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Showing posts from 2018

Ancient Near East Map

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In class we started mapping the Middle East and Mediterranean regions, where the ancient civilizations we study were located.


Our focus of study for the Mesopotamia unit is really the entire Fertile Crescent: An area that stretches from the Nile Valley of Egypt in the west, northward to Palestine, westward across the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, and southward to the Persian Gulf. Surrounded by inhospitable deserts, the Fertile Crescent is an area that has good soil for farming, rivers for water, and is in a strategic location for trade.

Here are copies of the Ancient Near East maps that we are completing in class. Click on it for a larger version.


On the Ancient Map, locate:
Mediterranean Sea
Black Sea
Caspian Sea
Red Sea
Dead Sea
Persian Gulf

Euphrates River
Tigris River
Nile River
Jordan River

Anatolia
Persia
Mesopotamia
The Fertile Crescent
Egypt

Zagros Mountains
Taurus Mountains
Caucasus Mountains

Syrian Desert
Arabian Desert

Mesopotamia itself comes from the Greek meaning "…

Animal Domestication: Some Fun Videos

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In class, we talked about some of the differences between wild and domesticated animals. Sheep, for example, looked more like mountain goats and lived in the wild. Over time, humans bred them to be dumber, bigger, woolier, and more tame.


In the first video, a farmer in Wales (in Great Britain) demonstrates two domesticated animals working to create quite a light show--the trained shepherd dog that arranges the sheep according to the farmer's whistle commands, and the sheep that are herded around the hill side.




In another funny video, an Australian man sets the world record for speed sheep-shearing!







Barter Day 2018!

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As part of our study of ancient civilizations, students will be learning about the development of the first economies. Key concepts of this unit include surplus-scarcity, supply and demand, and trade; money was not used. To give students a clearer understanding of the concept of trading, or bartering, we will have “Barter Day” on Tuesday, November 20th.

On Barter Day, students will become artisans in a marketplace and trade their “goods” with other students to learn about the challenges (and fun) of bartering. In the process, students learn about the importance of supply and demand and about competition in the marketplace.



To participate on Barter Day, students should look around the house for unwanted tacky knickknacks, trinkets, toys, or other junk treasure. The items that students bring in should be no more than can fit all together on a desk. The things that students bring in are for trading. Students should not bring in anything of value, or anything that is special to them. So…

Living in an Early Farm Town

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This week's work involves illustrating a scene from the Neolithic Era.

You will have a better understanding of this time period by reading a passage from A Message of Ancient Days (p. 118-133) and answering four questions about life in one of the earliest Neolithic (Stone Age farming) communities.

In this case, the town is called Çatal Huyuk and it is located in the present day country of Turkey.


After looking at the readings on the early Neolithic period (Message of Ancient Days pgs. 127-133), the text asks you to answer the following questions:

1. What was life like in a Neolithic farming town?

You would live in a mud-brick house and take care of fields of crops outside of the village. Besides growing food, your family would continue to hunt wild animals and gather plants and berries. There would be different jobs for the different people in the town. The town would have a surplus of grain to trade with other people nearby. The people were polytheistic and they worshiped thei…

Ancient Near East Vocabulary

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In your notebook be sure to copy the words and the definitions for our Mesopotamia/Ancient Near East Unit. You only need to copy the definition, not the example sentence.

1. Agriculture:
Agriculture means the growing of crops and the raising of animals for food (also called farming).

The discovery of agriculture was a huge development for humans. Instead of hunting and gathering and having no permanent homes, agriculture allowed people to build cities and to produce more food than they needed to survive.


2. Domesticate:
To domesticate means to make plants and animals more useful to humans.

At the same time humans started to farm, they also domesticated animals, including chicken and pigs for food, cows for pulling plows, bees for making honey, and sheep for wool.




3. Surplus:
A surplus is an extra of something, especially crops.

Because early farm towns produced a surplus of food, people were able to have different jobs like priests, builders, government officials, artisans, and merchants. …

The Agricultural Revolution

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The Agricultural Revolution

After reading this article, you should know:

How humans started to farm Some advantages and disadvantages of farming How life in villages differed from hunter-gatherer lifeWhere the first villages of the Fertile Crescent appearedNew technology that developed in farming villages How trading began

Iceman Murder Mystery!

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Here's the PBS NOVA episode of the Iceman Murder Mystery we started in class. A few things to look for:

How did Iceman die?
What was prehistoric life like?
Why was the axe so special?



One day about 5,300 years ago a man left a small village in the Italian Alps. He might have been selling flint to other Neolithic settlements on the northern side of the mountains, in what is Austria today. However, his journey took a tragic turn when he got caught in a nasty snow drift and died. In 1991 a couple of hikers came across the body sticking out of a melting glacier and called for help. A group of archaeologists took the body back to the University of Innsbruck in Austria, and "Otzi" became an instant celebrity.

After some intensive studies and examination of the Iceman and his belongings, archaeologists have learned a great deal about the Chalcolithic period of European history. Just try busting that word out at a party: Chalcolithic! It's just a smart word to describe the p…

Paleolithic Cave Art: Lascaux, France

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In 1940, in southwestern France, a group of school boys stumbled upon an amazing sight--a huge cave complex housing over 600 paintings and over 1500 engravings. The images showed several kinds of animals--birds, as well as cattle, bison, deer, and horses--and hundreds of "signs," shapes, dots, and other patterns. After archaeologists had a chance to study the cave art, they determined that the imagines were left by hunter-gatherers more than 15,000 years ago.


The caves at Lascaux contain some of the earliest known art in human history, dating back to somewhere between 15,000 and as far back as 27,000 years ago. The Paleolithic cave paintings consist mostly of realistic images of large animals. The other common theme of the paintings is a number of human hand prints. Pigments (paints) are made from ingredients such as plants, berries, rust, charcoal and dirt. The paintings demonstrate the advancement of Cro-Magnon humans and their way of life, and actually show the quality o…

Prehistoric Life

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Paleolithic Hunter-Gatherers

After reading this article, you should know:
How humans lived before the invention of farmingHow humans migrated to new areas of the worldEarly examples of human cultureWhat the Ice Ages were, and how humans adapted

Archaeology Quick Quiz

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Here is an archaeology quick quiz.

Students should be prepared to answer the following questions:

1. What kinds of sources do historians use to learn about the past?
   *Give examples of both written and non-written sources.
   *What does B.A.R.R.F. stand for?

2. What is the difference between a primary and secondary source?
   *Give an example of each type of written source.

3. How are the layers (strata) of an archaeological dig set up?
   *Why are the layers set up in this way? (Older material is deeper, new stuff closer to surface)

4. What is cultural diffusion?
   *How are ideas spread from one culture to another?
   *Give examples of ideas from one culture that have been adopted by another culture.

 How do the following pictures show CULTURAL DIFFUSION?








5. How does an archaeologist determine the age of an artifact, remain, or fossil?
   *What is the difference between absolute and relative dating?
   *Explain the scientific dating methods we studied:
          *Radiocarbon (C-14)
  …

The Age of an Artifact

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The Age of an Artifact
After reading this article, you should know: ·How archaeologists find out how old an object is ·The difference between relative and absolute dating ·Some scientific methods of absolute dating including: oRadiocarbon dating oTree ring dating oPotassium-argon dating ·What stratigraphy is ·Some examples of commonly found artifacts at dig sites

Historical Evidence

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Historical Evidence: How Historians Learn About the Past
After reading this article, you should know: How historians and archaeologists learn about the pastDifferences between written and non-written sourcesWhat is oral traditionHow historians evaluate sourcesDifferences between primary and secondary sources

Archaeology Vocabulary Words and Definitions

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This month we will be starting our Cluster 3 archaeological dig!

Here are the vocab words and definitions. You should have these in your notebook.

Archaeology Vocabulary
Get ready to dig…Like in the DIRT!!

ARCHAEOLOGY
Archaeology is the study of past civilizations by examining artifacts and other remains.

ARTIFACT
An artifact is an object that was made by humans and was used in the past.

EXCAVATION
An excavation is the careful digging out of a site.

STRATUM
A stratum is a layer of dirt.

Each stratum in a dig site represents a different period of time, and so archaeologists are very careful to remove each stratum carefully, and to study them thoroughly.

IN SITU
“In situ” is a Latin phrase that means “in the place it was found.”

The archaeologists photographed the statue of Zeus in situ before removing it to the museum.

STRATIGRAPHY
Stratigraphy means removing one layer of dirt at a time.

By using stratigraphy, the archaeologists were able to see that the city had burned down and been rebuilt lat…

Archaeologists at Work: Time Team America

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There is a great series from PBS called Time Team America. In it, a group of professional archaeologists, scientists, and technicians travel to an active dig site and help the local archaeologists do their work. They teach about different methods that are used to find and interpret artifacts, how items are dated, and how to reconstruct a past civilization.



In class we'll watch the PBS show Time Team America all about the archaeological dig at Range Creek, Utah. In class, you started answering questions on your worksheet that go along with the video clip. Be sure you've written these notes on the bottom:
Range Creek, UtahFremont IndiansOver 1000 years ago granary = a place for storing grain
pictograph = a picture that represents an idea
midden = an ancient trash pile


Aside from Time Team America, there was a great article in the August 2006 issue of National Geographic all about the area of Range Creek, including some detailed photos of the petroglyphs (rock art), the granaries…

Antarctica Information

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If you are curious about Antarctica, the only continent with no countries or permanent settlements...


Here's a very basic and simple site to introduce Antarctica:
http://www.activewild.com/antarctica-facts-for-kids/

Antarctica and Climate Change Discovering Antarctica: "Impacts of Climate Change" http://discoveringantarctica.org.uk/challenges/sustainability/impacts-of-climate-change/
"Climate change jigsaw puzzle: Antarctic pieces missing" https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160928083214.htm
British Antarctic Survey: "Climate & climate change" https://www.bas.ac.uk/science/research-topic/climate-climate-change/
"Blue lakes are appearing in Antarctica – and that’s a bad thing" http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/global-warming-climate-change-langhovde-glacier-east-antarctica-dronning-maud-land-scientists-a7204691.html

Antarctica and Space "The South Pole Is a Great Place to View Space" http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n…