KS2 Educational Resources
How does Benin (AD 900-1300) contrast with British History?
Location of Nigeria, site of historic Benin.
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This sophisticated kingdom flourished in part of what is now Nigeria. Despite leaving no written records, much has been preserved about the culture of Benin through oral tradition and magnificent artefacts. The diet of the people was varied as a result of productive local farming being supplemented with bush meat and fish. Benin can be studied as an example of a complex society that demonstrates what African civilisation was able to achieve prior to European exploration and colonisation. The main evidence for the history of the Benin civilization is actually most rich for the period beyond 1400 AD, so that is what has been used as the focus of study.
The first question "How do we know what people in Benin ate?" focuses on the available evidence for what people living in Benin ate, and the limitations of what that evidence can tell us.
The second question "How do we know which animals were most and least important to Benin people?" looks at what pupils might infer about Benin from the uses to which animals were put, including as food.
Bronze plaque from medieval Benin
Image by Steve Ashby, courtesy British Museum
Lesson 5: Benin
Lesson 6: Benin
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