Archaeology research paper outline

Auditory character areas included the open valley floor, the river zone and the eastern valley edge. A summary of the auditory character areas is given below. Open Valley Floor : few sources of sound wind, insects, shepherds and herders with their animals , sound dissipates easily, sounds are loosely interwoven, often monophonic or homophonic a particular sound dominant for much of the time.

People communicate more often with animals than with other people — almost talking to their animals. This continued close-proximity and communication with animals may contribute to identity. Rhythm is slow; nothing happens fast. River Zone : punctuated, medium complexity in terms of interweaving of sounds, a wider range of sounds than the open valley floor.

Sometimes just wind, water and insects, but punctuated with birds and more vibrant still when people use rivers as crossing places and animals congregate in the early afternoon at watering places.

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A place of transition between grassland and the meadows to the east and consequently the rhythm is variable often steady with the river, but it can change suddenly. Eastern Valley Edge location of tells : many sources of sound, a sound trap, tightly interwoven sounds, fast and lively, many birds, mammals, insects, people, most often polyphonic with similar rhythm at particular places from one day to next. Sound is a constant signal of the co-presence of other people and animals; there is almost always something happening.

Dominant sound that of birds, this could provide a new way of thinking about birds; their continued acoustic presence in certain areas contributes to the sense of place.


Sound can be thought of as an element of monumentality, particularly during the early phases of a tell where sound may be a more powerful signal of presence than physical verticality. There is a pronounced auditory contrast when moving away from this zone or off-tell to the river zone, the woodlands or valley floor. This transition may gain significance, in part, because of the change in the associated auditory experience.

For the Romanian case study, the association of sounds with Neolithic settlement tells is a significant component of understanding their use and location in the landscape; it is a new way of reconstructing Neolithic life. Furthermore, research concluded that particular sounds e. The aim is to ground sounds in the archaeological record and to consider their social significance by a careful consideration of the contexts and materiality of daily activities at the site.

By examining patterning within the archaeological record, research could identify the range and distribution of activities that could be heard within different spaces within buildings. Could tasks performed inside buildings be heard outside and vice versa? Could activities performed on roof spaces be heard across roof-scapes? Given the construction materials used and architectural techniques applied, do particular sounds carry further than others?

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To what extent do buildings dampen, reflect or channel sounds? Do some spaces have the potential to exhibit certain acoustic properties e. If yes, is there any evidence that such properties were utilised? In daily life, to what extent was sound a significant component in communicating sociality, to what extent was it a by-product? This was the aim of research in , in addition to providing the opportunity to meet and discuss ideas with other researchers on site. Three approaches were started in material documentation; experimental auditory archaeology; and reflexive auditory archaeology.

The product would be a database, potentially linked to a GIS, to show spatial patterning and variation. The data to populate such a database would be based on site surveys, artefact distributions, floral and faunal remains and architectural form and spatial organisation. Discussions with team members on site in suggested that there is potentially much available evidence for this approach. Experimental archaeology performed in the Experimental House, under the guidance of Mirjana Stevanovic and with the assistance of volunteers, aimed to record some of the acoustic qualities of architectural spaces and the variability in sounds associated with different tasks.

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Activities in the Experimental House coincided with preparation for the press day on Friday July 30 th and included: sweeping, polishing walls, making plaster, applying plaster, preparing a buchranium for display and repairing the platform Figs. As far as possible, the activities performed, the materials used and the techniques applied replicated those for which there is evidence from the Neolithic.

Recordings were made using an iRiver H digital sound recorder with binaural dynamic omni-directional microphones.

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  8. This set-up provides stereo digital recordings compatible for direct USB transfer to a PC environment for archiving and further processing. Volunteers performing different tasks wore the binaural microphones to record the activities as sound reaches the ears of the person thus engaged. Figures Activities in the Experimental House with volunteers wearing binaural microphones. These tasks included: sweeping, grinding, arranging materials in the spaces pottery, wooden vessels , talking and singing a form of scat language was made up to represent voices and singing. To explore spatial variation in sounds, volunteers were encouraged to use the different spaces within the House including the roof space and the storage areas.

    For this exercise microphones were placed in the centre of the House and the volunteers performed their tasks around the set-up. This arrangement provided the opportunity to record the layering effect of sounds associated with multi-tasking within the House. Another exercise was to ascertain if sounds can be heard through the walls of the Experimental House.

    The school parties who regularly visit the site and use the Coca-Cola area behind the House for making clay objects and who use the walls for painting, provided a useful source of external sounds see Fig Whilst the children and teachers were working outside, recordings were made at different locations within the House. A more structured study of this kind would provide useful data on the extent to which sounds of various kinds can or cannot pass through walls; this may have important implications for thinking about sound as a conveyor of community information and a signal of co-presence between buildings.

    Figure Children painting on the wall of the Experimental House could be clearly heard from inside. A third approach applied in was to encourage a reflexive auditory archaeology whereby archaeologists have the opportunity to think with sound. This took the form of discussions with team members exploring sound at the site both present and past, soundwalks around the site and making sound recordings of archaeologists engaged in excavations.

    Although sound is frequently considered an intangible component of places, particularly of past places, encouraging a dialogue about present-day sound at the site will help to raise an awareness of the significance of past sound and contributes towards the development of an appropriate language and methodology through which it can be studied.

    Outline the basic principles of archaeological excavation - Essay Example

    Sound recordings made at the Experimental House discussed earlier, represent only one individual building and we know the situation was different on the tell itself with buildings closely packed. One way to consider the sounds associated with tightly packed buildings is to make sound recordings on the site where archaeologists are excavating in and between buildings, that is, to record archaeologists at work.

    An exercise of this kind was conducted in the Area working with Ruth Tringham and her team. Again, those engaged in the activities wore binaural microphones to get the closest auditory record of the task in hand Figs. It is recognised that activities on site today are not directly comparable to past activities. They can, however, provide a way into thinking about the sociality of sounds associated with working in close spaces, not only in terms of physical activities digging, building, cleaning, scraping, moving materials and using tools of various kinds but also for communication in these spaces involving teamwork, co-operation, decision-making, delegating and even perhaps arguing!

    Further research would aim to continue and refine the three threads of enquiry introduced above, to begin an ethno-archaeological study in surrounding villages and to instigate an archaeo-acoustic approach for investigating the auditory qualities of spaces within and between buildings. Implementation of the material documentation of sounds, using the distribution of material culture and architecture across the site as source data, will commence proper producing a database linked to a GIS and having the ability to map potential auditory character areas within the site.

    This approach has been developed and is being applied to other projects I am concurrently engaged in in Romania and Cornwall. The abstract summarizes the research, the results, and the conclusions.

    An abstract is not a statement of what you are going to do, but what you have done in the paper. Tip: write the abstract twice, once before you begin writing the paper to clarify your thinking about the question or questions you are trying to answer, and again after you are done with the paper and you know how it all came out.

    The first paragraph of your paper is important. It must introduce your subject, topic, and hypothesis, discuss the significance of the problem, describe your research, and give an outline of your conclusions. After the introduction each paragraph should follow in a smooth logical sequence. Your last paragraph is equally important because it summarizes your findings and convinces the reader that your conclusions are supported by the evidence.

    State your conclusions clearly in the first sentence of the last paragraph. Write a detailed outline before you begin your research. As you work, consult the outline frequently, adding to it, turning it from a subject outline to a sentence outline, and ultimately expanding it to full paragraphs. Once you start writing, bear in mind that one draft of your paper is inadequate.

    Experienced writers write many drafts, typically three or more. Include a title page and an abstract; double space everything; paginate the text; use headings and subheadings to divide the text; make sure that every citation in the text is in the bibliography and vice versa; use dates consistently and explain conventions e. Keep your writing simple and use declarative sentences and direct verbs, avoiding the passive voice e.

    Cite only the references you use. Do not cite titles that you have not read or consulted. Use primary sources such as published books and articles in peer-reviewed journals, and limit your use of secondary sources such as textbooks, dictionaries, and encyclopedias. If a source has not been subjected to peer review or editorial control, you should be skeptical of its contents. Remember that web sites, blogs, and similar sources may be unfiltered opinion and not data. Always provide sufficient detail for the reader to know where you obtained your information, and include the author, year of publication, place of publication, and specific page numbers.

    Specific page numbers for large books must be cited.

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    For web sites include the author s , date of creation, and the complete URL address. End notes are generally preferred to footnotes, and are placed at the end of the text and before the bibliography. Citations in the text are placed in parentheses immediately following the information you are referencing. The entry in the bibliography corresponding with this citation is Potter, Timothy W. New York: St. Figures maps, plans, photographs, or other images are grouped at the end of the paper, each with a number and a caption explaining the figure and identifying the source.

    Figures are not window dressing: each should add something to your paper. A map is useful for putting archaeological sites in context, and other images should convey information that cannot be adequately expressed in words alone.

    Educational Archaeology topics that will be helpful to students

    Photographs or drawings may be used to show the details of a building or an artifact being described in the text. Graphs, charts, and tables should be used sparingly. A simple line graph depicting declining rainfall in the Bronze Age may show the severity of a drought affecting the Mycenaeans more clearly than the presentation of quantitative data in a table.

    When you are finished, have someone read your abstract, or the whole paper, and comment on it. Are your arguments logical? Are they supported by the evidence? Do you present only positive evidence to support your hypothesis this weakens a paper , or do you consider negative evidence in an attempt to challenge the hypothesis always best? Do not commit plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious offense.

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    Your paper must be your work entirely with your own thoughts, ideas, and words.