Lesson Plan – Classification
Background information:
The question of classification of finds is a very important one in the study of Archaeology. Pottery, for example, can be classified in terms of type of vessel, date of manufacture, place of manufacture, and style. For these classifications to be meaningful for analysis they must be reliable and consistent, so that different Archaeologists would classify objects in the same way. One of the simpler ways to do this is to give inequalities in terms of measurable properties of the pieces (e.g. Diameter of base).
 
Objectives:
 
Duration:
1 hour

Prior Knowledge:
Cartesian coordinates, equation of a straight line
 
National Curriculum Links:

Level:
8
7
 
Keywords:

Resources:

Equipment needed:
· Projector or interactive whiteboard
· Rulers
 
Times:
20 minutes

Introduction:
Ø What problems would arise from disagreements about the different sorts of pottery? How could we solve them? What properties does a plate have?
 
2530 minutes

Main Activity:
Ø What properties could we measure with this pottery?
Ø Can we say anything in general about the heights/rim diameters of plates/urns? Why is this not enough to define what makes a plate?
Ø Is it now possible to draw a line to separate any of the pottery types from the others?
Ø What are the properties of the objects in the wanted region? Is this reasonable for a plate?
Ø What are the properties of the objects in the wanted region? Is this reasonable for a pot urn? How can we tell if something is a bowl?
 
1015 minutes

Plenary:
Ø What type of pottery is this? How did you work it out?
 
Differentiation, extension material and further reading:
Ø How would you change the inequality to describe all the pottery that is not a plate? What happens if an artefact lands exactly on the line?
Ø How can we deal with disagreements about which line to draw? Does a ‘best line’ exist? Could we define rules to draw this ‘best line’?
 
Links to other subjects:

Other Comments:
 