Digital Stones: Teaching an Archaeological Lab Course Online

E.S. Lohse1, Robert Schlader2 and D. Sammons3

1Director, Idaho Museum of Natural History and Professor of Anthropology, Idaho State University
2Multimedia Specialist, Idaho Museum of Natural History.
3Assistant Professor of Education, Idaho State University, Email:


This article presents an overview of our efforts to provide training and educational resource materials in lithic analysis for beginners to intermediate level university students. We scripted a CD-ROM entitled Digital Stones that presents an interactive introduction to analysis of stone tools (Lohse and Sammons 1998; 1999). The analytical system presented in the CD has been used at Idaho State University as part of standard laboratory and field training for the past decade (Lohse 1998). In the Fall semester of 1999, we used these materials as the basis for a completely online course entitled 'Anthropology 491: Stone Tool Analysis'. This course included online chat rooms with recognised experts in lithic analysis and these conversations are preserved as online documentation. Some aspects of our work have added to a solid foundation for future building of this online lab course. Some aspects need to be drastically revised and others need refinement. Our online experience in teaching a hands-on subject has reinforced some concerns expressed for online education in general and has led to some strong conclusions regarding the potential for this type of teaching.

Go to article Table of Contents


© Internet Archaeology URL:
Last updated: Thur 13 June 2002