The Mystery Cemetery project is basically a puzzle-solving project.  You are given a set of clues and information.  Your task is to interpret the clues and try to reconstruct as much as you can regarding how the people of this culture organized their village.

Mystery Cemetery project is basically a puzzle-solving project

The Mystery Cemetery project is basically a puzzle-solving project.  You are given a set of clues and information.  Your task is to interpret the clues and try to reconstruct as much as you can regarding how the people of this culture organized their village.
As an aside, this project is based upon an actual real culture.  Do yourself a favor, though – don’t bother trying to go on-line and track down information on who it is.  It’s really not worth the effort.  Especially since there is a lot of incorrect information deliberately placed on-line regarding this project!  You would end up spending far more time, uselessly, than if you were just to work on the assignment.

There is just one cemetery – you are given four maps of the same one place.

You are responsible for accounting for all of the people in the entire cemetery.

As to format – there isn’t any required format.

You could do it in a Word document, or a spreadsheet table, or even in a set of PowerPoint slides or such, if you wanted to.

It is not an “essay”; just a write up.  The thing I am looking for is that you account for the meaning of all of the artifacts found, and thus can provide the required amount of information regarding who is buried where and aspects about why things are arranged the way they are.

This means that I do not want just a listing of what items are placed into each grave.  We already have that information.  That is the information you are given.  What is wanted is the interpretation of each item.  For example, what does it mean to be buried with a “blue marble”?  Why some people in the cemetery buried with blue marbles and others are are not?

One good way to start organizing your write up is to look at the “KEY” provided with map #1.  For your write-up, copy this list, and then try to determine the meaning of each item on the list.  There will be some items that are far easier to interpret than others; you will need to “get” some of the easy things before you can figure out some of the more difficult things.

The way this project is graded is via a point system.

For each of all of the items, there is indeed just one correct interpretation.  You get points for each aspect that you get correct.  If you get everything correct, that totals to 100 points, 100%.

As you do the project, you will probably also notice patterns emerging.  Part of your task is to also tell me about the patterns you see.  However, once you see these patterns, you will also notice anomalies – there are a couple of graves in the cemetery that do not fit the overarching patterns.  These are not mistakes.

There are no “mistakes” in the information you are provided.
So, you have the additional task of trying to interpret these anomalies in the context of the overall pattern you have seen for the village.  For these anomalies, there are no “correct” answers.

Instead, for each, there are two or three interpretations which are logical and are well supported by the data that you have; other interpretations would not be as practical, nor do you have as much to back up your assumptions.  Deducing a good interpretation for each of these anomalies will gain you “extra credit”.  It is thus possible to attain about 110% on the Mystery Cemetery project.

I will once again here push the idea that this project is based upon an actual people (although what we have here is a bunch of different cemeteries condensed into one for convenience for the project).

So, do not try to interpret things by trying to place things into some other cultural context (e.g., claiming that these are ancient Greeks, or Egyptians, or early Christians, or whatever).

These people are themselves; interpret them, as best as you can, in their own context via the clues you are provided with.

Okay – Now, if you have read all the way down to this far, a hint to help you out: Look very carefully at the pictures of the burials (you might want to enlarge the pictures on your computer screen).

One of those burials contains a great big huge honking clue (in the form of artifacts placed in the grave) about the person in that grave.  If you pick up on this clue, many other things start falling into place, sort of “domino effect” style.

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