Project: Metadata – World 1


Now that you understand metadata, you will find an article in [Jstor or Project Muse]
that addresses a historical subject that falls in the period of 500 BCE to year 0. Your article should relate to access, use, or making meaning with fresh water in a way you can explain.

Before using Jstor or Project Muse you should chose a region and review the history of that place with one of the timelines below.

Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
ThoughtCo World History Timeline - Multiple, topical timelines to chose.
World History Encyclopedia

Learning Outcomes- Students will:

  1. Demonstrate the chose a credible and class-relevant Jstor or Project Muse article.
  2. Summarize the article in three sentences, with appropriate quotation and citation.
  3. Generate a list of 5 metadata that are not already tags in the Jstor or Project Muse databases.
  4. Explain their choice of metadata.

Project Assignment Instructions.

  1. Using whatever background material you wish, decide on a region to research. Your subject should be mostly in the period 500 BCE to 0.
  2. Use the Jstor or Project Muse databases to find an article about accessing, using, or making meaning with fresh water. Access, use, and meaning are broadly defined and can include anything that includes fresh water as an essential element in the history.
  3. Once you have found an article written about the period 500 BCE to 0, read it well enough to summarize it's main argument (thesis).
  4. Summarize the main thesis of the article and any major supporting points in three sentences.
  5. Write a list of 5 metadata that you would tag this article with that are NOT already listed as metadata.
  6. Explain your choice of metadata.


_My thoughts: I had Chinese food this weekend so I was thinking of soup (which needs fresh water) in the Han Empire (China 221 BCE - 220CE). Searches for "soup" and "Han China" turned up nothing but "food" and "Han" gave me this result.__

Kim, Moonsil Lee. “Discrepancy between Laws and Their Implementation: An Analysis of Granaries, Statutes, and Rations during China’s Qin and Han Periods.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 59, no. 4 (2016): 555–89.

Moonsil Lee argues that the way the Han government gave out food to the poor was " designed not to guarantee a certain amount of rations to the recipients but to prevent the abuse of government property"(Abstract, page 1). The Han government cared more about fraud than they did about feeding their people. Moonsil Lee covers granaries, rules for distributing food, the names and functions of government officials, and why the records of granaries demonstrate the government cared more about fraud than feed people.

My five metadata are cooking, porridge, nutrition, poverty, and starvation. From reviewing the article, one the primary issues for those receiving the government grain was its preparation with fresh water. There was evidence that much of the grain was cooked into a very thin porridge that led to poor nutrition for those receiving it. As a result those who received the food often received it in a watered down form, leading to starvation.