Multicultural Cosmology -- Writing Assignment #3.

ID 1 Critical Inquiry Section 18 -- Professor Bryan Penprase, Fall 1994.

(Due on December 12, 1994)

In this final assignment you have two very different choices. Pick the one that you feel most interested in.




Present one enigma of an ancient culture. Examples would include the pyramids of Egypt, the Nazca lines, and the Inca quipu. Your enigma should be any unsolved aspect of an ancient culture where either the motivations or the method of constructing a monument, artifact or artwork is unknown. When possible, include any popular descriptions of the phenomenon (especially any pseudoscientific explainations), and present the currently best accepted theory for your enigma, along with the methods used by the researchers for determining the answers to the questions posed by the enigma, and a clear refutation of the pseudoscientific explaination. Your report should be 5-7 pages, with complete bibliography and acknowlegements.




Write a "brief history of time and space" for a culture of your choice which we have not studied so far in the course. The culture can be from an existing society, such as a particular segment of modern culture, an ancient culture or use your imagination and dream up a cosmology for a completely imaginary society! (In last year's course we had a cosmology for trees, and for inner city animals). Please provide the temporal context of the society: how long ago was the universe formed to the society? what are the earliest events known to the society? what does time mean to the society? what important past events and rituals related to the passage of time exist? Be creative!