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HASS7 History: Ancient History: Historical Investigations

Primary Sources


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Useful Resources: eBooks

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Investigating History

Investigating History

This series of three clips explores the people and evidence that help us understand the Ancient Past, particularly of Australia.

The Role of Historians and Archaeologists: This clip outlines how archaeologists and historians investigate the ancient past and conduct historical inquiries. First, an archaeologist demonstrates what happens at an excavation site, including the tools and processes used to uncover and record artefacts and the evidence of their use in the past. Next, a historian explains how he interprets clues provided by artefacts and additional archival material to develop an informed historical narrative. Important historical concepts of chronology, pre-historical time periods, change and continuity are included.

Sources of Historical Evidence: This clip explores the range of sources that can be used in an historical investigation, including archaeological and written sources. We begin by looking at how artefacts are classified both by their materials and uses. Next, the role of archival material from the event, such as diaries or letters, as well as from other historical investigations or periods, such as journal articles and newspaper reports, is described. These sources are categorised as primary or secondary sources, and the benefits and limitations of each are considered. Featuring direct examples from an archaeologist and an historian, this resource will help viewers to understand how we study and interpret the past.

Ancient Australia: This clip looks closely at sources of evidence for ancient Australia and what they reveal about Australia’s past. Archaeologists and historians rely on sites, artefacts, and oral histories as the key sources of historical information. To highlight this importance, valuable archaeological discoveries in Australia, some dating back more than 40, 0000 years, are chronologically sequenced. The significance of human remains, rock art sites and artefacts at Lake Mungo in New South Wales and Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory is explored in detail. Sources of evidence from post-European contact, such as paintings and anthropological documents are also discussed. This resource concludes by highlighting the importance of conserving the remains of the ancient past, particularly in Australia.

SOURCE: ClickView (2014) Duration 36:55 mins, Rated E.

How Historical Theories Change

Behind the News: Megafauna Fossil Footprints

Scientists have found hundreds of fossilised footprints on a beach on Kangaroo Island. Some of them belong to ancient megafauna, others, to extinct animals like the Tasmanian Tiger. We visited the scientist's lab to find out what you can actually learn from a really old footprint.

SOURCE: ClickView Exchange, screened on ABC TV, August 2017, [Duration: 3:44 min}