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Listed under:  History  >  Historical periods  >  Ancient history
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Egyptian overseer ushabtis, 1070-712 BCE

This is an overseer ushabtis, made in Egypt sometime between 1070 and 712 BCE. The male mummiform figure is made of Egyptian faience with an exterior pale turquoise-blue glaze. The figure is shown wearing a short headdress and black painted 'seshed' headband knotted at the back. A vertical column of hieroglyphs are handpainted ...

Video

Pharos of Alexandria, 247 BCE

This is a fly-through animation of the lighthouse or Pharos of Alexandria in Egypt as it would have appeared when completed by the Macedonian king of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphus. The animation shows the location of the lighthouse on an island off the coast of Alexandria, its three-tiered structure and its perpetual fire ...

Video

Deir el-Medina, 2nd century BCE

This is a fly-through animation of the settlement, temple and tombs of Deir el-Medina in Egypt as they would have appeared in the New Kingdom and the Ptolemaic periods. Accompanied by a detailed commentary and interspersed with footage of the area today and cut-away diagrams, the animation shows the position of Western ...

StillImage

Egyptian worker ushabtis, 945-715 BCE

This is a worker ushabtis, made at some stage between 945 and 715 BCE. The male mummiform figure is made of Egyptian faience with a blue glaze finish. The figure is shown wearing a headdress and 'seshed' headband knotted at the back. The body is wrapped in bandages with only the head and arms visible, crossed left over ...

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Brick from the Great Wall of China, 1368-1644

This is a rectangular fired clay-brick from the Great Wall of China. The brick is presented within a timber display frame on four curved legs with a removable lid.

Audio

Stand and deliver: public speaking and democracy

Have you ever heard the words 'Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears'? They come from the great orator Mark Antony talking about the death of Caesar in Shakespeare's play 'Julius Caesar'. Listen to this audio interview with classics scholar Dr Kathryn Welch to find out what we can learn from the first public speakers, ...

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What's inside a mummy?

How can new technology be used to find out what's in a mummy without unwrapping it? Watch as Horus, an Egyptian mummy, is taken to hospital to undergo a CT (computed tomography) scan. The scan reveals what is under Horus's bandages, tells historians the age he died, and might provide some clues about the reason for his death.

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Yucatan Peninsula: Mayan heritage

Discover ruins of a lost civilisation of the Maya at Tulum, on the Yucatán Peninsula in south-eastern Mexico. See what has become of the civilisation's cenotes, its ancient water resources, as a Maya descendant speaks of his sadness at what has happened to the land of his forebears.

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Adorning the coffins of Ancient Egyptians

How did the people of ancient Egypt prepare the deceased for the afterlife? Archaeologists have excavated vast numbers of Egyptian mummies and many more remain to be discovered. Be amazed by the colourful paintings and inscriptions that adorn the coffins encasing the mummified bodies of ancient Egyptians.

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Art celebrates death in the Valley of the Kings

A number of Egyptian pharaohs were buried in elaborate tombs in the Valley of the Kings, on the west bank of the Nile River at Luxor. These tombs played a crucial role in beliefs about the afterlife of those who were housed within them, and they were decorated with detailed, symbolic reliefs. Find out how the extraordinary ...

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Always check your sources

What better place can you imagine for a Library of Knowledge, where the answers to all questions can be found, than beneath the paws of the Sphinx? Sounds perfect. But how reliable are your sources of information? Make up your own mind as you watch this clip about ancient Egypt's legendary hall of records.

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Who broke the Sphinx's nose?

For many years the troops of French military commander Napoleon Bonaparte were blamed for mutilating the nose of the Sphinx. In this clip, historical sources are used to bring this conclusion into dispute. Listen as Dr Zahi Hawass, archaeologist, Egyptologist, author, and former minister of state for antiquities in Egypt, ...

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Unlocking the identity of the Sphinx

What is known about the origins of the Sphinx? Do we know who built it and who it might resemble? Watch as forensic pathologists seek to determine which pharaoh might have commissioned the building of the Sphinx, then listen to reasons why the pathologists' findings might not be conclusive.

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Exploring the mystical sanctuary of Osiris

Travel 30 metres beneath the Giza Plateau to explore one of Egypt's most significant archaeological discoveries, the Tomb of Osiris. The god Osiris is the guarantor of eternal life. His symbolic tomb provided ancient Egyptians with a sanctuary in which they could pay homage to 'the ruler of the great beyond'. Find out more ...

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How did a river valley civilisation arise?

The world's first civilisations arose around rivers. Why do you think this was? Think about the characteristics of a civilisation and how advanced agricultural practices allowed civilisations to flourish. This video mentions four ancient civilisations. Can you think of other civilisations that emerged near a river?

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Mesopotamia, the world's first civilisation

Considered the birthplace of human civilisation, Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq, and parts of Kuwait, Turkey and Syria) was situated in the fertile valley between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. What do we know of this ancient civilisation? What characteristics did Mesopotamia have that made it a civilisation?

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Ancient Chinese civilisation

The basin of Huang He, or the Yellow River, is considered the birthplace of Ancient China. What did this ancient civilisation have in common with other ancient civilisations? New advances in science and technology are traits of a civilisation. How did iron smelting revolutionise farming for the ancient Chinese?

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Indus Valley Civilisation

The Indus River is located in present-day Pakistan and is the birthplace of the Indus Valley Civilisation. What do we know of this civilisation? What are some characteristics of this civilisation that are similar to that of other river valley civilisations? Why do we know less of the Indus Valley Civilisation than we do ...

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The role of the Nile in Ancient Egypt

Like other early civilisations, the rise of Ancient Egypt was dependent on the fertile land around a river. By learning about and adapting to the conditions of the Nile River, ancient Egyptians were able to increase their agricultural productivity to support a large population. Why was this vital for a civilisation to flourish?

Interactive resource

Secondary history: historical inquiry - research

These seven learning activities focus on research using a variety of tools (software) and devices (hardware), and illustrate the ways in which content, pedagogy and technology can be successfully and effectively integrated in order to promote learning. In the activities, teachers provide appropriate guidance and scaffolds ...