KS2 Educational Resources 

How does Baghdad around the year 900 contrast with British History?

The modern city of Baghdad, and the River Tigris.

Produced by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from Washington D.C, United States [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

The Abassid Caliphate at its greatest extent.Produced by Umayyad750ADloc.png: Gabagoolderivative work: Bassem [CC BY 3.0  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]

In 960 AD/CE, Baghdad was the wealthy capital of a powerful Islamic caliphate, a Muslim empire stretching from Morocco to Central Asia. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty and was a major centre of trade. Goods were brought from across and beyond the Muslim world, including food stuffs and culinary ingredients. Surviving cook books indicate the sophistication and variety of recipes and ingredients available to the wealthy elites of Baghdad, often served on beautifully made pottery.

Following the model from lessons 1 and 2, the scheme of work covers two optional enquiry questions:

1. The first "What can recipes tell us about past people?" analyses surviving recipes for evidence of what the rich consumed. The enquiry will also consider where the ingredients came from, and what this can tell us about food-trading patterns across and beyond the Abbasid Empire.

2. The second enquiry question " What can lost treasures in Indonesia and Denmark tell us about Baghdad in 900?" focuses on archaeological evidence excavated far beyond the borders of the Abbasid Empire, which indicate that trading from Baghdad stretched across the world. One cache of evidence is a Viking-era hoard buried on a Danish island, but containing Abbasid silver coins, while the other is the unique ship wreck of an Arabic trading vessel off Indonesia carrying Chinese ceramics and other luxury items to Arabia.

Downloads

Lesson 3: Baghdad

Lesson Plan

Powerpoint

Lesson 4: Baghdad

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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