Archaeological paper review

The point: This exercise gives you a chance to pursue your own interest in any area of archaeology that you like, learn a bit about it, and see how one particular bit of archaeological research was carried out, analyzed, and published.

What you do: You find an archaeology article in an academic journal or review volume (on paper or online) on a subject that interests you. I offer some hints on how to do that below. Give me the reference (author, year, article title, journal title) by Thursday, November 7 in class, or by Friday, November 8 by email, so I can verify that it is a legitimate academic article worth pursuing. Once I give you the thumbs-up, you reread the article carefully and write a review.

What you turn in: A 3-4 page review, together with a xerox or printout of the entire article, including references. I will return both to you.

How to find an article: There are many ways to do this, but here are two:

For regions, cultures, or periods: Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, Harappa, Russia, Europe, China, Japan, Mexico, Maya, Aztec, Peru, Andes, Inka, Amazon, Olmec, Hopewell, Mississippian, Ohio, California, Rome, Greece, Minoan, Zimbabwe, Africa, Greenland, Australia, England... etc.

Combine with a subject, like: Beer, bread, chocolate, pyramid, temple, writing, slavery, toad (works well with "Olmec"!), elephant, dog, cow, gold, copper, iron, amber, crystal, royal, gender, goddess, family, war, peace, city, myth, fishing, hunting, agriculture, disease, health, cannibalism, hallucinogenic, art, statue, architecture, cloth, fire, migration, boat, state, government, money, astronomy, math...etc.

Make sure that the article you pick is a research article, report, or an academic review of a subject, and that the theme is archaeological. Many journals also run book reviews and commentary on other articles, but I want you to avoid those for this assignment. Also try to avoid papers that are older than, say, 1965. Almost anything you find in JSTOR will be from an acceptable source. If you do wider research, make sure that the article is from an academic journal or review volume (like Annual reviews of anthropology), not a popular journal like Archaeology magazine. If you are unsure about a source, ask me.

Content: Your review should include:

I am looking for a reasonably clear, complete understanding of the article, and some careful thinking about the subject and the methods and arguments used. I don't expect you to do additional research on the subject, although you are free to do so if you want.

Format: Any academic research paper format that you are comfortable with. It must include the full bibliographic reference to the article in a standard format.

Due date: Give me the reference (author, year, article title, and journal title) by Thursday, November 7 in class, or Friday, November 8 by email, so I can approve it.

The review is due Thursday, November 14.

Lateness policy: I accept assignments up to one week late with a 15% penalty.

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