WHAT IS ARTIFACT ANALYSIS?
Artifact Analysis is one of my favorite activities to put in front of my students. By nature, artifact analysis is an inquiry-based collaborative learning activity, and it is extremely powerful to watch unfold.
I designed this Mesopotamia Artifact Analysis to introduce students to civilization and its characteristics. As such, the guiding question of the Artifact Analysis is: What are the elements of a civilization?
HOW DOES ARTIFACT ANALYSIS WORK IN THE CLASSROOM?
While in small groups (3-5), each student is given a packet with 6 artifacts from Mesopotamia and a graphic organizer (or, if computers are available, all artifacts could be viewed by students on the computer). The graphic organizer helps students record the details about each of the artifacts and their ideas about the guiding question. At the end of the activity, I have each group answer the guiding question and make educated guesses about the 5 characteristics of a civilization (advanced cities, complex institutions, specialization, record keeping, advanced technology).
In this packet, there are also teacher resources! For one, each artifact is hyperlinked, and I uploaded the document as a docx so you can feel free to edit text or change the guiding question as needed. There is also a teacher reference page at the end which shows which artifacts align with each characteristic of a civilization.
I hope your students enjoy this activity as much as mine do! Please feel free to reach out with any questions.