Grading: Students will be graded ten points per answer, for a total of 100 points. Each response is qualitatively graded based on thoroughness of response, evidence presented, and clarity of answers. Citations are preferred if direct quotes are used, “Woodard said to use quotations and make inline citations” (Woodard 2019:77).
1) Using notes from the first weeks’ lectures, Week 2 reading from Kottak, or content from the NOVA film on Werowocomoco, provide a definition of an “excavation.” If the processes of an excavation destroy the site of interest, in what ways do archaeologists record their data for purposes of interpretation?
2) What is stratigraphy, or strata, and how do archaeologists use stratigraphy to understand the chronology or “relative dating” of a site’s deposits?
3) Define “absolute dating” and provide a descriptive example of one of these dating methods.
4) Using the readings from Week 3 & 4 (Townsend, Hall, Drooker, Lankford), describe examples of Mississippian “prestige goods” or “status markers” uncovered by archaeologist at sites such as Cahokia, Etowah, and Spiro. Some of these goods are durable, but Drooker includes evidence for perishable items that are less often identified. Consider the differing types of materials and provide descriptive examples of the artifacts from the readings and lectures.
5) The articles and films of Week 5 discuss Powhatan’s Werowocomoco. Archaeologists were surprised to find two large ditch features at the site, which appear to form two “D” shape enclosures. What other evidence was located that supports the interpretation of the “D” shape and how have the researchers explained the meaning of this large feature?
6) During the NOVA film on Werowocomoco, archaeologists used dendrochronological evidence from the Nottoway-Blackwater drainage to determine that the region was experiencing a climate shift. What was going on the in the Chesapeake at the time of the Jamestown settlement and how did the researchers reach this conclusion?
7) Based on the reading from Straube (2006) Jamestown colonists brought certain types of weapons with them from England. What did the archaeology of James Fort tell us about the English weaponry and how it was used (or not used) in Virginia? Give specific examples.
8) Moore, Rodning, and Beck (2017) discuss the burned “Spanish” structures at Joara uncovered during archaeological investigations at the Berry site. According to the authors, analysis of the charred wood remains of the structures revealed a combination of Native and European construction characteristics. Describe the evidence presented by the researchers and their interpretation of the data.
9) In James Deetz’s important book In Small Things Forgotten, he describes the “pervasive” Chesapeake style of seventeenth-century architecture (1977:146). Much of what is known about this regional variation of English housing in Virginia comes only from archaeology. Give an overview of the architectural characteristics of this Chesapeake house form.
10) Maria Franklin (1997) notes that the enslaved members of the Rich Neck plantation consumed a wide variety of domestic and wild comestibles. The archaeology of the slave quarters revealed a “three-fold increase in the consumption of raccoon” (99) over the course of the site’s occupation. What interpretations does Franklin offer for this observable trend in the archaeological data? Not mutually exclusive, give several explanations provided by Franklin.
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