While I was down in Long Beach recently, Carl Lipo and I talked about digitizing a series of video tapes made in the mid-1990’s of the last time that Robert C. Dunnell taught his graduate archaeological theory courses. Carl has found the time and some resources to start doing that, and the first couple of files (representing the first 5 or so class sessions) are now available in Windows Media format on his website. The classes are an amazing resource and learning experience. We have to apologize in advance for sound issues in lecture #2 — the colleague (who shall remain nameless) who was auditing the class and taping the lectures for us had some….technical issues.
Carl is digitizing all of Archy 497, the first of two quarters of archaeological theory. In 497, Dunnell focused on “formal theory” — concepts, key conceptual relationships, and the classification tools necessary for all explanation in archaeology. In 498, which likely will be the next digitizing project, Dunnell focuses on “explanatory” theory and the history of archaeological theory.
For those readers unfamiliar with R.C. Dunnell, he was my former academic advisor, longtime Chairman of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Washington, key initiator and driver of Darwinian approaches to explanation in archaeology, and scourge of generations of first-year graduate students. Dr. Dunnell retired in the mid-1990’s and now resides in the Southeastern United States, surrounded by Mississippian mounds, archaeological sites, and decent BBQ joints.