Archaeological grant proposal

The point: This exercise gives you a chance to think about applying some of the methods and ideas we have discussed and consider how the results are used to solve problems. As a group project, it also gives you a taste of how larger archaeological projects are often put together. Finally, since you pick the subject and will have to research some background to write the proposal, it is a chance to pursue a topic that is interesting to you.

What you do: You form a group with one or two other classmates and pick an archaeological question to pursue. As a group, you write a "grant proposal" in which you outline the issue and enough relevant background to show why it is interesting and should be resolved. You propose one or more hypotheses concerning the issue, and describe an archaeological research design that would test the hypotheses, explaining what data you would gather, what methods you would use, and how the data would resolve the problem. The proposal includes a schedule, budget, and bibliography. Some library and/or web research will probably be necessary for background information.

Concept check: I suggest, but do not require, that you email me a brief statement of what you are planning to do fairly early in the process, so I can confirm that you are on track.

What you turn in: A grant proposal consisting of a title page and abstract; plus at least 4 pages about the problem, hypotheses, methods, and how the expected results will be used to evaluate the hypotheses; plus additional pages with a schedule of the work, budget, and bibliography. The proposal may be longer if you wish, as I suspect you probably will.

How to find a subject: You might look for inspiration in examples mentioned in the textbook or discussed in class, in the papers you reviewed for the previous assignment, at any of the websites (both legitimate and "quirky") that you consulted for the website review, or in other websites listed at, for example, Archnet. You could troll through JSTOR or Pharos (the journal article search system available through the SSU library), entering words that you think might bring up interesting subjects. You might be inspired to check out claims from a documentary you have seen, or any other source. One approach is to find something that you disagree with and propose a way to test your objections. Another is to find something that is described as a mystery, still unsolved, or requiring further research, and propose a way to resolve the issue. Many academic articles suggest needed further research in their conclusions.

Content: Your grant proposal should include:

A cover page with the following three items:

A description of the project of at least 4 pages in length, including the following sections:

Additional pages with the following sections:

Format: Any common academic research paper and bibliography format that you are comfortable with.

Due date: The proposal is due Thursday, December 12.

Lateness policy: I will accept grant proposals up to this course's final exam period with a 15% penalty, but please try to get them in by the due date.

Grading: 20% of the course grade (200 points out of 1000).