Inverting the telescope: investigating sources from a different perspective

Teaching History article

By Rosalind Stirzaker, published 27th June 2017

As historians, we are dependent on evidence, which comes in many varieties. Rosalind Stirzaker here introduces a project which she ran two years ago to encourage her students to think about artefacts in a different way. They have examined randomly preserved artefacts such as those of Pompeii, and sets of artefacts which were deliberately chosen, although not intended for historians, such as Tutankhamun’s grave goods.

Now they would construct a time capsule – a deliberately chosen set of artefacts designed to convey to a future generation a carefully constructed view of themselves. They were able to consider their own choices, and then apply that thinking to the choices others have made in the past, as well as considering what their own predictions about the future could tell them about the pace of change in the fast-moving society of Dubai.

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