Term Project

In the collections of the Mediterranean Section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum there are many objects that have some relationship with Greek athletics. Each of you will choose an object or objects to study during the course of the term and you will write a brief research paper on the subject of your object(s).

The research paper is due on April 20 and should be 15 pages long. For the format of your paper I recommend that you consult Kate L. Turabian, A Manual For Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations, University of Chicago Press.

Consider several different aspects of the object:

  • Description of the piece itself. Give the dimensions, height, width, length.
  • Determine the place of manufacture.
  • What is the date of the object. How do we know this?
  • If the object is a vase, describe the shape and what we may know about it. What was the vase used for originally?
  • If the object is a coin, describe the type of coin (metal, weight). How does it compare to coins elsewhere?
  • If the object is another kind of object, describe it and discuss what it was used for.
  • What is the decoration on the object? If a vase, is there a scene or scenes depicted? What is the subject matter? Mythology? Everyday life scene? Athletic scene? Be sure that you think about the fact that there are often two sides of a vase and two sides of a coin. What is depicted on each side? Give some detailed discussion of the scene.
  • Do we know who manufactured the piece? Do we have a name for the artist or for the manufacturer?
  • Are there similar pieces in the Greek Gallery or in museums elsewhere?
  • Look through bibliographic references that talk about objects of this type so that you can put this piece in some kind of perspective.
  • What do you know about what was going on in the city where the piece was manufactured around the time of the manufacture?
  • Include photographs and drawings of objects that are similar to yours.
  • You may also be able to include drawings and photographs of the city where the object was manufactured.
  • Include 5 other objects that are similar to yours for comparison. These should be from our museum as well as from other museums around the world.
  • You will want to discuss your object or objects with me or with Peter Cobb.

Incidentally, during the course of the term, as we discuss the individual events of Greek Athletics, ancient athletes and objects from the Museum collections, I will want each of you to contribute to the discussion where appropriate. Should you have questions you can send me e-mail or come to my office hours.