Take Home Final Exam

Hey folks – as we talked about the other week, here are the details for your take home final exam.  The exam will give you an opportunity to digest the things we’ve talked about, do some synthesis, and be a little more thoughtful about what you write than you might normally be able to do in a traditional exam.  However, I know that a few people have very tight schedules.  So, I’m going to give you your exam questions now so that you have more breathing room to get them done.

For the exam, write an essay length response on any two of the following questions:

  1. Throughout the semester, we’ve talked a lot about the methods that archaeologists use to understand the past and human culture.  Discuss and describe these methods. Pay particular attention to how these methods fit into the issue of research design (which we spoke about early in the semester).  Be sure to provide detailed examples to support and illustrate your discussion.
  2. Describe and discuss the historical development of archaeology as a modern scholarly discipline. Pay particular attention to the major and most important intellectual trends which led to the foundation. Be sure to provide detailed examples to support and illustrate your discussion.
  3. Is archaeology a science?  Is the past & human culture “knowable” through the lense of science.
  4. Discuss and describe pseudoarchaeology.  Provide detailed examples to support and illustrate your discussion.  Pay particular attention to the impact that pseudoarchaeology has on scholarly archaeology.

The exam should me sent to me via email (as a PDF, not a .doc or .docx) no later than 5pm on Wednesday, April 30th (after which it will be considered late and start incurring standard late penalties). The exam should have your name and PID on every page. In addition, be sure to note the question number at the beginning of each essay.

About Ethan Watrall

An anthropological archaeologist who has worked in North America and the Near East, Ethan Watrall is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Associate Director of MATRIX: The Center for Digital Humanities & Social Sciences at Michigan State University. In addition, Ethan is Director of the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative and the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool at Michigan State University. Currently, Ethan is Co-PI of the NEH funded ARCS: Archaeological Resource Cataloguing System project, Director of the NEH funded Institute for Digital Archaeological Method and Practice, and Co-PI of the NEH funded Archive of Malian Photography project. Ethan’s interest primarily fall in the domain of digital public archaeology and heritage, with particular interest in mobile digital public heritage and digital heritage mapping for public outreach and engagement. Ethan is co-editor of Archaeology 2.0: New Tools for Communication and Collaboration, an open access volume published by the UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press.

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