This is the website for a class project in ANP 203H Introduction to Archaeology at Michigan State University.

 Applied Archaeology & World Heritage in Danger (100 Points)

Project Goal: Research factors and current events leading to the endangerment of World Heritage sites and reflect on what you have learned about heritage site destruction and its implications in the modern world.

Requirements: Produce a clear and correctly cited webpage for a particular World Heritage cultural site on our class project website, and present your page in-class. Explore your classmates’ sites, then reflect on your experience in a narrative essay of 4-5 pages in length. Submit the essay to the appropriate D2L Dropbox.

Overview: Over the course of Unit 3, you have learned about the value of archaeological research for present day applications, providing insight into addressing modern world issues and problems. Such global issues today include conflict and war, climate change, mass migration of people, poverty, and inequality, to name just a few. These issues can have a direct impact on archaeological sites, perhaps some of the very sites that can provide insight that can help us address such matters.

Your final assignment is to explore a cultural (historical or archaeological site) on the UNESCO World Heritage in Danger list, assess the specific factors threatening the site, and then think about how archaeological research (at your chosen site AND other sites) might provide insight into addressing broader issues in the global world.

For example, Sabloff’s text (2008) provides us with examples of how archaeologists have studied the early examples of warfare in the Valley of Oaxaca (2008:62-68), the use of insight from archaeology for long-term thinking about the environment (2008:54-56) and the rise of cities such as those of ancient Cambodia and the Classic Maya (2008:69-75). Think about the relationships among heritage sites, factors that endanger those sites, and research questions that can be addressed AT these sites. To help you think about these relationships, try making an outline, for example:

example outline

Think about these relationships when choosing your site.  See the Instructions tab for further details.

Evaluation: You will be graded on the content and organization of your webpage, your in-class presentation, engagement with peers, and the content and quality of your reflection narrative essay. Students who earn the highest grades will have completely followed the instructions presented here and have thoroughly answered all questions posed here.  Content will be well-organized, clear, and free of grammatical errors. All work will be correctly cited. Thoughtful, honest, and well written reflection essays are required. Projects that do not meet these standards will earn lower grades. Please see your instructor if you have further questions about grading for this assignment.

Teaching Philosophy: This project is NOT a traditional research paper! You are encouraged to explore and create a project that you will be excited to discuss and share with your classmates and maintain as part of a professional portfolio.  Collaboration with peers on webpage design and building your page is encouraged. You may learn some different tech skills along the way, or help a classmate learn to do something new. Linking to current news articles and multimedia content will help you become more aware of the changing world around you, and read critically about archaeology in the news. Choose a topic early so that you can explore something of interest to you.

Reference Cited:

Sabloff, Jeremy A. (2008). Archaeology Matters. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, CA.

Background Image:

The Roman Amphitheatre at el-Djem (VII) image from Flickr user Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, used under Creative Commons License 2.0.