Analysis of Cultural Artifacts

Analysis of Cultural Artifacts

Directions: You will write two of these analysis papers over the course of this session. Each assignment needs to take ONE cultural artifact and analyze it as an archeologist would. You will find the information in the Introductory Module regarding writing research papers useful in helping you analyze. You must analyze at least two of the following types of cultural artifacts. Do not write about multiple artifacts. Choose one artifact to analyze. For example, for one paper you may write an analysis of a piece of architecture from ancient times. For your second paper, you may choose to analyze a piece of art from the Renaissance.
Architecture (buildings, churches, monuments, tombs, etc.)
Art (paintings, murals, frescos, sculptures, stained glass, etc.
Literature/Music (creative works: musical compositions, poetry, plays, stories, etc.)
Treatises (written non-fiction documents on Religion, Philosophy, History, etc.)
Each analysis should come from a different era or period covered in the readings and viewings. You can finish these in any order you wish, but you must fulfill the breadth requirements in terms of types of artifacts and eras. You must write on artifacts from two different eras.
Your analysis needs to look at the cultural artifact as an archeologist would, analyzing what it means and how it reflects the cultural values from the era and society in which it was made. Each analysis must include the following sections:
A detailed description of the cultural artifact: what it looks like, how it is put together, how it was made.
Some background of the culture that produced the artifact. Your emphasis is on what the artifact tells us about the culture, not on what course materials or some other history book tells you about the artifact.
A well-argued analysis of what the work tell us about the culture from which it arose using details from the artifact and known information about the culture. You must also use a scholarly article to discuss other theories about the artifact and what it tells us about the culture that created it. Consider what the significance of the work was for the people who first saw/heard/read it.
You must include outside research on each of your Analysis papers.
Forbidden Sources: DO NOT USE dictionaries, Wikipedia/Wikis of any kind, or study sites like gradesavers, cliffsnotes, sparknotes, etc. Do not use sources designed for students or teachers in grades K-12 on historical eras, the artifacts, or the cultures.
Appropriate Sources:
Scholarly Sources: For your analysis, you must use scholarly sources from legitimate academic journals. A journal is a magazine for scholars. They produce articles on a number of topics. You must use the JSTOR or other academic database from TMCC’s library for your scholarly source. You only need two scholarly sources (in addition to citing the work itself) for each analysis.
Sources that Present your Artifact in More Detail: You may also use a source to allow you to look in more detail at the cultural artifact you are discussing. Quite a few of the artifacts mentioned in your course materials are not mentioned in enough detail. A source that looks at the details will help you do your assignment better. Legitimate sources for the artifacts could include a tourist site for architecture, or an online museum site for a piece of art Literature, Music and Treatises of ancient works can often be found online at museum, college/university websites, and other scholarly locations. Do not resort to forbidden sources for this especially Wikis or K-12 resources.
If you are unclear whether you are looking at legitimate sources, ask me and I will let you know.
Formatting: Each analysis should be 3-4 pages long, double-spaced with NO extra space between paragraphs. The first line of each paragraph should be indented no more than one half inch. Use MLA format to format your heading and title on the first page, page numbers, and works cited list. Your MLA heading on the first page only should list my name as Dr. Jill Channing as that is my official title. Do not include a title page for these papers. The works cited page does not count in the analysis page total. That is just an additional page. You must complete three pages for your analysis. You may include a picture of your cultural artifact. It must be no more than 1/6th of a page size (3.25” wide by 3” high). If you include a picture of your artifact, be sure that your text wraps around it so that it does not create unnecessary white space on your page. The image does not count toward the page total. If you use one, your paper should be longer than three pages.
Grading: They are worth 150 points each. Their purpose is to get you analyzing great works of human achievement in relation to specific historical and social contexts. This analysis should be 3-4 pages long and should be thorough. You need at least two scholarly sources to support/extend/inform your analysis. You must also include a primary source of the cultural artifact for further information than what you find in course readings. These sources must follow the guidelines above. The artifact you analyze must be mentioned in the course materials or in the grid at the end of this assignment description to qualify for the assignment. Do not analyze an artifact that is not related to course material or time periods that we study. People are not artifacts. You must choose a particular archeological work, art piece, musical composition, fiction, poetic or non-fiction text. You may analyze 2-3 poems by the same poet for this assignment. Remember that treatises are the texts themselves. They must have been produced during the time period to qualify for this assignment.
Cultural Artifact Ideas: The following are examples of artifacts. Make sure to use one of each of the categories along the top row and four different cultures from the left column. At the end of the assignment sheet, I have included a worksheet for you to keep track of your choices. These are not all the possibilities. Pay attention to your readings for more options. Do some preliminary research on smaller items to make sure there is enough out there for you to analyze.
Culture
Architecture
Art
Literature/Music
Treatises
Paleolithic / Neolithic
· Stonehenge
· Jericho
· Hall of the Bulls
· Venus of Willendorf
· Female Figurines
Mesopotamia
· The White Temple at Uruk.
· Abu Temple Statues
· Epic of Gilgamesh
· The Law Code of Hammurabi
Ancient Egypt
· Pyramids, Gizeh
· The Sphinx
· Temple of Ramses
· Narmer Pallette
· Bust of Queen Nefertiti
· Love Songs
· The Book of the Dead
· “Hymn to the Sun”
Prehistoric Aegean
· Knossos
· Lion Gate
· The Treasury of Atreus
· Landscape with Swallows
· Bull Leaping Fresco
· Snake Goddess
Early Greece
· Temple of Hera, Paestum
· Panathenaic amphora
· Geometric Krater from Dipylon
· Life size sculptures
· The Iliad
· The Odyssey
· Sappho’s poems
· Theogony/Hesiod
· The Way of Truth/Parmenides
· Histories/ Herodotus
Classical Greece
· The Acropolis
· The Parthenon
· Erechtheum
· Temple of Athena/Nike
· Theodorus
· Altar of Zeus
· Pericles, marble bust
· The Three Goddesses
· Nike adjusting sandal
· Warrior
· Discus Thrower
· Spear Bearer
· Aphrodite of Cnidus
· Alexander the Great
· Laocoon and his sons
One of:
· Aeshylus’s plays
· Sophocles’ plays
· Euripides’ plays
· Aristophanes’ plays
One of:
· Thucydides’ Histories
· Galen’s art essays or medical works
· Plato’s Dialogues
· Aristotle’s Philosophical works
Culture
Architecture
Art
Literature/Music
Treatises
Rome
· Etruscan Temple
· Markets of Trajan
· Temple of Portunis
· Arch of Titus
· Altar of Augustan Peace
· Pont du Gard
· The Colliseum
· Trajan’s Column
· Khaznah
· Basilica Nova
· Apollo of Veii
· Capitoline Wolf
· Bust of Cicero
· Musicians in a boat
· Augustus of Prima Porta
· Marcus Aurelius on horseback
· Colossal head of Constantine
· Gardenscape, Villa of Livia
· Catullus’ poems
· Virgil’s The Aeneid
· Sulpicia’s poems
· Horace’s “Carpe Diem”
· Juvenal’s Satire III
· Ovid’s Metamorphoses
· Julius Caesar’s De bello civili
· Cicero’s On Duties
· Lucretius’ On the Nature of Things
· Seneca’s On the Tranquility of the Mind
· Epictetus’ Enchiridion
· Mark Aurelius’ Meditations
· one of Pliny the Younger’s Letters
Ancient India & China
· Citadel Ruins, Mohenjo-daro
· Great Stupa
· Vishvanatha Temple
· The Great Wall
of China
· Fengxian Temple
· Robed male figure
· Shiva as Nataraja
· Lion Capital
· Krishna & Radha
· The Fasting Buddha
· Buddha calling Earth
· Army of Shihuangdi
· Night Shining White
· The Mahabharata
· Li Bai’s poems
· Li Qingzhao’s poems
· Brihad-Aranyaka Upanishad
· The Bhagavad Gita
· The Rig-Veda
· one of Buddha’s sermons
· Confuscius’ teachings
· The Daodejing
Rise of Biblical Tradition
· Arch of Titus
· Synagogue in Dura Europus
· Old Saint Peter’s Basilica
· Church of the Holy Sepulcher
· Frescos at Dura-Europus Synagogue
· The Good Shepherd, Saints Pietro
· Chi-rho monogram
· The Good Shepherd Vatican
· Jonah’s Sarcophagus
· The Blind Harper
· The Hebrew Bible
· The Christian Bible/New Testament
· Tacitus’ Annals
Early Christianity: Ravenna and Byzantium
· The Hagia Sophia
· Mausoleum of Galla Placida
· Sant’Apollinare Nuovo
· San Vitale Church
· Saint Catherine’s Monestary
· Christ as Good Shepherd
· Baptisteries
· Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes
· Christ Enthroned
· Maximian’s Throne
· Christ Pantocrator
· Saint Augustine’s Confessions, The City of God.
· Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy.
· Procopius’ Secret History
Islam
· Dome of the Rock
· Great Mosques at Damascus, Cordoba or Samarra’
· The Alhambra
· Hihrab from the Madrasa Imami
· Maqsud of Kashan’s Ardabil carpet
· The Story of Bayad and Riyad
· The Thousand and One Nights
· Omar Khayyam’s The Ruvaiyat
· The Qu’ran
· Jalal Ad-Din Muhammad Rumi’s fable
· Rabi’ah Al-Adawiyah Al-Qaysiyya’ meditations
Medieval Culture
· Palatine Chapel
· Church of Saint Michael
· Saint Sernin
· Cathedral of Saint-Lazare
· Purse Cover
· Saint Matthew from 800-835 CE
· The Four Evangelists
· Crucifixion
· Adam and Eve Reproached
· Bayeux Tapestry
· Reliquary of Charlemagne
· “Victimae paschali Laudes”
· Beowulf
· Roswitha’s Conversion of the Harlot Thais
· Everyman
· The Song of Roland
· Venerable Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation
· Von Bingen’s Scivias or Causae et Curae
Culture
Architecture
Art
Literature/Music
Treatises
High Middle Ages
· Laon Cathedral
· Notre Dame
· Chartres Cathedral
· Sainte-Chapelle
· Chess piece
· a stained glass piece from one cathedral
· Tympaneum
· Gargoyles of ND
· Jamb Figures
· Vinter’s Window
· La Beau Dieu
· Students
· Scenes from the Life of St. Francis
· The Triumph of St. Thomas Aquinas
· De Peiteus’ “A New Song for New Days
· De Ventaforn’s “When I see a Skylark Moving.”
· Beatriz, “My Heart is Heavy
· The Romance of the Rose
· Maimonides’ Letter
· St. Francis’ “The Canticle of Brother Sun”
· Aquinas’ Summa Theologica
The 14th Century
· Palazzo Pubblico
· Doges Palace
· Gloucester Cathedral
· Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
· Pulpit of the Baptistery
· Annunciation, Nativity, and the Adoration of the Shepherds
· Madonna Enthroned
· Arena Chapel
· Lamentation
· Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints
· Life of Jesus
· Annunciation
· Peaceful City
· Boccaccio’s tales in the Decameron
· Dante’s Divine Comedy
· Petrarch’s sonnets
· Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales
· de Machaut’s “Messe de Notre Dame, Credo”
· Boccaccio’s prologue to the Decameron
· Christine de Pisan’s The Book of the City of Ladies, The Treasure of the City of Ladies, or The Book of Peace
The 15th Century
· Florence Cathedral
· Hospital of the Innocents
· Pazzi Chapel
· Oalazzo Rucellai
· Botticelli’s Adoration of the Magi
· Van Eyck’s Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife
· The Well of Moses
· Les Tres Riches Heures
· Campin’s altarpiece
· Van Eyck’s altarpiece
· Sacrifice of Isaac
· Saint George
· David
· Fabriano’s Adoration of the Magi
· Masaccio’s The Holy Trinity
· Tribute Money
· Expulsion of Adam and Eve
· Angelico’s The Annunciation
· The Battle of San Romano
· Resurrection
· Primavera
· The Birth of Venus
· Botticelli’s Adoration of the Magi
· Medici’s “Song of Bacchus”
· Fra Savonarola’s Sermon
· Mirandola’s Oration on the Dignity of Man
· Laura Cereta’s Letters
· Machiavelli’s The Prince
· Erasmus’s The Praise of Folly
Culture
Architecture
Art
Literature/Music
Treatises
High Renaissance
· Medici Chapel
· St. Peter’s Basilica
· Palazzo Chiericati
· Michelangelo’s Moses, Pieta, David, Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, or Night
· Da Vinci’s Last Sup-per, Madonna of the Rocks, or Mona Lisa
· Raphael’s Madonna of the Meadow or Philosophy
· Venus of Urbino
· Tintoretto’s The Last Supper
· Entombment
· Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time
· Noli Me Tangere
· A Game of Chess
· Abduction of the Sabine Women
· The Burial of the Count of Orgaz
· Perseus Holding the Head of Medusa
· “Missa Papae Marcelli Credo”
· Michelangelo’s sonnets
· Vittoria Colonna’s sonnets
· Veronica Franco’s Poems in Terza Rima
· Da Vinci’s Letter of Application to Sforza
· Catiglione’s Book of the Courtier
· Veronica Franco’s Letters.
· Cellini’s Autobiography
Below is a worksheet for you to make sure you write your analysis papers two types of artifact and from different cultures. Write the artifact in the space below. You should have a different piece in at least two columns.
Culture
Architecture
Art
Literature/Music
Treatises
Paleolithic/Neolithic
Mesopotamia
Ancient Egypt
Prehistoric Aegean
Early Greece
Classical Greece
Rome
Ancient India
Ancient China
Rise of Biblical Tradition
Early Christianity
Islam
Medieval Culture
High Middle Ages
14th Century
15th Century
High Renaissance in Italy

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