AMU Challenges Archaeologists Face Backyard Archaeology Summersville Lake Discussion

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American Military University


Directions for 4-6 page Assignment:

  1. Choose one room of your home or a specific place in your community (playground, parking lot, restaurant). Visit and observe the site for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Map (photos, hand drawn and scanned, digitally created map) the site and describe the physical characteristics of the site.
  3. Collect and document artifacts. Describe the artifacts noting color, shape, weight, texture, quantity, material, and other features you think are important. Be objective as you examine the site, remember not to mention what it is in today's terms, but pretend you have do not recognize or have knowledge of the artifacts and site
  4. Using your imagination, what are some other purposes the artifacts and site might have? What conclusions can you draw about the origin of the artifacts, their use, and the purpose of the site?
  5. Using our course materials, what type of archaeological tools and methods would you want to use to help you interpret your artifacts and site?
  6. Reflect on some of the challenges archaeologists face in piecing together the past.
  7. Cite at least one of our course materials in your paper. This typically works best in steps 5 and/or 6.

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Explanation & Answer




Pictures/Photos of Summersville Lake
The site I observed was Summersville Lake, located in West Virginia. Summersville Lake is a
reservoir which has formed from a rock-fill dam on the Gauley River. Summersville Lake is the
largest lake in the state of West Virginia. The pictures below allow for a good view of the lake from a
aerial-like level, in addition to close to ground level picture. Many individuals visit this lake not only
to enjoy the view, however to also participate in water sports. These sports include kayaking,
boating, and swimming. With over 28,000 acres of water, this lake contains water of great quality,
and a shoreline of 60 miles. The maximum depth of the river stands around 330 ft. (“Summersville
Lake”, 2020).

Artifacts Found At Summersville Lake
While searching around Summersville Lake, not many exotic artifacts were found,
however some items which we could consider artifacts were found and inspected. One artifact I
found was a small broken shell. This shell was pretty crushed, however I was able to note that it
was of white/brown color, and was a spiral-like shape. The cone had a smooth texture on the
outside, and a bit rough texture on the inside. The shell although when weighed by me, was
about half an ounce, when it was in its full form it was most likely around three ounces.
In addition to this, another artifact was discovered, and this a...

Excellent! Definitely coming back for more study materials.


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