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1.2: Activity 1 - What Is an Archaeologist?

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    Amanda Wolcott Paskey and AnnMarie Beasley Cisneros
    Cosumnes River College and American River College

    When you registered for this class, you no doubt had some idea of what an archaeologist was. But you were surprised that your professor didn’t look like Indiana Jones or Lara Croft, right? This exercise asks you to illustrate your existing ideas about archaeologists and explain where you think those ideas came from.

    The completed assignment has two distinct parts:

    1. Create an illustration using drawing, painting, or images cut from a magazine to show what you think an archaeologist “should” look like. Be sure to place your archaeologist in a place where archaeologists would work. At a minimum, your illustration should include the following elements:
      • the person
      • their attire and accessories, including tools
      • the environment in which they work

    Your illustration is not being graded on artistic skills so feel free to unleash your inner artist!

    1. After you have created your illustration, write an explanation of why your archaeologist looks the way she/he does and where your ideas came from.

    a) Be sure to explain all the elements in your illustration (for example, the clothing and accessories you chose, the tools your archaeologist uses, the environment in which your archaeologist works and the activities chosen, and your archaeologist’s hair style, age, gender, and ethnicity and friends and hobbies). Your goal is to explain what a “typical” archaeologist is to you!

    Explain why you think the characteristics you depicted for your archaeologist are important. Think about where your ideas came from. Did you learn about archaeology in previous classes? Maybe you like watching “science” shows on TV or play video games about archaeologists. Perhaps you are an anthropology major. The goal is for you to articulate for your instructor where your existing perceptions of archaeologists came from.