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The focus of this second research report should be on the previous archaeological investigations of a famous site. Think of this report as if you were writing for a newspaper! This report should explain the significance the site, what individuals or institutions have conducted the exploration(s), and what was found. But most importantly—given the time and expense of excavation—why was this site important (or, stated another way, what did the archaeologists learn about the site that they didn’t know before the excavations?). All of this basic information can usually be found on the internet and should be easy to distill into a brief summary report. I will not grade you on your knowledge of Pre-Columbian architecture or Viking shipwreck sites, but rather on your understanding of the site on which you are reporting and the knowledge it has contributed to understanding the past.
For example: If you chose Jamestown, Virginia as one of the sites, I would expect to you to write about the significance of the site as the first permanent English settlement in North America. I would expect to hear how J.C. Harrington and John Cotter both conducted investigations on many of the later 17th century buildings on the island in the 1940s and 1950s, but were not able to locate the original 1607 fort. You should then describe how William Kelso was able to locate the original fort in 1994 by looking on a part of the island that previous archaeologists had not explored. Most important would be to generally explain what Kelso has found and learned about this original permanent English settlement in North America that was not known about before the excavations.
This assignment is also an excellent chance to learn more about an archaeological site from a time period or geographical area that interests you! If you have a specific interest, feel free to email me and I’ll be happy to suggest a site for you.
Examples of this type of site summary reports can be found under the ANT 240 Resources folder. These two examples cover the sites of ‘La Isabela’ and ‘Port Royal’, both important and early sites found on islands in the Caribbean
If you are having difficulty thinking of an archaeological site, I have attached a list of possible candidates. Clicking on the file link will open the document in a new window. You do not have to choose from this list, but I know there is enough material on each of these sites to write a 2-3 page paper.
Remember to include any citations of sources that you use to compose this biography. This research paper will be run through SafeAssign, so be cautious and avoid any potential plagiarism problems.
Instructions for submitting this report will be detailed in next week’s lessons.