Mesopotamia

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Mesopotamia Web Sites

The British Museum: Mesopotamia
The British Museum site includes interesting images, simulations, and other resources to make the study of Ancient Mesopotamia enticing for students. Topics include Georgraphy; Gods, Goddesses, Demons and Monsters; Time; and Writing. The Geography section includes a zoomable map and an illustrated story of Gilgamesh. The Gods and Godesses section includes a comparison of gods, goddesses, demons and monsters of Mesopotamia, an illustrated story about gods and godesses, and a challenge game to "get the gods" using a cuneiform tablet. The Time section includes a Mesopotamia timeline and a story of how the history, languages and culture of the peoples of Mesopotamia were rediscovered in the last two centuries. The section also includes Shockwave-generated challenge to figure out how the objects archaeologists find get under the ground. The Writing section explores how scribes worked and recorded information and presents the story of how one cuneiform symbol evolved. The challenge activity prompts students to put together a broken ancient tablet. Overall, a great introduction to ancient Mesopotamia for kids, though the hyperlinked stories design and multimedia are not as fresh and enticing as what can be found at some other sites aimed at children.

Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Mesopotamia
The Internet History Sourcebooks are wonderful collections of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts for educational use by Paul Halsall of Fordham University. The Internet Ancient History Sourcebook contains hundreds of well-organized sources and also includes links to visual and aural material, as art and archeology play a prominent role in the study of Ancient history. The Mesopotamia section is organized around ancient near Earst civilizations such as the Sumerian, Akkadia, Babylonia, Assyria, Chaldea, Syria, and features primary source works such as the Epic of Gilgamesh. The Sourcebook also has secondary source articles on various issues in Ancient Near East history, such as Mathematics, Gender and Sexuality, and Arts and Architecture. (The "Modern Perspective" link appears broken.) Last update in 2007.

Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus
The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus explores through art the emergence of the world's first city-states and empires in Syria and Mesopotamia during the third millennium B.C. The site also relates these developments to artistic and cultural developments from the eastern Aegean to the Indus valley and Central Asia. Famous sites of the ancient world covered include the Royal Graves of Ur, the palace and temples of Mari, the citadel of Troy, and the great cities of the Indus Valley civilization. The exhibition includes approximately 400 works of extraordinary sculpture, jewelry, seals, relief carving, metalwork, and cuneiform tablets. There is a special, in-depth feature designed to complement the exhibition, an essay from the exhibition catalogue, and samples from the accompanying Audio Guide.

ABZU
ABZU is a comprehensive scholarly guide to the Ancient Near East via the Internet. It provides a helpful index of resources for the study of ancient Mesopotamia, including links to the latest news, publications, research archives, archaeological sites, maps and atlases. There is a handy search engine, a listing of publications by author, and a list of recently added to ABZU. A search (ex. "temples") elicits a mix of books, articles, and websites.

Ancient Near East and the Ancient Mediterranean World
The University of Chicago Library preserves deteriorated research materials relating to the history, art, and archaeology of the Ancient Near East and the ancient Mediterranean world. The project focuses on materials published between 1850 - 1950, drawn from two of the Library's complimentary collections: the Ancient Near East and Classics Collections. This is an excellent research collection for primary source materials.

Oriental Institute Virtual Museum
The Oriental Institute Museum is a showcase of the history, art and archaeology of the ancient Near East. The Museum exhibits major collections of antiquities from Egypt, Mesopotamia, Iran, Syria, Palestine, and Anatolia. The Oriental Institute Virtual Museum makes use of a series of Apple QuickTime VR panoramic movies to take you on a tour of each of the Museum's galleries, accompanied by descriptions of each alcove and their artifacts. Where appropriate, links to related materials, such as the Museum's Highlights From The Collections, the Photographic Archives, and relevant Oriental Institute Archaeology and Philology projects elaborate on the most significant objects in greater detail.

Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur
A presentation by the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, this is an exhibition from the School of Art and Design at San Jose State University featuring 157 Sumerian objects that were excavated by the British archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley, director of the joint excavations of the British Museum and the University of Pennsylvania Museum at ancient Ur in the 1920s and 1930s.

Ancient Near Eastern Art: New Light on an Assyrian Palace
The central gallery of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Gallery for Assyrian Art recreates an audience hall in the palace of Ashurnasirpal II (r. 883-859 B.C.) at Nimrud in northern Iraq. Objects in an adjacent gallery illustrate the ivory carving and other art of the Assyrian empire and its neighbors. Learn more about the palace of Ashurnasirpal II, the city of Nimrud, and the stone reliefs and carved ivories of the Assyrian empire through the following sections: map of Assyrian empire, Excavations at Nimrud, Ivories from the Northwest Palace, and Releifs. View a virtual reality reconstruction and a drawn rendering of the interior of the palace.

Collection: Collapse of Ancient Civilizations
Part of the Annenberg/CPB exhibits, this site focuses on the fall of ancient civilizations in four areas: Maya, Mesopotamia, Chaco Canyon (southwest U.S.), and Mali and Songhai. Nice images and interesting presentation.

The Ancient World Mapping Center
The Ancient World Mapping Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a series of online resources related to the Barrington Atlas and other aspects of ancient geography and cartography. Go the Free Maps section for small-scale ancient geography reference maps for classroom and personal use. (A blank version of each map is usually available.) You can also find updates to the Barrington Atlas; free, downloable maps for educational use; and articles about new discoveries.

Diotima
Diotima is an interdisciplinary scholarly resource on gender in the ancient Mediterranean world and as a forum for collaboration among instructors who teach courses about women and gender in the ancient world. Diotima offers course materials, essays, bibliography, images, good links to related sites, a search feature, and a section on biblical studies. Last update was in 2006.

Mesopotamia
This section is from a companion course web site on Ancient and Medieval History by Professor Richard Hooker at Washington State University. It offers clear and informative lecture notes, maps, a photo gallery, timelines, links to relevant sites, and more. However, it was first published in 1996 and little has been done to update the site since then. It also lacks interactivity. Click "Contents" to enter.

Mr Dowling's Electronic Passport: Mesopotamia
Mr. Dowling's Electronic Passport helps kids browse the world in his virtual classroom. He introduces you to many civilizations with clear explanations, engaging graphics for kids, and "cool links." His helpful study guides, homework assignments and exams are free and available for you to print or to edit. However, the site's dated design and lack of interactivity are not so "cool."

Odyssey Online
The Odyssey Online project was developed to help educators teach using works of art from the ancient Near East, Egypt, Greece, Rome and Africa. Designed for elementary and middle school-aged students, the major sections include People, Daily Life, explores archaeology, Mythology, Death and Burial, and Writing. Sections include games and puzzles for kids. Last updated 2005.

History Links 101: Ancient Mesopotamia
History Links 101 is a broad gateway to Ancient Mesopotamia web sties. You'll find many links to Mesopotamian Art, Daily Life, Maps, Research, and Biographies. Unfortunately some of the links are to older web sites that are not actively maintained.

Lesson Plans, Teacher Guides, Activities, and more

Course Models: The Beginnings of Civilization in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Kush
This course model is produced in collaboration with the California Department of Education and is aimed at sixth graders. Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the early civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Kush.

Mesopotamia Web Site Staff Room
The British Museum site on Mesopotamia offers a 'Challenge' -- an activity that allows pupils to practice certain skills (historical, analytical, mathematical, observational) within the context of a theme or topic relevant to Mesopotamia.

Mr. Donn's Ancient History Page: Mesopotamia
Don Donn of the Corkran (Maryland) Middle School provides a complete unit with daily lesson plans and unit test for sixth graders. There are also links to multiple K12 lesson plans and activities.

You Be the Judge: Hammurabi's Code
Using Hammurabi's Code, you decide the proper punishment for shoddy workmen, straying wives, and abusive landlords.

Accessing Women's Lives in Mesopotamia
From the Women in World History Curriculum

Create Your Own Sumerian City-State - A Problem-based Activity
A 6th grade WebQuest activity: "This is your Mesopotamia City Designing Supervisor. I have invited you all here to do one thing and that is to Design A Sumerian City-State."

Classroom and Museum Lessons Plans: Mesopotamia
From the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. The First Cities Lesson Plans: Ancient Jobs in Mesopotamia

Ancient History Simulations: Akbar's Dilemma
Students will identify the role religion played in the everyday lives of ordinary Mesopotamians. They will recognize that Mesopotamian religion stressed ritual for the here and now as opposed to any concern for the afterlife.

BBC History: Mesopotamia Gallery
By 3,000 BC, the Mesopotamians had already invented the wheel, developed writing, and created the world's first cities and monumental architecture. Find out more about the many aspects of Mesopotamia's rich legacy through these BBC images.

The World's History: River Valley Civilizations
The online guide to Howard Spodek's The World's History features quizzes (multiple-choice questions, true/false questions, interactive review questions), primary sources, maps, a bulletin board, a Live Chat, web links, and faculty resources for each chapter/topic. This chapter focuses on the civilizations which developed in the Nile valley of Egypt and the Indus River valley of India/Pakistan.

The World's History: Dawn of the Empires
The online guide to Howard Spodek's The World's History features quizzes (multiple-choice questions, true/false questions, interactive review questions), primary sources, maps, a bulletin board, a Live Chat, web links, and faculty resources for each chapter/topic. The empires in this chapter come from three different regions: Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece.

Brief Review in Global History and Geography: Document Based Essays and Practice Tests
PH@School's Brief Review in Global History and Geography Web site provides multiple-choice questions from actual Regents exams. You can also practice your test-taking skills on document-based essay questions (DBQs), with the option of e-mailing answers directly to your teacher for review.

 

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