Teachers’ resources Key sTages 2 and 3 - British ?· Teachers’ resources Key sTages 2 and 3. 1 PMS…

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    Teachers resources Key sTages 2 and 3

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    Contents

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    Contents

    2 Background information for teachers HistoryofBabylon OldBabylonianperiod:c.2004BCc.1595BC Assyrianperiod Neo-Babylonianempire:625539BC Laterhistory Religion Ziggurats Writing Learning

    6 Visiting the exhiBition

    7 exhiBition Briefing sheet for adults and older students TherealBabylon StoriesaboutBabylon Babylontoday

    8 curriculum links

    9 classroom actiVities

    11 BaBylon PowerPoints ObjectsfromBabylon ArtistsandBabylon Babylonasaheritagesite

    14 further resources BritishMuseumwebsites Books

    FRONT COVER IMAGE: Glazed brick relief of a lion from Babylons Processional Way. Reign of King Nebuchadnezzar II (605562 BC).On loan from the muse du Louvre, Paris. Photo RMN / Franck Raux.

    ExhibitionsupportedbytheBlavatnikFamilyFoundation

    ExhibitionorganisedbytheBritishMuseum,themuseduLouvreandtheRuniondesmusesnationaux,Paris,andtheStaatlicheMuseenzuBerlin.

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  • BACKGRoUnD InFoRMAtIon FoR teACHeRs

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    hIsTory oF BaByLonThecityofBabylonwasbuiltonthebanksoftheRiverEuphrates.Theriverranthroughthemiddleofthecitywithabridgelinkingthetwohalves.ThecitywashometotheBabyloniankingsaswellasbeingthecommercial,politicalandreligiouscentreoftheBabylonianempire.ThenameBabyloncomesfromtheGreekversionofthecitysancientname(intheAkkadianlanguage)whichwasBabilu.ThecitylaywithinaregionknowntotheancientGreeksasMesopotamia(betweentherivers).TodaymostofancientMesopotamiaispartofmodernIraq.TheremainsoftheancientcityofBabylonlienearAlHillahinBabilProvince,Iraq,about55milessouthofBaghdad.

    BabylonbeganasasmalltownaroundthebeginningofthethirdmillenniumBC.TheearliestsourcetomentionBabylonasacitymaybeadatedtabletofthereignofSargonofAkkad(c.24thcenturyBC).IthasbeenestimatedthatBabylonwasthelargestcityintheworldfromc.1770BCto1670BC,andagainbetweenc.612BCand320BC.

    oLd BaByLonIan perIod: c. 2004 Bcc. 1595 BcAroundc.2004BCtheAmorites(aSemiticpeoplefromthewestofMesopotamia)invadedSumerinsouthernMesopotamiaandgraduallymovednorthwards.In1894BCBabylonbecamethecapitalcityofanAmoriteleadercalledSumu-abumthefirstofalonglineofkingswhoruledfromtheincreasinglyprosperouscity.

    Inabout1792BCHammurapibecamethesixthkingofBabylon,reigninguntilabout1750BC.HeconqueredcitiesinnorthandsouthMesopotamiaandmadeBabylonthecapitalcityofaBabylonianempire.Oneofhismostimportantactswastodrawupasetoflaws,someofwhichwerebasedonolderSumerianlaws.ThishasbecomeknownasHammurapislaw-codeanddemonstratedhiscommitmenttostandardisedjusticeacrosstheBabylonianempire.Onecopyofthecodewrittenincuneiformonastela(largestoneblock)wascarriedoffbytheElamitesduringthe13thcenturyBCtothecityofSusa.ItisnowintheLouvreMuseuminParis.

    AfterHammurapi,thepoweroftheBabylonianempirebegantodecline.Citieswhichwerepartoftheempirerebelledandpeoplefromoutsidetheempireinvadedit.AHittiteraidfromAnatolia(modern-dayTurkey)in1595BCbroughtaboutthedownfallofthekingofBabylonandaKassiteking,Agum-Kakrime,seizedthethroneofBabylonforhimself.TheKassitepeoplewereprobablyfromtheZagrosMountainsinmodern-dayIranandtheymovednorthtogaincontrolofterritoryinsouthernMesopotamia.TheKassitesruledBabylonforabout450years.TheymaintainedtheBabylonianwayoflife,respectedtheMesopotamiangodsandgoddessesalongsidetheirowndeities,andrebuilttheirtemples.TheybuiltalargenewcityatDur-KurigalzuincentralMesopotamia,thoughBabylonremainedthecapitalcityfortheregion.Agroupoftabletswrittenusingthecuneiformscript(knownastheAmarnaLetters)indicatesthatduringthe1300sBCKassitekingsinBabylonwereincorrespondencewithpharaohsofthe18thDynastyinEgypt.

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    assyrIan perIodInnorthernMesopotamiatheAssyrianpeoplehadestablishedakingdom,withitsmaincityatAshur,ontheupperreachesoftheTigrisRiver.Duringthe900sBCtheAssyriankingsbegantoexpandtheirterritoryandgraduallytookcontrolofallofMesopotamia.AssyrianrulewasnotwelcomedbytheBabyloniansandduringthereignofSennacheribofAssyria(705681BC)Babylonwasinconstantrevolt,leadingtothecompletedestructionofthecityin689BCwhenitswalls,templesandpalaceswererazedtotheground.ThenextAssyrianking,Esarhaddon,rebuiltthecityandmadeithisresidenceforpartoftheyear.By650BC,undertheruleofKingAshurbanipal,theAssyrianempirereacheditsgreatestextentstretchingfromMesopotamiaacrosstotheMediterraneanSeaandsouthtoEgypt.Babylonwasanimportantcitywithintheempirewithitsownlocalking(usuallyamemberoftheAssyrianroyalfamily).However,afterthereignofAshurbanipaltheAssyrianempirefellapart.Citiesandregionswithintheempirerebelledandby612BC,thecapitalatNinevehfelltoforeigninvaders.

    neo-BaByLonIan empIre: 625539 BcAsthepoweroftheAssyriansdeclined,ChaldeansfromsouthernMesopotamiabegantocreatetheirownempire,knowntodayastheNeo-Babylonianempire.In625BC,theChaldeanmilitaryleaderNabopolassarrevoltedagainstAssyriancontrolofthecityandbecamekingofBabylon.In612BCtheBabyloniansandMedes(fromwesternIran)revoltedtogetheragainstAssyrianrule,destroyedthemajorAssyriancitiesanddividedthelandsoftheAssyrianempirebetweenthem.

    Nabopolassarsson,NebuchadnezzarII(reigned605562BC),rebuiltandenlargedBabylonandmadeitthecapitalofanewempire.Thisincludedrebuildingthegreatseven-storeyzigguratinBabylonknownasEtemenanki.AtthistimeBabylonwassurroundedbyamassive18kmwall.TheroyalpalacewassograndthatNebuchadnezzarcalleditthemarvelofallpeople,thecentreoftheland,theshiningresidence,thedwellingofmajesty.Ithasbeenestimatedthat15millionbrickswereusedtorebuildtheofficialbuildingsinBabylonduringthereignofNebuchadnezzarII.Theywereusuallysquareandstampedwithacuneiforminscription.InlegendheissaidtohavebuilttheHangingGardensofBabylon.Thisisdescribedasaterracedgardenfulloftreesandfloweringplants,builttoremindhiswife,QueenAmyitis,ofthegreenhillsofherhomelandinMedia.ItwasoneoftheSevenWondersoftheAncientWorld.

    Nebuchadnezzarsreignwasfollowedbyseveralweakkings.Nabonidus,thelastBabyloniantoruleatBabylon,wasunabletoresistanexpandingPersianempire.TheNeo-Babylonianempiregraduallywentintodeclineandoverthenext20yearsitbegantobreakup.In539BCthePersiankingCyruscapturedBabylon,madeithiscapitalandincorporatedtherestofMesopotamiaintotheAchaemenidPersianempire.

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    LaTer hIsToryPersianruleleftBabylonlargelyintact.Twohundredyearslater,thePersianempirewasitselfconqueredbytheMacedonianrulerAlexandertheGreat.AfterAlexandersdeathinBabylonin323BC,hisempirewasdividedupandMesopotamiacametoberuledbytheSeleuciddynastyfoundedbySeleukos,oneofAlexandersgenerals.Then,in141BC,theParthiankingMithradatesItookcontrolofMesopotamia.TheParthians,whocamefromeasternIran,brieflylostcontrolofMesopotamiawhenitwasinvadedbytheRomansinAD115butitwasreturnedtotheParthiansbytheRomanemperorHadrianinAD117.TheParthianempirewasoverthrownbytheSasaniankingArdashirinAD224226.MesopotamiawasthenruledbySasaniankings,alsofromIran,untilAD637,whenMuslimArabsinvadedandMesopotamiabecamepartoftheIslamicworld.FromAD1534until1918MesopotamiawaspartoftheOttomanempireruledbytheOttomandynastyfromIstanbulinmodernTurkey.TodaymostofMesopotamiaisthecountryofIraqwithitscapitalcityatBaghdad,incentralMesopotamia.Babylonitselfisnolongerinhabited.

    reLIgIonAncientMesopotamiansbelievedthattheuniversewascontrolledbygodsandgoddesseswhohadtobeobeyedandworshippedwithprayersandofferings.ThereweremanymythsandlegendsaboutthesegodsandgoddesseswhichsurvivetodayascuneiformtextintheSumerianandAkkadianlanguages.Templeswerethecentresofreligiousactivitywherepriestsandpriestessesservedtheparticulargodorgoddessbelievedtoliveinthetemple.Alltemplescontainedastatueoftheirgodorgoddesshousedinaniche.Specialfeastsandfestivalswereheldinhonourofthegodsandgoddesses,suchasBabylonsgrandNewYearFestival.ThepatrondeityofBabylonwasthegodMardukwho,asthecityroseinpower,waspromotedtotheheadoftheBabylonianpantheon.Mardukwasoftendepictedtogetherwithhissymbol,thesnake-dragonormushhushshu.

    ZIgguraTsInthemajorcitiesofancientMesopotamiathemorepowerfulrulersbuilttall,steppedreligiousstructuresknownasziggurats.Zigguratswerebuiltfromlayersofmudbricks,withalayerofbakedbricksontheexterior,andheldtogetherwithreedmattingatregularintervalswithweepholestofacilitatedrainage.Theyroseonsquareplatformswithasacredshrineatthetop.Longrampsorflightsofstairsallowedthefewauthorisedpeopletoclimbupfromonestagetothenext.ZigguratswerebuiltbykingUr-Nammu(reignedc.21122095BC)intheSumeriancitiesofUrandNippur.AzigguratdedicatedtotheMesopotamiangodMardukmayhavealreadybeenbuiltatBabylonby1750BC.NebuchadnezzarszigguratatBabylonhadsevenplatformsofbrickswithatempleforMardukonthesummit.ItispossiblethatthisstructurewasthesourceofthebiblicaltraditionoftheTowerofBabel.ThezigguratatDur-Sharrukin,builtbytheAssyriansabout710BC,possiblyhadaspiralrampleadingtothetopwitheachplatformofbrickspaintedadifferentcolour.

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    WrITIngWritingbeganinsouthernMesopotamiawellbefore3100BC.Thisfirstwritingwasdevelopedtorecordthecollectionanddistributionoffoodsuppliesinthecities.TheveryfirstSumerianwritingusedpictograms.Pictogramsaresimplepictureswhichrepresentobjectsdirectly.Gradually,thesepictogramsevolvedintoaformofwritingproducedwithastyluspressedintoclay,madeupofwedge-shapedsigns.Thiswritingisknownascuneiform.

    Cuneiformsignsweremuchmoreflexiblethanpictogramsandallowedspeechtobeproperlyrecorded.Individualcuneiformsignsrepresentedsyllableswhichcouldbecombinedtomakeaword,orusedbythemselvestorepresentacompleteword.Eventually,thereweremorethan600cuneiformsigns.ThefirstcuneiformrepresentedtheSumerianlanguage.Later,theAkkadians,Assyrians,BabyloniansinancientIraq,aswellasotherpeoplesuchastheElamitesinIranandtheHittitesinTurkey,wrotedowntheirlanguagesusingthecuneiformscript.

    MostwritingfromMesopotamiaisonsmallclaytablets.Dampclaywasformedintoaflattablet,whichcouldbeheldinonehand.Thewriterpressedastylusmadefromreed,wood,metalorivoryintotheclaytomakethecuneiformsigns,thenleftthetabletinthesuntoharden.Earlynumberswererecordedbymakingcircularorsemicircularmarksinthesurfaceofaclaytabletwiththeotherendofthestylus.Fromveryearlyonspecialsignsweredevelopedforcountingsystems,themostcommononebeingbasedon60.Fromabout1300BCivoryandwoodentabletscoveredwithalayerofwaxwerealsousedforwriting.Thesecouldbereused,sincethewaxcouldbesmoothedoverreadyforthenextpieceofwriting.Cuneiformsignswerealsocarvedintostoneorcastinmetal.CuneiformwritingwasusedinMesopotamiaforover3,000years.Thelastknownuseofcuneiformisasecond-centuryADBabylonianastronomicaltext.

    LearnIngMesopotamiancitieswerecentresofknowledgeandlearning.Thefirstschoolswereplaceswherescribesweretrainedtobecomestateadministrators.Theseschoolsuseddictionarieswithlistsofwords,gods,plantsandanimals.Latertheyinvestigatedmedicine,mathematicsandastronomy.TheSumeriansandtheirsuccessorsfavouredanumbersystembasedon60.Tohelpwithmathematicalcalculations,studentsusedmultiplicationtableswrittenonclaytablets.Surveyingwithmeasuringinstrumentswasusedtohelpconstructirrigationsystems.Babylonianastronomersstudiedthenightskyandrecordedthemovementofthemoonandplanets.TheAssyriankingAshurbanipal(reigned668631BC)collectedalibraryofabout25,000claytabletsathispalaceatNineveh.Thetabletsincludedletters,legends,dictionaries,histories,astronomicalobservationsandmedicaltexts.TheBabyloniankingNebuchadnezzarII(reigned605562BC)wasinterestedinobjectsandstatuesfromearlierperiods,aswellasexamplesoftheoldestwritinghecouldfind.

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  • VIsItInG tHe eXHIBItIon

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    TheexhibitionBabylon: Myth and Realityisfreeforschoolgroups.Allvisitinggroupsmustpre-bookthroughtheMuseumBoxOfficeon+44 (0)20 7323 8181.

    Itissuggestedthatstudentsmovethroughtheexhibitioninsmallgroupslookingatanddiscussingobjects,graphicsandrelevanttext.Thispackincludesanexhibitionbriefingsheetforadultstohelpfocusstudentsthoughtsineachsectionoftheexhibition.

    Pleasediscussthesizeofyourgroup(studentsplusaccompanyingadults)withtheBoxOfficestaffwhenyoubook.Entrancetotheexhibitionisin10-minutetimeslotsandyourgroupmayhavetocovertwoormoreslots.

    Pleasebearinmindtheentrytimeofthelastgroupinyourpartyasyouwillneedtoleavethemabout60minutesviewingtimebeforegoingtoyourpre-bookedlunchslotintheFordCentreforYoungVisitors.

    Photographyisnotallowedintheexhibition.Itisthereforesuggestedthatstudentsmakesketchesintheexhibitionwhichcanbeusedtosupportfollow-upartanddesignworkintheclassroom,takephotographsofobjectsintheMuseumspermanentMesopotamiangalleriesorusetheonlineresourcesavailableontheBritishMuseumwebsitebackatschool.

    Aswellascollectinginformationtosupportfollow-upactivitiesatschool,studentsmayfinditusefultohaveabigquestiontoconsideranddiscussastheygoroundtheexhibition.Thequestion(s)couldthenbediscussedbackatschool.Herearesomeexamplequestions:

    WhatimpressionofancientBabylondoIgetfromtheexhibition?

    HowdodifferentartistscreateanideaofwhatancientBabylonwaslike?

    WhataspectsofBabylonasacityarethesameasordifferentfrommodern-dayLondon?

    WhathaveIfoundoutaboutBabylonthatIdidntknowbefore?

    Whatsourcesofevidencedoestheexhibitionincludeandhowusefularethey?

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    Theexhibitionisarrangedunderthreekeythemeswhichexplorethecityacrosstime.

    The reaL BaByLonThissectionlooksattheancientcityofBabylon,thesiteofwhichliesinmodernIraq,southofBaghdad.Itfocuseson605539BC,duringwhichtimethecitywasruledbyKingNebuchadnezzarIIandhissuccessors.DuringthisperiodBabylonwasthecapitalofavastBabylonianempireandunderwentamagnificentrebuildingprogrammewhichsawitdevelopintothelargestandmostspectacularcityintheworld.

    sTorIes aBouT BaByLonArchaeologicalexplorationofBabylonbeganinearnestintheearly1900s.Beforethecuneiformscriptwasdecipheredinthe1850s,knowledgeaboutBabylonreliedontheBibleandthewritingsofancientGreekhistorians.Babylonbecameapopularsubjectforartistswhocombinedwhattheyknewfromthesesourceswithideasandimagesfromtheirowntime.Thissectionoftheexhibitionlooksatthebest-knownstoriesandlegendsthathavedevelopedaroundthecity.

    BaByLon TodayThissectionlooksatthreekeyaspectsofBabylonslegacytoday:elementsofscience,mathematicsandastronomyfromBabylon;itscontinuedpresenceinart,filmandmusic;andthesiteofthecitytodaywithparticularreferencetotheeffectofrecentpoliticalregimesandmilitaryconflictintheregion.

    eXHIBItIon BRIeFInG sHeet FoR ADULts AnD oLDeR stUDents

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    Key sTage 2 a WorLd hIsTory sTudy TheancientMesopotamianculturesofSumerandAssyriaarespecificallymentionedaspossiblecasestudiesintheKeyStage2HistoryNationalCurriculumstudyunitforapastworldsociety.

    Thekeyfeaturesofthisunitare:thesocietyinrelationtoothercontemporarysocieties;chronology;thereasonsfortheriseandfallofthecivilisation;significantplacesandindividuals;distinctivecontributiontohistory.

    Thekeyaspectsofeverydaylifestudiedare:housesandcities;artsandarchitecture;technology,workandleisure;food,healthandmedicine;p...

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