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4.2: Activity 1 - Artifacts... What Are They Good For?

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    Jess Whalen, Mt. San Jacinto College

    1. An artifact is anything that was made, modified, or used by humans in the past. Pick three things in this classroom, in your bag, or on your body that are artifacts. What can we tell about these objects from their properties?
    Object What can we tell about the object or how it was used from its properties? Stick to the physical features of the object, elements of its design, and traces of wear or residue that can provide clues about how it was used.
    Object #1  
    Object #2  
    Object #3  
    1. Find two artifacts that take on a different meaning when they are in the context of the classroom. Describe its function and meaning in this context and its function and meaning in another context. Compare your ideas with another student. Be prepared to share with the class.
      Meaning and function in a classroom context Meaning and function in another context
    Object #1   In the context of ____________________ (fill in), what is the function and meaning of this object?
    Object #2   In the context of ____________________ (fill in), what is the function and meaning of this object?
    1. What objects in this classroom could tell future archaeologists about our daily lives? Think about our health, our activity level, and any clues about where we live and how far we travel to school and work, etc. How could the object inform future archaeologists about our lives today?
    2. Can any of the items you have examined or see in the classroom inform archaeologists about our beliefs, values, and other cultural ideas? How and why could these objects reveal information about what we think and how we believe we should behave?

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