Home: The Story of Maine

"A Part of the Main": European Settlement of the Mainland
Lesson 4: A Field Trip to the Maine State Museum
Assignment Sheet 4

Archaeologists study the past by examining what ancient cultures leave behind. One of the many things that archaeologists examine is an ancient culture’s technology. What kinds of tools did they use? What were they made of? How did these tools affect the ways they ate, fought, lived, and died? Our culture has its own tools and technologies. We use computers, microwave ovens, refrigerators, televisions, automobiles, and airplanes—the list is long. What do our technologies say about us?

Imagine that you are an archaeologist in the year 3500. You have just uncovered the remains of a tool from a site that dates from about 2000 A.D. What does the tool look like? What does it tell you about the ancient culture in Maine at this time? What conclusions do you make? Write a description and an analysis of the tool, from the point of view of the archaeologist. The expectations for your essay are outlined below.

A. As the futuristic archaeologist, you should:

  1. Describe the tool you find in detail, including how it was found, what material it is made of, how big it is, what color it is, etc.
  2. Give your best guess as to how the tool was used, supporting your guess with evidence from the description of the tool.
  3. Sketch the tool.
  4. Compare the tool to a similar tool used by your culture in the year 3500.
B. Your paper should:
  1. Be 2-3 pages long, typed, and double-spaced.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of how technology shapes culture.
  3. Be well written, with minimal errors in grammar and punctuation.
C. Grading Rubric:

An A paper will:

  • Meet all the requirements outlined in sections A and B.
  • Demonstrate an excellent understanding of how technology shapes culture.
  • Show an outstanding, creative effort.

A B paper will:

  • Meet all the requirements outlined in section A and requirements 1-2 of section B.
  • Demonstrate a solid understanding of how technology shapes culture.
  • Show a very good effort.

A C paper will:

  • Meet requirements 1-3 of section A and 1-2 of section B.
  • Demonstrate a poor understanding of how technology shapes culture.
  • Show a solid effort.
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