During May we celebrate all things ancient, with a modern twist. From 2,000 year old nanotechnology to today’s supercomputers, from earliest chanted rituals to electronic bloviations, the arc of human history has been, shall we say, complicated. As sentient beings, we have constructed marvels in word and deed. We have also destroyed and obliterated that which we don’t understand and those we choose not to recognize. We strut, preen, cogitate, ruminate—we make an altogether spectacular tragicomedy as we shuffle along this mortal coil. Humans are a confounding lot who often are doomed to repeat the very histories we disregard. Here lies the fascination with looking to the past as it reflects our very modern sense of self. (See below quotes for variations on the themes above.)
AntiquityNOW takes great pride in bringing each week examples of how the past is not as distant as we may think. During May, we invite you to share with us the many ways in which antiquity lives today. We would be happy to feature your images, art, stories and other work on our website’s AntiquityNOW Month page. Fill out our submissions form and send with your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also look for our hashtag campaign. More to come on this.
The clock is ticking down. Get ready to rumble!
If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed;
if in terms of ten years, plant trees;
if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.
Each time history repeats itself, the price goes up.
If you think you have it tough, read history books.
–Bill Maher (comic and political commentator)
Here are some ideas from last year for celebrating AntiquityNOW Month. We’ll be sharing more ideas during May 2015.
Teachers Get Involved
Individuals and Groups Get Involved
- Field Trip: Take your class to a museum or national park.
- Try a Recipe With a Past: Each week, choose a recipe from a Bon Appetit Wednesday recipe or from AntiquityNOW’s Recipes with a Past e-cookbooks to create an ancient feast and learn about the history behind the food. Enjoy as a class or have the students share with their families.
- Ancient Culinary Field Trip: Visit an ethnic restaurant as a class and have students write a report about the ancient roots of that civilization.
- Get creative! Have students write a story or poem that has a piece of ancient history as part of its plot.
- Ancient Mural: Using the art of Dan Fenelon, AntiquityNOW’s Artist-in-Residence, as inspiration, have the students work together to create a mural inspired by ancient art. The mural can be drawn or painted using an art paper roll. Hang the mural on a wall in the school. Look within Dan’s art for icons the students may recognize from studying other ancient civilizations. Use these links to find examples of other ancient art.
- Ancient Imagination: Create a piece of art inspired by an ancient civilization. Visit the links above for inspiration.
- Travel Brochure: Divide the class into groups. Have each group choose an ancient civilization and create a travel brochure for that civilization. Brainstorm with the class to determine the areas of the brochure. Some examples include:
- Ancient Newspaper: Have the students put out a newspaper from an ancient civilization. The students will pick an editor and choose the different sections of the paper to line up with modern newspapers. Divide the students into groups and give each group a different section. Create the final paper using computer software such as Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft Word or Mac Pages or you can make it manually. Use your imagination!
- Ancient Theater Project: Throughout the month have the students research an ancient person and the civilization in which he or she lived. The student will write a monologue given from the perspective of the ancient character, explaining what his/her life was like and how it relates to or is different from modern times. At the end of the month the students will perform their monologues for the class.
- Making and Building with Mud Bricks: Mud bricks were made all over the ancient world including Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece, the Indus Valley and South Asia. Have each student make a mud brick at home (find instructions here). Have the students bring in their bricks and build a mud brick structure. Let the students decide what form the structure will take.
- Simulated Archaeological Dig: Execute a simulated dig with your class. These lesson plans were developed by the Archaeological Institute of America and give students the opportunity to experience the excitement of archaeology.
- Take a Trip: Visit a museum or national park.
- Ancient Cuisine: Dine at an ethnic restaurant and learn about the history of the ingredients.
- Try a Recipe With a Past: Each week, choose a recipe from a Bon Appetit Wednesday recipe or from AntiquityNOW’s Recipes with a Past e-cookbooks to create an ancient feast and learn about the history behind the food. Invite your friends and family and celebrate the past! Use our Recipes with a Past cookbook to create an ancient feast. Invite your friends and family and celebrate the past!
- Have a Good Read: Lose yourself in an historical novel of ancient times.
- Get creative! Write a story that has a piece of ancient history as part of its plot.
- Create Your Own Art Inspired by Ancient Civilizations. Use the following links for inspiration.
 Positive Quotes about Antiquity. (n.d.). Retrieved April 9, 2015, from http://www.quotes-positive.com/quotes/antiquity/
 History Quotes, Sayings about History. (n.d.). Retrieved April 9, 2015, from http://www.quotegarden.com/history.html