Reconstructing Past Civilizations

An original research paper (minimum of 2000 words [excluding extensive quotes]), including a reference section, is required for this class. The main goal of this paper is to apply a scientific approach to the subject of your research. In this vein, your paper will be based on valid scientific evidence to reconstruct past civilizations. You must include specific archaeological findings that support your work. Keep in mind this is a research paper in archaeology and not just a historical account.

Topic: For this assignment you must select an artifact manufactured by an ancient culture and explain some of the following:

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what it tells us about the culture that created it,
the technology that made it possible,
how it may signal contact with neighboring cultures,
its implications for its culture and civilization at large

The student is encouraged to select a topic (artifact) of his/her own choosing with the instructor’s permission. You should select an artifact that addresses one or more of the following:

A major technological innovation
Important social, ceremonial, or religious significance
Archaeological mysteries examined from a scientific perspective
Artifacts with environmental implications
Artifacts related uniquely to a specific archaeological site/s

Artifacts: portable objects manufactured by humans. You can also include specific structures like a particular building. Include objects manufactured up to around AD 1000-1200 (prehistoric times only, based on regional characteristics).

Grading: The paper will be graded based on a set rubric on original thinking, application of concepts developed in class, application of archaeological data, organization, use of citations, and proper grammar and spelling. The paper should have a strong thesis, supporting arguments, and conclusions.

The paper itself is worth 100 points. Additionally, a one page proposal with your research question, three preliminary citations correctly formatted to the standards of the American Antiquity style (compiled by the SAA), and 2 peer-review assessments partial drafts, are required components of this assignment (value = 50 points). The development of the paper will be checked throughout the semester.

Failure to complete a term paper will result in a failing grade regardless of other completed work.

References will follow American Antiquity style. Intentional plagiarism will result in an automatic grade of F. Papers will not be accepted after the deadline or with a Turnitin score greater than 15%.

General Format: I do not require many specifics for the overall format. Make sure you include your name, class, and TITLE. A front page is not required. The paper should have a total of 6-8 pages double spaced, 12pt. Times New Roman. You may include subtitles within the text or just divide subtopics by using distinct paragraphs.

Citations: citations within text and in the reference sections will be required to follow the given guidelines. Make sure you cite in the text those ideas that are not specifically yours. Always cite original sources if possible, e.g. if a web source itself cites another source, use the latter. Also follow the requirements provided in your citation assignment in Canvas.

Requirement for citations:

8-10 sources for the final paper [3 sources for the initial “Citation” assignment]

Scholarly articles (at least 5, from peer review journals)
Other sources (may be books, accredited videos, scientific websites)
The majority of your sources should be from academic articles and books. Keep other sources such as websites to a minimum.

Required number of pages or word count: As stipulated you should complete close to 2000 words (avoid using many quotes) or 6-8 pages double spaced.

Turnitin format: This is important, make sure you submit your document as stipulated in Canvas “Turnitin”. If is not “Turnitin” readable I will not accept it. TURNITIN SCORE SHOULD BE LESS THAN 15%. Please make sure you go to ‘instructional Canvas’ if you have any problems. For more information on Reconstructing Past Civilizations see this:

Reconstructing Past Civilizations

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