Archaeology: Introduction paper

Papers for archaeological focus on comparing newspaper and magazine accounts of archaeological research and the underlying professional journal articles. Scientific reporting, even when accurate, may simplify, sensationalize, or overinterpret the results of archaeological studies. Your task is to critique the news coverage of archaeological research based on your reading of the original study. Three topics/sets that include a journal article and associated newspaper/magazine coverage are linked below. Pick ONE set for your paper.

Write a 4 page paper addressing the following:

1. Briefly summarize both articles. Your summary of the journal article should be more extensive than the one for the news coverage. Are there aspects of the research article that are missing in the news coverage? Are there any uncertainties in interpretation or implications of the research mentioned in the journal article that are overlooked in the news coverage? ? If so, why might they be unreported?

2. Assess the quality of the news coverage. Does it accurately represent the underlying research? Does it sensationalize the findings in anyway? Were any outside experts not involved in the research consulted? If so, how are their insights incorporated? Does the news coverage explain why the particular findings are important for larger issues of understanding ancient history or human behavior?


1. Papers must be typed, double-spaced, and 4 pages in length. Margins must be 1” all around. Use a common 12-point font.

2. References must be cited in the text and a reference page must be included. Pick a citation format and use it properly (APA style is typically preferred in the social sciences). Citations should include at minimum the newspaper/magazine account and journal article you chose to examine. Research on related articles is not necessary, but may assist you in your comparison. The reference page does not count toward the page limit.

3.Papers need to have comparison and summary of the articles, discussion of additional questions posed in the prompt, and presentation. Papers should be well proofread and clearly written. And properly attribute any quoted passages or uncommonly known facts. Enclose another author’s words in quotation marks and identify the author in the text and on the reference page.And paper must include your concise summary of the articles, identification of differences between the journal articles and news coverage, and assessment of the quality of the news reporting.


Topic 1: Geological Methods to Measure Human Populations

White, A., Munoz, S., Schroeder, S., & Stevens, L. (n.d.). After Cahokia: Indigenous Repopulation and Depopulation of the Horseshoe Lake Watershed AD 1400–1900. American Antiquity, 1-16.

Maddox, Teri. 2020. Ancient poop gives insight into Native American life after Cahokia was abandoned. Belleville News-Democrat, January 29, 2020.…

(Fun fact, the lead author of the American Antiquity article took this class as a first-year in 2008. Also, note “n.d.” instead of a numerical year in the citation is correct. This article was just accepted for publication recently. It has not been assigned to a journal issue yet. So use “n.d.” in place of a year in your citations.)

Topic 2: Ancient Hominins at High Elevations

Chen, F., Welker, F., Shen, C. et al. (2019). A late Middle Pleistocene Denisovan mandible from the Tibetan Plateau. Nature 569,409–412.

Zimmer, Carl. 2019. Denisovan Jawbone Discovered in a Cave in Tibet. The New York Times, May 1, 2019.…

Topic 3: Archaeobotany and the Origins of Bread

Arranz-Otaegui, A., Gonzalez Carretero, L., Ramsey, M. N., Fuller, D. Q., & Richter, T. (2018). Archaeobotanical evidence reveals the origins of bread 14,400 years ago in northeastern Jordan. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115(31), 7925-7930.

Zeldovich, Lina. (2018). 14,000-Year-Old Piece Of Bread Rewrites The History of Baking and Farming. National Public Radio: The Salt, July 24, 2018.…

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