Strata: Portraits of Humanity, Episode 3, “Turkey’s Anatolia” and “English China Shipwreck”

StrataImage-webThis month we’re pleased to bring you Episode 3 of the new video newsmagazine series, Strata:  Portraits of Humanity, produced by AntiquityNOW’s partner, Archaeological Legacy Institute. In this two-part episode we explore the diverse cultural antecedents of the eastern and southeastern Anatolia region in Turkey as well as a 19th century shipwreck in Florida.

Anatolia has great scenic beauty and is an archaeological wonderland with clear traces of many civilizations.  It includes the stunning Mt. Nimrud with its massive burial mound and monumental statues placed at the summit 2000 years ago.  With Anatolia’s heritage claimed by many ancient peoples, the stories in Part 1 of this video weave a diverse human tapestry of connecting cultural threads and multi-layered histories.

In Part 2 we go to an excavation on the far side of the world from Anatolia. We see the 2011 excavations on the English China Shipwreck in Biscayne National Park, Florida, where the crew hope to pinpoint the ship’s date and identity.  The ship appears to have been carrying a load of English ceramics to an unknown colonial destination sometime between 1765 and 1775. See the challenges of underwater archaeology and the great treasures that the seas can hide.

Strata: Portraits of Humanity is a monthly half-hour video series available online and on select cable channels. Strata is a showcase for unique and diverse stories about the world’s cultural heritage. Stories come from across the globe with segments produced by Archaeological Legacy Institute and dozens of producer and distributor partners around the world.

Click on the image below to view the show on The Archaeology Channel and scroll down to see the curriculum developed by AntiquityNOW to accompany “Turkey’s Anatolia” and “English China Shipwreck.”

strata december 2014

*Produced in 2014 by Archaeological Legacy Institute, Copyright 2014 by Archaeological Legacy Institute

Lesson Plan 1

Turkey’s Anatolia


  • hittitesTo introduce students to the concept of cultural heritage and its legacy today
  • To demonstrate to students how ancient people developed cultural identity
  • To help students gain an understanding of how human culture was able to evolve from ancient to modern times through cultural intersections and shared knowledge
  • To bring the ancient Anatolian culture alive for students through a traditional culinary experience


  • To grasp the importance of cultural preservation by appreciating what we learn from ancient endeavor and how it applies today
  • To evaluate and think critically about how civilizations are built upon the ingenuity of those civilizations that preceded them
  • To realize how human intersections can lay mutual claim to lands, and think about the fact that legacies don’t have to belong to one culture
  • To discover how an ancient motif can be circulated as myth, religion and even fact among different cultures in ways that support a cultural worldview

Project Idea #1

  • Concept- Explore the extensive cultural influences in Anatolia
  • Materials- Historical journals, textbooks
  • Activity- Make a timeline (this site has free, interactive and multimedia templates) of the main cultures in Anatolia; for each, list their primary cultural and historical contributions

Project Idea #2

  • Concept– Research Mt. Ararat and its history; discover what is written about Noah’s ark and its relationship to Mt. Ararat
  • Materials– Historical journals, textbooks, religious materials, mythologies
  • Activity– Make a list of the stories from ancient cultures that describe a Great Flood
    • What do these stories have in common?
    • How do they differ?

Project Idea #3

  • Concept– Experience a traditional dessert from Anatolia
  • Materials-See recipe below
  • Activity (WITH ADULT SUPERVISION– Make baklava using the pistachios that are an important product from the Anatolia region. (Recipe here; read about the province of Gaziantep, the center of pistachio production in Turkey, here.)

Lesson Plan 2

English China Shipwreck


  • wreck-145639_640To introduce students to the concept of maritime archaeology
  • To demonstrate how artifacts are gathered
  • To show how archaeologists are like detectives trying to piece together a story
  • To illustrate how research, eyewitness accounts, documents, artifacts and other archaeological techniques contribute to an assembling of facts that can lead to an informed idea of what happened at a site
  • To promote critical thinking about a period of time
  • To promote storytelling and writing skills


  • To discover the field of marine archaeology and learn about the unique challenges facing underwater exploration
  • To understand the importance of nautical history from antiquity to modern times
  • To realize the meticulous inquiry necessary to reach a conclusion or a reasonable hypothesis about an object or situation

Project Idea #1

  • Concept-Learn about shipwrecks across time and cultures and how they reveal their secrets to marine archaeologists
  • Materials- Historical journals, textbooks, videos, maritime materials
  • Group Activity– Split up in groups and find at least three different videos/photographs on shipwrecks, from ancient to modern times. Share your visuals with the class and report on what you found:
    • The name and geographic location of the ship
    • Its purpose: cargo, passenger, etc.
    • The importance of shipping to the particular culture associated with the shipwreck
    • What the marine archaeologists have discovered so far from the wreck
    • What they hope to discover further about the ship
    • Why each shipwreck is important to history
    • How each ship compares to the others in terms of purpose, construction, reflection of a culture, etc.

Project Idea #2

  • Concept– Research life on a ship at a certain point in history
  • Materials– Historical journals, maritime texts, journals of or about seamen
  • Writing ActivityWrite three journal entries (200 words each) as if you were a captain, seaman and cabin boy on a ship. What would your life be like?

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