2013 NSW Premier’s History Award
What are the Mysteries of Lake Mungo?
Timothy Gurry and Robert Lewis (Ryebuck Media with the National Museum of Australia)
There are many mysteries associated with the famous Lake Mungo archaeological site in southern NSW that will help students to explore important issues about ancient Australian history. Some of these are: How old are the Lake Mungo people and how do we know? Why were Mungo Lady and Mungo Man buried in these ways? What was life at Lake Mungo like? What should be done with the Lake Mungo human remains? And many more. This new case study help students to understand what Lake Mungo was, and how it became what it is today.
This teaching kit invites young people to critically engage with the archaeology, geology, science and history of Lake Mungo. The lake is first explored through a ‘mystery’ video that explores the different roles played by disparate academic disciplines in exploring the past. The video is scaffolded by a series of in-depth, multidisciplinary activities that invite students to read maps and artworks, think like archaeologists and geologists, and understand the importance of the changing environment in shaping human society, from the ice ages to 1840s pastoralism. The authors even ask students to assess Lake Mungo against heritage protection criteria.
The most exciting parts of the package, for us, were these follow up activities. We were impressed by their range, their interdisciplinarity, their challenging nature and their tendency to invite critical enquiry. This is an outstanding contribution to high school curriculum.
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