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ANT201H5S World Prehistory



Students are asked to complete the following assignments:

  • Annotated Bibliography (15% of course grade) Due by 11:59PM, Sun., Jan. 31.
  • Research Assignment (30% of course grade) Due by 11:59 PM, Sun., Mar. 28.

Assignment 1 - Annotated Bibliography

This assignment calls on you to use the electronic research resources of the Library at the University of Toronto Mississauga to locate three (3) reliable sources of information on the topic of prehistoric symbolic behaviour. At least one (1) of these sources of information must come from a peer-reviewed journal.

Your annotated bibliography should:

1. Provide proper citation for three (3) reliable sources of information using the formats of the American Psychological Association;
2. Demonstrate that you have clearly understood the topics discussed within each source of information, and any arguments or conclusions presented by the author(s);
3. Each citation should be followed by two (2) short paragraphs: the first paragraph should briefly summarize the goals and findings of the authors; the second paragraph should evaluate the usefulness of this source in informing your understanding of prehistoric human behaviour;
4. Be well-organized, typewritten and double-spaced: six (6) paragraphs in total, and no more than 1000 words;
5. Please include a title page with your name and student number in your submission.

How to Write an Annotated Bibliography

Assignment 2 - Research

This assignment calls on you to identify an important development in material culture, and to outline how it provides evidence informing our understanding of changes in one or multiple aspects of prehistoric human behaviour.

The subject(s) you choose can be any aspect of the human past that you find interesting. Potential areas of research could include, but are not limited to:

  • Tool use and cognitive abilities of early humans and other primates
  • Hunting, gathering, social organization and gender
  • Human dispersal(s), interactions and gene flow between archaic Homo species
  • Emergence of symbolic behaviour, abstract ideas and possible developments in language
  • Ritual, religion and different ways of envisioning and being in the world
  • Prehistoric use of mind-altering substances such as alcohol, cannabis or peyote
  • Ecological niche construction, sedentism and domestication of plants and animals
  • Resource accumulation, social inequality, occupational specialization, and urbanization

The following questions may be useful in stimulating your thinking in choosing a subject:

  • What are range of dates and geographic region(s) that are relevant to your subject?
  • What do you hope to demonstrate through your research efforts?
  • What is your hypothesis and / or theoretical framework?
  • What findings from other regions might illuminate findings from your main area of interest?
  • Do you think the development in material culture you have identified was a single trigger, or one of a number of influences in changing human behaviour?
  • Or, is this development in material culture a byproduct of changes already underway?

You can choose either of these two types: an argumentative research paper; or an analytical research paper.

Argumentative Essays and Analytical Papers