Social Status, Power, and Human Burials

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Emperors, peasants, and everything in between. What can you tell from these artifacts found in ancient burial sites?

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Social Status, Power, and Human Burials

  1. 1. When historians have questions about past events, they don’t always have witnesses whom they can interview or documents they can read. Sometimes they just have artifacts (an artifact is any object — or the remains of an object — made by human beings), and they have to study the artifacts to try and answer their questions. What material is the artifact made of? How would the creator of the artifact have gotten the material to make it? An historian can squeeze out a surprising amount of infor- mation from one artifact. With your group, look carefully at the three sets of images and answer the following questions about each: 1. Describe the burial: what does the tomb or grave look like? How was the body prepared? Were there any objects in the grave or tomb? 2. What conclusions would you draw about the wealth, power, and social status of each of the individuals from these three burials? Explain the reasoning behind your conclusions. Once you have finished, your teacher may call on you to share your group’s ideas with the whole class. Written records can help historians “get into the heads” of the people they are studying, but written records are not always available. Sometimes historians must base their conclusions on a limited amount of evidence. Artifacts can tell historians a great deal about the people who created them. BIG HISTORY PROJECT / LESSON 7.3 SOCIAL STATUS, POWER HUMAN BURIALS
  2. 2. Describe the burial: What does the tomb or grave look like? How was the body prepared? Were there any objects in the grave or tomb? What conclusions would you draw about the wealth, power, and social status of each of the individuals from these three burials? Explain your reasoning. Egypt Xian West Asia BIG HISTORY PROJECT / LESSON 7.3 SOCIAL STATUS, POWER HUMAN BURIALS
  3. 3. Egypt Image credit: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Attribution: Jack1956 at the English language Wikipedia https://commons.wikimedia.org/ wiki/File:Bm-ginger.jpg Xian Image credit: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Attribution Eikenhein http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Terracottaarmyxx.jpg West Asia Image credit: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Attribution Rosemania http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MaskOfAgamemnon.jpg BIG HISTORY PROJECT / LESSON 7.3 SOCIAL STATUS, POWER HUMAN BURIALS

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