
The general course textbook is:
Haynes, Barry and Wendy Crumpler
2002 Photoshop 7 Artistry, Mastering the Digital Image. New Riders Publishing; Indianapolis, Indiana. (ISBN 0-7357-1240-9).
This text can be ordered from the TAMU bookstore or it can be found through online and
It is necessary that each student set up a logon-id and a password within the computing system in order to use the computer labs. Logon-ids can be setup using the CLAIM system in any of the Open Access Labs (not from a remote location). If any of the classroom participants are not students or faculty, please contact Ginny Hughlett (845-7223) in CIS account services for assistance in establishing logon-ids.
Software Use and Abuse:
All software used during this course is licensed software. Copying software is strictly forbidden and will not be tolerated. Academic pricing has made these programs affordable for many students and programs are available through the University Book Store and other retail outlets.
Classes will be assessed as follows:
a. five assignments 10 % each. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . totaling 50 %
b. poster session . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 %
c. classroom presentation - discussions – assigned seminar topics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 %
d. one HTML document . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 %
NOTE - extensions on assignments will be strongly discouraged.
Grading will follow a standard scale:
90% -100 - 'A'
80%-89% - 'B'
70%-79% - 'C'
60%-69% - 'D'
59% - and below is a failure..........
Missing exams, assignments and classes:
Material will be covered in class lectures that is not in the assigned readings - class attendance is very
important. Absence from classes and exams will be accepted for students who have legitimate excuses as
defined in the Texas A&M University Handbook of Regulations. These include:
1. Participation in an activity appearing in the University Authorized Activity List;
2. Proof of confinement due to illness (medical slip);
3. Death within a student's immediate family;
4. Participation in legal proceedings that require a student's presence;
5. A religious holiday (defined as a holy day observed by a religion who's places of worship are exempt from property taxation under Section 1 1.20 of the Texas Tax Code).
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Services for Students with Disabilities in Cain Hall or call 845-163 7 for assistance.
Tentative Fall Schedule - 2002
Room SCC 114/Fridays 9:15-12:15 am
1. New demands in archaeology (Sept. 5)
- how to use this class effectively
- ethics in a digital world
- image brokering
- readings - Nautical Library
2. Day one of PhotoShop (Sept. 10)
- Ch 2-3-4
3. Day two of PhotoShop (Sept. 17)
4. Effective Presentations (Sept. 24)
- classroom presentations - examples of really bad ones!
- conference presentations
- target applications
- the Chicago Manual of Style versus electronic publishing protocols
5. Input Devices - TWAIN Technology (Oct. 1)
- scanners and slide scanners
- optical character recognition (OCR)
- frame grabbers
- manual versus automatic color / image enhancement
Assignment 1 - Collage - to be outlined in class - due next class.
6. Output Devices (Oct. 8)
- inkjet printers
- color correction for inkjet printers
- laser printers
- dye sublimation printing
- targeting images for intended output
- color separation strategies for professional publications
- slide printers - saving time and money
- view collage assignments
Assignment 2 - Work with an assigned Photoshop filter - prepare a 5 minute report for next class (handouts or digital presentations welcome - a computer will be provided so you can do a hands-on demonstration).
7. The Digital Darkroom (Oct. 15)
- view filter assignments.
- be prepared to discuss the benefits and weaknesses you found working with
your filter - is this filter useful for any work you need to illustrate? Do you see uses for any archaeological work?
- commercial software packages
- filters and third party software
8. Special Presentation - (Oct. 22)
9. Digital And Film Photography (Oct. 29)
- cameras in the field (turn around vs. detailing)
- redundancy safeguards
- artifact photography versus artifact illustrations
- elements of good artifact photography
- photo to line art conversions
Assignment 3 - Students will pair up and take a head shot photograph of each other using a digital camera. Each student will then take his or her image, saved on a hand-in disk and:
A. Make one print out on a black and white laser printer
B. Make one print out on the dye- sub printer
C. Using Photoshop, divide your photograph in half and reconstruct your face using (1) 2 left sides, one reversed and (2) using 2 right sides, with one reversed. Save your original photo and the two reconstructed images to disk and be prepared to show them on screen, next class. Is the face symmetrical? What impact does this type of reconstruction play in archaeology - in other industries?
D. Repeat the head photo shot but this time, deliberately DO NOT take the shot from straight on - reconstruct the face and see what you have created. If you dare, show this image in class (week 9).
10. Images and Data Bases (Nov. 5)
- review assignment 3
- misconceptions about data bases
- incorporating images in data bases
- FoxPro - Access
- File Maker Pro
Assignment 4 - Make a small data base with at least 4 fields, two images and one memo field entry - hand in on disk.
11. Digital Presentations (Nov. 12)- presentation packages - (power Point, Corel Presentation etc.)
- output capabilities
- effects and transitions
- sound advice - effective use of sound sources (wav) files
- making backgrounds
- thematic approach
- color accommodation
- saturation - transparency
- image fit - image density
Assignment 5 - Make a presentation on your current research - your thesis, dissertation, class project for another class. Use at least 10 slides - incorporate appropriate text and illustrations to briefly explain your research. Each student will have 10 minutes maximum to show their work next class. Artistry, innovation, academic appropriateness etc. are all important. Remember, most of us do not know your areas of study as well as you do -explain your research.
12. Slide Show Evaluations (Nov. 19)
- do not miss this class - this is where you learn what works and what does NOT.
13. Poster Sessions (Nov. 26)
- who needs to know what
- criterion / evaluation methods
- target audiences
- layouts that work
- discussion of poster assignment.
Poster Assignment - Hand out sheet of guidelines - start thinking about your poster now - due last day of classes.
14. Poster Sessions (Dec.3)
Each student is to prepare an informative 'poster' discussing one artifact, a small group of artifacts, or some aspect of your academic research. Your poster is to be mounted on a wall of the third floor of the Anthropology Building using the guidelines and criterion provided for this assignment. Dissemination of archaeological data, background information, text boxes, references, color scheme and overall aesthetics of your poster will be considered in grading. Remember that your title is the most effective tool to direct your potential reader. Details regarding poster regulations will be provided in class. Have fun with this - it is the best way I know to share your research with faculty and other students......due last day of classes.
- Front Page (Microsoft) Web Site Creation and Management Tools
- Corel Word Perfect
- components of a Web Page
- effective Web page strategies- referencing and publishing protocols
This is an excellent opportunity to publish your archaeological research. Using artifact photographs and other supportive archaeological data, create an informative Web page archaeological report. There are no length restrictions. Some of you may be just starting your research - make a research strategy page. Other may be nearly completed - use this to practice for your defense. If appropriate for your research, include an abstract. Include buttons, links and always, references. This assignment is due in two weeks.
December 7 - last day of fall semester classes
December 10, 13-15 - final exams
NOTE: All posters printed for display on any of the display boards in the department are the property pf the department. Students needing posters for conferences or personal use must make arrangements to print additional copies. Copies can be produced at the Student Computing Center on their printer/plotter for additional charges.
Students who cannot identify project material might want to consider the fact that we have some excellent topics within the department. For example, a great deal of work needs to be done regarding bonfire memorabilia. Topics covered include conservation of one particular artifact type or assessment of an assemblage from the collection etc. Interested students should speak with me or with Dr. Grider in the Anthropology Department. We can help you develop a topic for this course.
TAMU Plagiarism Policy
The handouts used in this course are copyrighted. By "handouts," I mean all materials generated for this class, which include but are not limited to syllabi, quizzes, exams, lab problems, in-class materials, review sheets, and additional problem sets. Because these materials are copyrighted, you do not have the right to copy the handouts, unless I expressly grant permission.
As commonly defined, plagiarism consists of passing off as one's own the ideas, words, writings, etc., which belong to another. In accordance with this definition, you are committing plagiarism if you copy the work of another person and turn it in as your own, even if you should have the permission of that person. Plagiarism is one of the worst academic sins, for the plagiarist destroys the trust among colleagues without which research cannot be safely communicated. If you have any questions regarding plagiarism, please consult the latest issue of the Texas A&M University Student Rules, under the section "Scholastic Dishonesty."
Social Security Numbers
It is no longer legal to use a student's complete Social Security Number for posting grades. All students are assigned a Universal Identification Number (UIN). You are responsible for knowing and using your number. Grades will be posted using this number.