You will be given a fossil hominin (replica) to use to collect data. You must schedule time with your instructor to have access to the necessary materials for this project.
You will take similar measurements on this new fossil as are presented in lab exercises 13.3, 14.1, 14.2, and additional lab exercise 13.1. You have been collecting evidence in lab on various hominin species. How does this mystery fossil compare to the measurements taken for these other species. Use a comparative approach to assign this fossil to a known species or make the case for a new species.
Once analysis is complete, you will write a forensic lab report of your methods, findings, and conclusions. Your report will include the following sections:
Introduction (1-2 paragraphs)- What is the background information for this case? What questions are you trying to answer? What are the hypotheses of this project? Identify relevant anthropological concepts being applied. Use (and cite) your textbook and/or lab book for identification and explanations of relevant concepts. For example, you might discuss the role that anatomy plays in defining different taxa of hominins.
Methods (1 page, minimum)- Identify the materials being used in this research. Explain the procedure, step-by-step, used to do this research. You must be detailed enough in this description for a new scientist to be able to replicate your methods. You must include the specimen number for your case.
Results (1 page of text, minimum)- Report the results of the procedures (do not interpret or draw conclusions yet). Include data tables, observations, measurements, and graphs. For example, you can say in the results that the skull has a pronounced mandibular protuberance (chin), but you cannot say what this characteristic means.
Conclusions (1 page minimum)- Interpret your results. For example, here you can state what the chin means (suggests Homo sapiens features). Summarize findings. Accept or reject your hypotheses. Explain why you accepted or rejected your hypothesis. If you are assigning a brand new species name, then give it a common and scientific name. Given the classification of this fossil, what predictions can you make about the probable dating of this site/specimen (the geologist’s report is not yet finished, so think about the known timings of species)? What impact does this research have on the understanding of human evolution? Analyze results in the context of anthropological concepts.
Grading ____/100 points:
Introduction (10 points)- Includes relevant concepts, identifies case, questions, and hypotheses.
Methods (15 points)- Description of process is comprehensive and detailed; could be replicated by another researcher; Lab protocols were followed, material handled appropriately
Results (25 points)- Measurements and data are clearly recorded, organized, easy to follow; includes labeled graphs, tables, or other visual representation of data
Conclusion (30 points)- Summarizes data to draw conclusions, logical conclusions drawn from data, discusses applications to case, accept or reject hypotheses.
Writing (10 points)- Superior mastery of writing demonstrated (grammar, sentence structure, scientific language, spelling, punctuation, citation if needed, citation style (APA, MLA, CMS),etc.)
Critical thinking (10 points)- Demonstrates superior understanding, application, and analysis of anthropological concepts.
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