Fully 15% of the grade for this course is constituted by your work on the site you choose from among those we will encounter:
- 10% on your paper about your site (3-4 pages, exclusive of bibliography, diagrams, and maps); these should be e-mailed to your professor no later than four days prior to departure;
- 5% on your oral site report you will give to the group when we are at the site.
What should a site paper and site report mention?
Here are some ideas, but this list is neither definitive nor exhaustive. The best way to approach this assignment is to answer the questions you would be likely to ask of a tour guide.
- Why is this site historically important? Just because we have as much of it preserved as we do, or did something interesting happen involving this?
- Is some particular event or person associated with this site? (Esp. some event or person we encounter in the course)
- Describe the main features of this site, artistically or archaeologically.
- How did this site look in antiquity? How do we know that? (Picture on coins, literary passage, etc.)
- How did it come to look the way it does now? (Use the “Chronological terms” from the take-home exam.) How was this used, both originally and subsequently?
Oral Presentation Tips
- Don’t rattle off too many facts of mind-numbing specificity, about dates, names, and the like. So no need to dump on us “This was dedicated April 12, 1538” when “This was dedicated in the mid-1500’s” would suffice. (You should be more specific in your site paper.) Reciting lists of numerical data that any of us could find on our own has not been known to be helpful (like “This structure is 17.4 meters long by 21.3 meters wide, with a maximal height of 11.5 meters. Each column is 6.4 meters high….”).
- For any information you do include, make sure you understand what you are saying. For example, if you say “This was constructed as distyle in antis” or This was destroyed by the Herulians,” then you jolly well had better understand what you’re saying. We’ll ask questions.
- Don’t give just a list of (even rounded-off) facts. Any good tour guide knows more about a site than the guide shows to those on the tour. A tour guide needs to find a narrative thread or two.
- Don’t hesitate to employ a diagram with relevant parts marked, since many of these sites are worn down with the weight of enough centuries that they are difficult to visualize in their original form using only an auditory description. (Consider bringing with you 5 or so copies of any visual aids, so that the rest of can look on in order to better follow your report. Sometimes the Blue Guide or other guide books will have a helpful diagram.)
- When we get to your site, we’ll still try to give you a couple of minutes to orient yourself, but that’s not much. So you need to prepare yourself well.
- Related, sometimes we will visit a site for your report right after having gone through a museum in which there happens to be an exhibit about your site. Be sure not to ignore what is to be learned from the exhibit; be flexible enough not to stick with any script you have, thereby ignoring the exhibit that we all will have just seen.
Grading criteria for site papers (out of 100 points)
- Use of appropriate sources (Not relying on touristy websites or other non-refereed sites.)
Grading criteria for site reports
Completeness (Hits what’s important?) /10
Accuracy (Gets the details right?) /10
Focus (Avoids what’s extraneous?) /10
Clarity of presentation (Confusing? Also, projecting voice, pronouncing names; and for the site reports, explaining technical terms, appropriately using any handouts) /10
Evidence of preparedness (Smooth?) /10 Total /50
- The Blue Guide Greece is a good start for many sites. The Blue Guide series is an especially informative series of guide books.
- For ancient history articles, a specialized search tool is TOCS-IN, which lists journal articles and sometimes takes you directly to the article : TOCS-IN
- Oxford Classical Dictionary (3rd ed) and Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium (3 vols.), are in the Reference section of the library; St. Mary’s also has electronic access to these
- American Classical School has published many small books on these topics. Use American Classical School as author in our library’s online catalog. We now have over 20 of these little books.
- Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites, now online at Perseus: Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites
Access these through your library databases specifically for journal articles, e.g.:
- Project Muse
- JSTOR – For example, articles from the Journal of Hellenic Studies are usually available in JSTOR, except for the most recent 5 years’ worth. (That’s how JSTOR works for all its articles.)