Secondary School Workshop (7-8 History)

Appearance, progress and fall of civilisations

This workshop will get students exploring and discussing the origins of societies and civilisations, how they develop and change over time, what is meant by the progress and decline or fall of a civilisation and how this has been conceptualised by different historical perspectives. Engaging with the Hellenic Museums collections of 8,000 plus years of artefacts and handling objects from the Neolithic to Modern Age, students will investigate defining and contested themes of civilisation such as: agriculture, technology, urbanisation, law, specialisation of labour, slavery, social stratification, expansionism, monuments, symbolic and cultural systems of communication (including writing) and globalisation. 

To explore these themes and evaluate the processes of continuity and change in Hellenic and related civilisations (Mesopotamia and Rome), students will be provided with knowledge processing tools to construct their own interpretations and arguments about civilisation that they will present. The workshop will draw on a broad range of historical interpretations of civilisation from ancient sources such as the first Hellenic historians and political critics - to modern historians and thinkers. Students will be facilitated to critically interrogate these sources by analysing and corroborating sources and asking questions about their accuracy, usefulness and reliability. This investigation will help students consider questions such as:

  • How do we know about the ancient past

  • Why and where did the earliest societies develop?

  • What emerged as the defining characteristics of ancient societies? 

Learning Areas: History, Geography, Visual Arts, Civics and Citizenship, English

Capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Capability, Intercultural Capability, Personal and Social Capability

Ideal for: Years 7-8
Duration: 1.5 hours
Delivery: On-site at the Hellenic Museum

Cost: $16 per student