KS2 Educational Resources 

How does Benin (AD 900-1300) contrast with British History?

Location of Nigeria, site of historic Benin.

Produced byy  Rei-artur  pt  en  Rei-artur blog [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)]

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

Downloads

Lesson 5: Benin

Lesson Plan

Powerpoint

Lesson 6: Benin

Lesson Plan

Powerpoint

Disclaimer: The downloadable materials are advisory only, and are up-to-date as of December 2018. Teachers are advised to undertake any necessary risk assessments, and take into full consideration any food allergies, intolerances, or safety risks, as well as the emotional impact of any discussions entered into.  Most images included are available on Creative Commons licenses, and credit is given where available. Weblinks are included for purposes of general information only; we have no control over the nature, content and availability of sites linked to, and the inclusion of links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them. No liability is accepted for any loss, damages, or distress caused.

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Photo credits: Coppergate Pots (c) York Archaeological Trust. Thanks to Maude Hirst for hearthside photo.

© 2016 by Steve Ashby

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