Look at trash in your household and think about what it means about your behaviors/life. Record quantities and types of trash from your household you will need to have data from at least two depositional locations (e.g. two rooms, or your house and a friend’s). Using the results of the data you collect, make graphs that compare trash in the two spaces, and then you will interpret behaviors in these two spaces in the report below.
(Notes: There is an optional activity replacement at the bottom of this assignment if you are too grossed out by the thought of touching your trash! Please discuss this assignment with roommates before you begin!)
Write your analysis:
Write a short paper (3-4 pages Times New Roman, double spaced. 1 inch margins) analyzing modern household trash. Present the data you collected from the trash deposits in tabular or graph format, analyze what you can infer from the trash/garbage about the life of household occupants, and discuss how an archaeologist would use this information to make conclusions about life in the year 2021. Discuss your analysis in the context of how an archaeologist might see your trash (citing information if you reference texts/lectures), and attach a bibliography (if cite sources). In your analysis consider the following questions:
What does the garbage tells you about material culture of your life, social behaviors, beliefs or rituals, identities, and who made up the residential group under study (age groups, occupations, special occasions, etc.).
What might be missing from these trash collections which would typically be part of the activities at that specific place/room.
Are all the different types of people and activities in these rooms of your household or dorm represented in the specific garbage collections you studied?
If you chose to compare your trash to a friends think about what the two assemblages might say about similarities and differences between your two lives.
Notes on citation style:
Cite your sources in text using an author-date format, like this: (Rathje and Murphy 2001). If you quote direct text you must cite page numbers, like this: (Rathje and Murphy 2001, 3). The bibliography must be included if you cite sources, but you are not required to do so.
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