Greece - Reconstructing a battle: Marathon
In this daily course, we will review how historians have used various forms of evidence, from ancient accounts to archaeological finds, to reconstruct one of the most important battles of western history. We will evaluate how biases influence the sources we use and the limitation of our ability to know what happened on a shore in Greece two-and-a-half-thousand years ago. You will be given the skills to form your own opinion about the battle of Marathon.
Medusa: the petrifying monster
Medusa has become one of the most iconic monsters of all time, but do you know why? We will discuss Medusa’s myth, cursed by a god to turn all those who look upon her to stone, and how she was hunted by Perseus for her head to slay a monster and an evil king. You will see how Medusa has been immortalised in art across the millennia and how she has found her way into popular culture, from film to political propaganda.
Creating the Pantheon
We will look at representations of popular mythological pantheons in the ancient world, from the Greeks and Egyptians to the Vikings. What are the common themes of the gods in the cultures of the old world? They were dreamt of to answer questions and solve problems which faced the people who prayed to them. In modern times our needs have changed and so if we were to create a new pantheon, how would this look? We will discuss how religion and belief is influenced by the culture that it is created in and give you the opportunity to create your own pantheon to answer the questions which haunt us in the twenty-first century.
Rome - Massacre at Cannae
After Hannibal crossed the Alps with a huge army of Carthaginian men, horses, and elephants, he would go on to claim victory after victory against the young Roman state. It would be at the battle of Cannae that Hannibal would cement his name in history, as he slaughtered tens-of-thousands of Romans and almost destroyed Rome before it could become the great power which it has become so famous for. We will discuss the progression of the battle of Cannae and its consequences for Rome and the western world. In doing so, we will pose the question ‘what have the Romans done for us?’ as we reflect on their failure against Hannibal and the Carthaginians.
Egypt – The propaganda of Kadesh
The account of the battle of Kadesh at Karnak is considered one of the earliest forms of propaganda in the world. On the temple walls Ramesses the Great set in stone the image of himself as a victorious king who defeated the Hittites and preserved the Egyptian Empire from eastern invaders. We will consider the accuracy of Ramesses’ recreation of the events of the battle and why all may not be what it seems. We will ask how the king sought to benefit from changing the account from that day and how this would affect his legacy as Egypt’s greatest ever ruler.
Introduction to Hieroglyphics (Workshop)
Learn to read the famous language of the ancient Egyptians! Discover who could read and write in ancient Egypt and what kinds of texts they wrote. Use hieroglyphs to write your own tomb curses just like an Egyptian. You will learn about the development of hieroglyphics writing through the idea of expressing words with images and discover how signs developed to represent phonetic sounds. You will then use hieroglyphics to write your own name and discover the differences between the Egyptian and English alphabets. In the second part of the session, you will learn what kinds of texts were written in hieroglyphics. You will then use given words and phrases in hieroglyphics to decipher and construct sentences.
Death in Ancient Egypt
Students will receive an overview of Ancient Egyptian funerary beliefs and practises, including mummification, and the importance of tomb decoration and design. They will have the opportunity to discuss in groups a range of questions, such as ‘How did they build the pyramids?’, ‘Why was mummification important?’, ‘Why were specific scenes shown in tombs?’
Students will be invited to design their own tomb, in terms of layout and decoration.
Garstang Artefact Handling Session
An opportunity for students to have a guided tour of the Garstang museum by an Egyptologist, including coming face to face with the Garstang mummy! Students will then handle a range of artefacts from Ancient Egypt. Each group will have the opportunity to discuss each object, describing the material it is made from, any decoration and its potential purpose. Objects to be discussed will range from items from daily life, to funerary objects, and jewellery. Each student will choose their favourite item and present it to the class.
Potted History of Ancient Egypt
Students will receive an overview of Ancient Egyptian chronology, before learning the potted history of Ancient Egypt through the study of famous kings and queens from each period. Students will have the opportunity to hot-seat these ancient celebrities, asking questions about their reign. They will then debate which king had the greatest impact on Ancient Egypt.
Nevertheless, if any of the short-courses appeal to you we are happy to adapt them into a one-off session. Furthermore, we are open to constructing tailor-made days or afternoons that cater to the needs of your students.