Archaeology Project: Website Archaeology


You recently graduated from the University of Georgia, Department of Anthropology with a certificate in Archaeology. You find a job with the Archaeology Conservancy in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Conservancy has been acquiring and protecting archaeological sites in the United States for nearly 30 years. They have been very successful and are now ready to expand their mission on a more global scale looking at archaeological resources the world over. Their intention is to protect the heritage of disenfranchised peoples, protect human history, and further the scientific goal of understanding the human past. They have hired you to help expand their understanding of various archaeological projects in the United States and throughout the world. They are looking for new sites and locations that need protection and long term research potential. They need you to do independent research on how various archaeological projects organize their work in terms of research design, community outreach, public education, and heritage protection. Fortunately, many projects have websites, which describe what their research entails and how projects are organized.


The assignment:

Write a report reviewing at least 3 different archaeological projects from around the world. Below is a list of websites with several potential archaeological projects to look at. You must review at least 3 projects, but you may use more (remember to stay under the 6 page limit). You may also search the internet for different sites from the ones listed below.


Your report should start with a quick overview of each project. You will then need to address the questions and topics that are listed below. These questions are intended to help you start the writing process. You are more than welcome to discuss issues that go beyond the questions presented here. In addition, you will need to use your textbook and your notes when appropriate. To help the Conservancy, you need to rank the archaeological projects in terms of quality of work, potential for public use, threatened nature, and heritage importance.


Potential archaeological project websites:


Research Design:

1.     What are the research questions of the archaeological project? If they have no questions, what is the intended purpose of the archaeological project?


2.     Do the research questions have definite goals? Are these goals achievable in the short- run or are they more representative of long term research desires? Are you unable to assess these issues?


3.     How do they present their data? Do they describe their methods and techniques (in other words do they describe how they are digging)?


4.     Does the project have a concern for publication? Do they have data available online? Do they provide a list of project publications?


Community Outreach:

1.     Does the project discuss any interaction with local communities where the archaeological project is?


2.     Do they have any structured programs to interact with the local community?


3.     If not, do they instead involve governmental institutions? Do they collaborate with local archaeologists or scholars?


4.     If not, why do you think they have no interaction with local communities?


Public Education:

1.     Does this project have a component that attempts to get information out to an audience that is greater than the academic community (This can include the website itself)?


2.     Do they offer programs for students to learn archaeological methods and techniques? If yes, what does this educational component entail? Do they offer credit from an accredited university? If yes, how much credit and what is the cost? What is the purpose of this educational program?


3.     Do they offer opportunities for “amateur” volunteers to participate in an archaeological project? Are these free opportunities or do people have to pay for the chance to work with archaeologists? What do you think about this?


4.     Who is the intended audience of the website? What is the purpose of the project website, and what do you think the website authors hope to get from it? Why?


Heritage Protection:

1.     Does the project have a concern for protecting the archaeological resources they have or will have uncovered?


2.     Do they have a program that is intended to protect the archaeological site from looting, development, destruction, etc.?


3.     Or, is the project itself a salvage program in that they are trying to recover as much information as possible from an archaeological site that will inevitably be destroyed?


4.     If they are protecting the site, why are they trying to protect the site and for whom?


For Final Thoughts:

1.     What can you say about all of these projects as a whole?


2.     What does your analysis say about the purpose of archaeological research, the long term intentions of archaeological research and the potential for long term protection of cultural heritage? How or how not is archaeological research like this important to you and local communities?


Structure of the report:

Your first paragraph should be an introduction to the website project, discussing the point of the paper and preliminary statement of your conclusions. Then you should cover all of the above questions and topics for the assignment in a logical order. Feel free to expand beyond these questions but you must answer everything included here. Remember, to include your ranking of the archaeological websites. You should try to refer to class notes and the textbook to do this assignment. End the project with a conclusion, summarizing the conclusions and the reasons behind them.


This project report is to be four to six pages of typed text, one inch margins, double-spaced with no extra spaces between paragraphs, and 12 point Times New Roman font. If you include a title page, maps, images, graphs, etc., these do not count toward the final paper total. You must address all of the above questions and prompts, and you must refer to the class notes and textbook. Furthermore, citations are required internally as well as a work cited page. You will lose points if any of these directions are not followed.


I expect this report to be written in a scholarly manner. Therefore, I expect complete sentences, correct spelling, proper grammar, appropriate research paper organization, and a high standard of readability.

Must use textbook as source, can be found here: