Fall 2017 - ARCH 376 D100

Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (5)

Class Number: 2460

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 11:30 AM – 2:20 PM
    SWH 9152, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Bob Muir
    Office: EDB 9615
    Office Hours: TBD
  • Prerequisites:

    ARCH 201, and any one of ARCH 285, GEOG 251, PSYC 210, STAT 101, STAT 201, or STAT 203.



Theory, method, and operation of the application of statistical techniques to the description, classification, analysis, and interpretation of archaeological data. Quantitative.


This course examines theory, method, and operation of quantitative techniques used in the description, classification, analysis, and interpretation of archaeological data. The course stresses exploratory data analysis and graphical pattern recognition techniques. The main objectives of the course are: to provide the background necessary for informed, critical reading of quantitative archaeological literature; to provide the background needed for designing research projects that will generate data that can be productively analyzed using quantitative methods; and to teach the use of computers in managing and analyzing archaeological data. Major topics to be covered include:  

1. Measurement Theory
2. Quantifying Archaeological Objects  
3. Graphing Data
4. Descriptive Statistics
5. Probability and Sampling
6. Statistical Inference    
7. Correlation                                   
8. Analysis of Diversity                         
9. Cluster Analysis               
10. Principal Component Analysis      

The course will require a substantial commitment of time, including extensive use of computers in campus facilities (or at home).


  • Assignments (5) 50%
  • Quizzes (2) 20%
  • Term Project 30%



Quantifying Archaeology (2nd edition), 1997, Stephen Shennan, Edinburgh University Press.
ISBN: 978-0-8774-5598-1

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need classroom or exam accommodations are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Students with Disabilities (1250 Maggie Benston Centre) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.

Deferred grades will be given only on the basis of authenticated medical disability.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html