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Garbology Survey

The purpose of this assignment is to determine whether patterns of behavior are visible in the material remains you observe. You will conduct a ground
survey of two sites, analyze the trash/debris you observe, and test your hypotheses about the sites based on your finds.
Choose two outdoor locations that are mostly similar but differ in terms of some important aspects of typical behavior in those locations. The sites will likely
vary in size but should be no smaller than 20 feet square or the equivalent. The behavioral differences can be based on your own knowledge of the locations,
on your assumptions about human nature, etc. Following are some suggestions, but we urge you to think of different places that would be interesting to
• A portion of a public park vs. a vacant lot
• A tourist beach vs. a non-tourist beach
• A parking lot of a shopping center vs. a parking lot of an business complex
• An art cinema vs. a mainstream theater
2. Prior to surveying your chosen locations, develop at least two testable hypotheses regarding the material evidence you expect to observe at each site.
Include your reasons/rationale for your expectations in describing your hypotheses.
3. Conduct a ground survey of trash/debris at the two areas. Describe any debris (artifacts) and features you observe on the surface. Do not collect the
debris! Your descriiptions of the debris should include information about each piece of debris’ significant attributes—location, size, shape, manufacturer,
condition, etc. You should try to describe at least 25 pieces of debris at each site.
4. Analyze your survey data for patterns of similarities and differences for the two areas. For example:
• Are there clusters of debris?
• Are some items clustered together while others are not?
• Are there differences in types, amounts, conditions, etc. in where and how debris is found at the two areas?
Written Analysis (1000-1200 words)