The goal of this Assignment is to observe an ‘archaeological site’ as an anthropologist would. The student will analyze their…

The goal of this Assignment is to observe an ‘archaeological site’ as an anthropologist would. The student will analyze their observations in terms of themes from the subfield of archaeology such as how it helps frame our understanding of how we can learn more about the human past by studying and interpreting material culture.

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Description:

Motel of the Mysteries is a well-known book among archaeologists (see basic description in Smith, 2009).  This humorous (now sadly out of print) book takes a look at how an archaeologist of the future might look at a late 20th century roadside motel.  While our artifacts make sense to us, how might they preserve and be interpreted by future archaeologists?  In this Assignment we will explore this idea.

 

Smith, S.  (2009).  Motel of the Mysteries.  The Society for Georgia Archaeology.  Retrieved from: http://thesga.org/2009/01/motel-of-the-mysteries/

 

Directions for 4-6 page Assignment:

  1. Choose one room of your home or a specific place in your community (playground, parking lot, restaurant).  Visit and observe the site for 10-15 minutes.  Be objective as you examine the site, remember not to mention what it is in today’s terms, but pretend you have do not recognize or have knowledge of the artifacts and site.  Describe the overall scene.
  2. Collect and document artifacts.  Describe the artifacts noting color, shape, weight, texture, quantity, material, and other features you think are important.
  3. Map (photos, hand drawn and scanned, digitally created map) the site and describe the physical characteristics of the site.
  4. Using your imagination, what are some other purposes the artifacts and site might have?  What conclusions can you draw about the origin of the artifacts, their use, and the purpose of the site?
  5. Using our reading on archaeological analysis (Park, 2014, p. 85-89), what additional analytical methods would you want to use to help you interpret your artifacts and site?  
  6. Reflect on some of the challenges archaeologists face in piecing together the past.

 

Disclaimer

Originality of attachments will be verified by Turnitin. Both you and your instructor will receive the results.

Writing Expectations

All written submissions should be submitted using APA formatting. In part, this includes:

  • Typewritten in double-spaced format with a readable style and font and submitted inside the electronic classroom.
  • Arial 11 or 12-point font or Times New Roman styles.
  • Page margins Top, Bottom, Left Side and Right Side = 1 inch, with reasonable accommodation being made for special situations and online submission variances. 
  • Save as .doc, .rtf, or .pdf 
  • See our Basics of APA Style tutorial from Week 1 for coaching on APA formatting.  For additional resources, use your COLL100 materials, our Library, and the Purdue Online Writing Lab.

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