Ancient X-Files 2
LEARNING TASK EPISODE
Dawn Of Man
EPISODES IN THIS SERIES
Crown Of Thorns, Living Vampires, The Mystery Of Mary Magdalene, Dawn Of Man, The Crucifixion Decoded
Upper Primary and Junior Secondary
PROGRAMME DESCRIPTION FOR TEACHERS
Near the ancient town of Sanliurfa in eastern Turkey is an archaeological site that challenges the way we think about the dawn of civilisation. A series of giant standing stones, constructed some 12,000 years ago and covered with intricately detailed carvings, defy explanation, as they predate any known civilisation with the technology to create such a thing. Known as Gobekli Tepe, the site could well represent the beginnings of the first civilised society and the birth of religion. The discovery radically changes our concept of stone age people, thought until now to be simple hunter gatherers, who lived in small bands with limited resources, following animal herds around. But such a society could not have built such a sophisticated temple. Further discoveries reveal human bones and imagery suggestive of a death cult. To help unravel the mystery, Professor Graham Philip, archaeologist, undertakes a fascinating journey of discovery, using modern technology, forensic analysis and an international team of knowledgeable specialists.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION FOR TEACHERS
Join archaeologist, Professor Graham Philip as he travels to Turkey's Gobekli Tepe, to piece together the story of the world's oldest temple. The first trace of this amazing structure was accidentally found by an old farmer who ran his plough into a buried oblong stone. Untouched for thousands of years, the stone is the flat top of the first of a set of awesome, T-shaped megaliths some seven metres in height, covered in the symbolic artwork of an unknown civilization. The detailed, intricately executed relief carvings include chimeras – half-human, half-animal – while the pillars themselves resemble faceless figures of some kind, possibly the first gods to be depicted by mankind.
Ground penetration radar reveals hundreds more megaliths buried beneath the stone rubble of the temple site. The scale of construction suggests a work force of up to 500 adult males, who would also have needed to be housed, fed and controlled. Interestingly, the site, which lies in the fertile crescent, appears at almost exactly the same time as the development of agriculture develops and domestication of crops, including the ancestor of modern wheat.
Imagery connected with death – such as vultures, scorpions and a decapitated head, along with the discovery of piles of human bones – suggest the world's oldest temple is connected with a death cult. Further support for this theory is backed by the alignment of the central pillars. British author, Adrian Gilbert, uses a computer program that can calculate the view of the night sky from various locations around world for any date in history to show the pillars are oriented to the three bright stars of Orion's belt. Gilbert believes that the constellation of Orion, one of the most recognisable and believed to represent a great hunter in the sky, could be an important clue to the meaning of site.
Dead bodies discovered in the ancient peat bogs of northern Europe and Ireland provide further clues. A team of highly specialised archaeologists discover similarities and patterns between the bog bodies, embalmed in the bogs' acidic waters and antibacterial moss. Their fascinating conclusions dovetail with clues from the temple site to paint a vivid picture of a truly ancient belief system.
Upper Primary Curriculum
History is a disciplined inquiry into the past that develops students' curiosity and imagination. It develops understanding of cultural, social and political events, processes and issues that have shaped humanity from earliest times. It enriches our appreciation of how the world and its people have changed, and the significant continuities that exist into the present. In this way, the study of history enables students to contribute more effectively to creating the future.
Australian History K-10 Curriculum 2010: Rationale
Junior Secondary Curriculum
History, as a discipline, has its own methods and procedures that make it different from other ways of understanding human experience. Historical study is based on the evidence of the remains of the past. It is interpretative by nature, promotes debate and encourages thinking about human values, including present and future challenges. It develops transferable skills associated with the process of historical inquiry, including the ability to: ask relevant questions, critically analyse and interpret sources, consider context, respect and explain different perspectives, develop and substantiate interpretations, and communicate effectively.
Australian History Curriculum 2010: Rationale
In undertaking these tasks, students of History will develop:
• An interest in, and enjoyment of, historical study for lifelong learning and work, including their capacity and
• willingness to be active and informed citizens
• knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the past and the forces that shape societies, including
• Australian society
• understanding and use of historical concepts, including evidence, continuity and change, cause and effect, significance, empathy, perspectives and contestability
Australian History K-10 Curriculum 2010: Aims
In undertaking these tasks, students of History will:
• Engage in communication of and about biology, value evidence and scepticism, and evaluate critically the scientific claims made by others
• Solve problems, and make informed, responsible and ethical decisions when considering local and global issues and applications of biological concepts, techniques and technologies in daily life
• Appreciate biology as both an independent and a collaborative human endeavour
• Develop in-depth knowledge, understanding, skills and scientific values relating to biology
• Appreciate the changing and expanding body of contemporary knowledge in biology.
Australian History 2010: Aims