What does the refuse tell you about the household’s economic status, religious beliefs or political system?

The things left behind or thrown away can hold more information about the people doing the discarding then their cities and monuments. While archaeologists of the past sought the tombs of kings, modern archaeologists tend to focus on trash middens in the search for information. The trash of the common member of the culture is far more instructive than the tombs or houses of the economic elite.
For this assignment I want you to record everything your throw away for one week. If you live in the dorms gather data on what you personally throw away. If you are part of a household or live off campus record what is thrown away at your residence. It is not necessary to take out your trash and go through it, but if you eyeball it and discuss with other people in your residence what they have tossed away then you can get a good feel for what all has been discarded. Then tell me, in an essay of at least 550 words, what you think your refuse says about you and possible those that you live with.
The interpretation is the tricky part and I often advise students to imagine that the garbage belongs to someone else. What does the refuse tell you about the household’s economic status, religious beliefs or political system? Can you gauge how many individuals were part of the household or if the refuse was even from a single household? You may include your list of things that were thrown away; though it does not count toward the minimum length requirement. This assignment is worth 25 points so have fun and be creative with your interpretations and if you take it seriously you might just find out a thing or two about yourself through your garbage!

RUBRIC:
Grammar & essay format- 5 points
Creativity & Interpretation- 10 points
Following directions & carrying out tasks of assignment – 10 points

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