Joseph B. Lambert
Published by Perseus Books
Publication date: 1998
ISBN: 0738200271 (paperback)
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When British archaeologists discovered a Viking ship burial at Sutton Hoo, Sussex, in the late 1930s, they were surprised to find no signs of human remains; only through the chemical study of the acidic soil could signs of a body be found. The use of chemistry has enabled archaeologists to pinpoint the origins of ancient Egyptian monuments, discover some causes for the decline of the Roman empire, and date the remains of the earliest protohominids. In Traces of the Past, chemist Lambert introduces readers to this happy alliance of science and history.
Using tests such as carbon dating, color analysis, and elemental fingerprinting, chemists can determine what prehistoric humans ate, where the stones of Stonehenge came from, and if artifact is real or fake. Traces of the Past takes us step by step through this process of discovery, as it helps reconstruct ancient trade routes-how did amber get from the Baltic area to Belize?-or discloses what prehistoric cultures were really like-were certain bowls for eating or for show? An entertaining and accessible book for any reader intrigued by the interplay of science and history
Using tests such as carbon dating, color analysis, and elemental fingerprinting, chemists can determine what prehistoric humans ate, where the stones of Stonehenge came from, and if an artifact is real or fake. An entertaining and accessible book for anyone intrigued by the interplay of science and history, "Traces of the Past" takes readers step by step through this process of discovery.
I want to know that you actually read the book before writing your paper. I will reassure myself by means of the following scheme. When you decide that you are going to read the book, come to me and I will give you a bookmark containing three sentences. As you read, you will spot these sentences and write their page numbers on the bookmark. Each bookmark will be different, so you can't just copy someone else's bookmark. Your bookmark must have your name and my signature on it. Turn in your bookmark with your paper as evidence that you actually read the book.
For this project you will write a 4-6 page paper on a topic discussed in the book. It should be typewritten and double-spaced using a not-unreasonably-large font. Turn in two copies of your paper, one for my files and one which will be returned to you. Your paper is not a book report. It should not simply summarize points from the book. Rather, it should formulate a thesis and then support this thesis using examples from the book. You may address one of the following topics or make up your own.
I will grade your paper in the same manner and on the same scale as I do the Rhetoric Proficiency Exam. 0-3 is failing and 4-6 is passing on this scale. You may seek advice from the writing center. If you fail you may revise your paper and resubmit it. However, just as with other projects, you may attempt only one project per day.