Teacher's Guide for DIG TM Iran's HasanluMay 2004
Teacher Guide prepared by: Lisa Greenberg. Lisa Greenberg taught in international schools in Japan, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia. She now lives and writes for children's and travel magazines in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Small Group or Whole Class:
Look at the cover picture with the students. List what they see, such as bird, woman, gold, embossing, and suggest that these are the "clues" with which archeologists have to work. Discuss what the "clues" tell us now. Then brainstorm what the function of this artifact might be. If time permits, do the same with the photos on the back cover, helping students distinguish between what they see, the "clues," and what the "clues" might suggest.
"Secrets of High Mound," pp. 6-7
Review the map of Hasanlu on the content page and discuss what its location might mean for the city, e.g., proximity to water, trade routes, etc.
Read for Information: Copy the questions below for students to use as a worksheet or have students read and answer questions in group discussion.
"A Fire That Stopped Time," pp. 8-11
- What is the largest archeological stie in the Qadar River Valley? (Hasanlu Tepe mounds)
- For how long were the Hasanlu Tepe Mounds inhabited? (from 6000 BC until 1300 AD or almost 7 ½ thousand years)
- Why were the mounds a good place to live? (Herders and farmers had access to good soil and much grass; it was close to trading routes.)
- Who organized the first excavations at Hasanlu and when? (Robert Dyson Jr.'s University of Pennsylvania team worked at Hasanlu and associated sites from 1956 until 1977.)
- What is the High Mound or Citadel? (The 82-foot-high center of the mound which was surrounded by fortifications.)
- How was the High Mound used by people? (Sometimes for religious or military or political buildings; at other times as a farming village)
- What is the Low Mound? (It is an area only 24 feet above the plain which surrounds the high mound. It contains cemeteries and houses from the periods when the settlement was larger and contained more people.)
- When and how was the settlement destroyed? (Around 800 BC a fire completely destroyed the town during an attack by an enemy force.)
- How do archeologists know the city was attacked? (They found the remains of soldiers who had died in the fire while looting.)
- Why is Hasanlu so interesting for archeologists? (Because it was suddenly destroyed by fire, many buildings and artifacts were preserved in their original positions. It presents a "snapshot" of Northwest Iran settlement in 800 BC.)
"Built for a God," pp. 12-15
- Small Group Projects:
ART: Use the clues about dress, buildings, pottery, and weapons from the photo and article text to create a diorama or drawing of a particular scene during the 800 BC fire.
WRITING: Imagine that you are one person who escaped from the fire and write an account of what you saw.
ORGANIZING INFORMATION: Make a two-column table headed and sort the information in the article into those categories. For example,
|pottery storage vessels contained grain, figs, grapes
||the fire took place in late summer
You may prefer to do this as a whole class exercise.
Class Discussion Questions:
"The Gold Bowl," p.16-19
- How is the structure of Burned Building II the same or different from the temple, mosque, or church that you attend or know about? Does your place of worship have a vestibule? An open air area? A "stage" area? A central area surrounded by smaller rooms? A sanctuary?
- How does the narrator describe the statue of the god or cult figure and from where does she get her information?
- Where did some of the temple treasures come from and what does this tell you about Hasanlu's role in ancient Mesopotamia?
Class Discussion Questions:
"Meet Robert H. Dyson Jr.," p. 20-21
CREATIVE WRITING: Use the pictures on the golden bowl to create a story or myth about the Hasanlu.
- Why was Mr. Dyson so excited about finding the bronze buttons that led him to the bowl? (Because the buttons were placed together and might show more about the clothing of the ancient people)
- Why does the Gold Bowl have so much significance? (Because its decorations tell a story and reveal information about the culture, it shows that Hasanlu was a rich civilization that could buy and work gold, it associates the Hasanlu culture with the Mesopotamian myths and images and text linked to Syria and Anatolia)
CAREER EDUCATION: List three aspects of Robert Dyson's career that would attract you to work in archeology and list three aspects that would turn you away from archeology as a career. What kind of personality and work characteristics do you think an archeologist needs?
"What The Horses Wore," pp. 22-25
Read for Information: Fill in the blanks.
"Stone ID Cards," pp. 26-7
CLASS DISCUSSION: What kinds of evidence did archeologists use to figure out the uses of horses in 9th Century Hasanlu? (artifacts such as bits, harnesses, horse decorations; textual inscriptions; horse skeletons and their locations and sizes; reliefs from Assyria which influenced Hasanlu; decorations on artifacts found at Hasanlu)
- Horses played an important role in Hasanlu during the late _______ century. (ninth)
- Most of the horse skeletons and harnesses at Hasanlu were found in the _____________. (stables)
- Horses were used for two purposes: ______________ and _______________. (riding, pulling chariots)
- The bridles of the riding horses were decorated with _________________. (buttons)
- The chariot found at Hasanlul had ___________ wheels with ___________ spokes. (two, six)
- The breastplate, bells, and buttons found in Hasanlu stables suggest that ornamented horses were used in special _________________. (ceremonies)
- Reliefs from the palace of _____________ at _______________ helped archeologists reconstruct the harness found at Hasanlu. (Assurnasirpal II, Nimrud)
"Seeds, Woods, and Shells," pp. 28-29
- What is a seal? (a small stone engraved with an image or inscription)
- How was it used? (pressed into soft clay)
- What was the seal's function? (to identify the owner or sender of a box or jar)
- Describe the most common type of seal at Hasanlu. (cylindrical, engraved with images in two rows, often with animals or a scene of one man receiving another or a hunting or war scene)
- Where did the imported seals come from? (Assyria)
- Why do some of the seals have holes in the middle? (So that they could be suspended from an iron pin used to fasten a cloak)
- How are the Assyrian seals different from the Hasanlu seals? (they have only one row of images)
COOPERATIVE LEARNING: Pair students and have each pair list five things that archeologists learned at Hasanlu by sifting buckets of dirt and flotation. Then have sets of two pairs share their lists.
As a whole group, discuss what was the most interesting thing students learned from this article.