whca1 Mr. Skubal
Shawano Community Middle School U.S. History Instructor
Due Date: October 10, 2000
Earn addtional ten points if you are an "Early Bird"
Due Date:September 27, 2000


During this first quarter, we have seen how early civilization in the Americas originated from a migration conducted by the ancestors of the Native Americans. This use of the land bridge between Asia and North America allowed early man to inhabit the Americas and develop their unique cultures based on geographical location.
While these cultures developed, back in Europe increased trade brought highly sought-after trade goods to eager consumers. The Crusades (a series of Religious wars fought over the Holy Sites) caused disruption of this trade and led explorers from Portugal, Spain and other countries to seek alternate routes.
Today, archeologists and anthropologists seek to answer questions about these early American civilizations by using scientific methods to locate and evaluate artifacts. Hopefully, they can determine much about the early cultures in the areas of housing, religion, food, social structures, education and other relevant topics.
You are going to use their techniques to locate an artifact. Once located, you will develop accurate data about the civilization and create a piece of pottery depicting your vision of this culture based on the artifact.

                      PHASE 1

Use the following website – http://borealis.lib.uconn.edu/archnet/topical/theory/sampling/sampling.html

As you open this website, it will display three different types of sampling done by archaeologists to locate sites. They include systematic, random and judgmental. Illustrations demonstrating them are available. You are to work your way through each of the samplings and answer the following questions.
1. Why is it not possible to excavate the total site?
2. What percent of the Farmington River site was excavated?
3. Using the systematic approach, what percent of all the units had artifacts?
4. Using the random approach, what percent of all the units had artifacts?
5. Using the judgmental approach, what percent of all the units had artifacts?  What was bad about this method? Why was judgmental most effective at THIS location?

Now, go on to Part 2 called, “Undiscovered Country.”
1. Which method do you think will be most effective in locating artifacts?
2. What were the actual results for your choice?
3. Which method turned out to be most effective?

                     PHASE 2

You need to review the chart that was developed in class called Cultural Comparison Chart. This chart provides basic information about major ancient civilizations that developed in the Americas. We are most concerned about the information dealing with Mesoamerican (Middle America) cultures such as the Aztec and Maya.
Write a short essay about each of the two cultures using the information from the chart. After each essay, include either a drawing or website picture of something that would represent each of the two cultures.

                        PHASE 3

In the display case there are several artifacts found by archaeologists. Our goal is to determine from which of the two civilizations these artifacts came from.  To do this, you need to review the following websites. The purpose is to look for similar objects, drawings, buildings, facial figures or historical activities that might help one to pinpoint the particular culture.

Please see Phase three links below.

Questions to be answered-
1. Look at the figures on the masks in the display case. Then list any objects on the masks you recognize as being important. Describe why they are important to this culture.
2. Look closely at the green, round object. Why does the person in the middle have his tongue stretched out?
3. After looking closely at the figure with the warrior and bird, which civilization had a creation story about eagles, feathered serpents and a city being founded where an eagle landed in a cactus?
4. This archeological site where the artifacts were located was at……………… Look at the clay, idealized figurine. Explain how you can tell which civilization made this based on the clay.

                   PHASE 4

You are going to make a piece of pottery out of clay or other materials. On the container, include designs that represent the culture you think these artifacts came from. Feel free to use your creativity and talent to include colors, patterns, etc. Be sure to be able to explain them.

                      PHASE 5

In booklet form, include the questions and answers from each part. The cover page should have the name of the civilization you feel these artifacts came from. Name, class period and date are essential. Within the booklet, also include the short essays. Hand this booklet in to your teacher along with the piece of pottery you have made.                

                    ANCIENT AMERICA

As the students are exposed to the Ancient America information, they will be looking at North, Central and South American cultures and comparing them. Much of that which makes up a culture is based on geographic location, natural resources that are available and development of a social pattern that is conducive to survival. The Maya, Aztec, Inca, Anasazi (Hopi) and Natchez all have unique traits along with common practices.

Performance Objectives-

1. Compare similarities and difference in how various civilizations met human needs.
2. Explain and give examples of how language, literature, the arts, architecture, artifacts, traditions, beliefs, values and behaviors contribute to the development and transmission of a culture.
3. Identify characteristics that allow a civilization to survive – raise and store food, complex social organization and government, cities and large governmental structures, some form of writing, successful community projects.


1. Students will conduct research on an individual ancient civilization. They will complete charts that deal with religion, families, food, clothing, shelter, transportation, government, education, arts and crafts and history. This can be a team approach.
2. A group essay will be completed using the acquired information. Each member will write at least 1-2 of the paragraphs. Each paragraph must have 4-5 sentences.
3. The report will be delivered to the class who will place the information on their individual charts.
4. Each group will complete a model of a structure that represents one facet of their assigned civilization.

1. Completeness and accuracy of the chart.
2. Self-evaluation of their contributions to the group success.
3. Quality of the group essay and model.
Useful links
Last updated  2008/09/28 05:13:05 PDTHits  288