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Chapter 1

ANTHRO 2C Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Expedition 5, Radiocarbon Dating, Stoneware

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Directions: After you have watched this documentary you should write a short story (no more
than 1000 words) in which the narrator is either one of the villagers or one of the ceramic jars
that is being excavated (the ceramics come alive - the power of fiction and archaeological
storytelling). In that story you should relate your feelings about these foreign archaeologists, how
they have changed the way you think about your past (or not), the disruptions or tensions that
they might have introduced , etc. In essence it should be a reflection on how your world has
changed with this unprecedented research project having come into your life.
Treat it like an imagined interview with the filmmakers (or the archaeologists) 10 years later. Act
out how they might reflect on these topics and the impact that this project has had. You will want
to script this out ahead of time - don't just try to wing it.
Your story/interview will be evaluated on the following criteria:
Ability to make connections to course themes and topics
Creativity in representing the voice of your chosen narrator and presenting that
individual/object with specific details
Good character development
Engaging backstory
Sense of who that person/thing is
Attention to ethnographic detail in descriptions of the project and its impact
Quality of the writing and the clarity of the prose
Well edited
Grammatically solid
A rare glimpse of life in the Lao People's Democratic Republic as it recovers its past and
prepares to face its future. In 1991 Lao and Australian archaeologists journeyed up the Mekong
to a remote village in north-eastern Laos. At Ban Xan Hai, "the village of the jar makers", they
excavate the site of pottery kilns used for the mass production of ceramics more than 600 years
ago. Since the revolution in 1975, Laos has had little contact with the outside world. Now its
doors are opening. The exchanges of culture, knowledge and expertise which take place during
the three months of the dig are a small taste of what is to come
Opening doors first time since 1975
Centuries of war and plunder
Starting to recover fragments of country
Expedition 5 days to get to their excavation site
Composed of white and laos people
Ban xang han population is only 500
arrival of the team will stretch the village’s resources to the limit
Ceramics use to be made in the village, but not any longer
There is no local history of when, who, how they were made
Hope archaeologists will find out these answers for them
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