History / Year 8 / Historical Knowledge and Understanding / Overview of the ancient to modern world

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Curriculum content descriptions

key features of the medieval world (feudalism, trade routes, voyages of discovery, contact and conflict) (ACOKFH009)

Elaborations
  • identifying the major civilisations of the period (Byzantine, Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Viking, Ottoman, Khmer, Mongols, Yuan and Ming dynasties, Aztec, Inca); where and when they existed; and their extent (for example, the Vikings through Europe, the Mongols across Eurasia, and the Spanish in the Americas)
  • locating the major trading routes (including the Mediterranean; the Silk Road; the sea route between China, India and the east coast of Africa; and the Columbian Exchange) on a map and identifying the nature of the trade/contact (for example, along the Silk Road – slaves, spices, silk, glassware, spread of knowledge and diseases)
  • describing beliefs about the world and the voyages of discovery (European and Asian), the nature of the voyages and the redrawing of the map of the world
  • explaining the significance of land ownership in the practice of feudalism and the nature of feudalism in Europe (for example, knights) and Japan (for example, samurai)
General capabilities
  • Intercultural understanding Intercultural understanding
ScOT terms

Conflict (Human relations),  Classical antiquity,  Feudalism,  Exploration,  First contact,  Distribution (Marketing)

Video

Why did civilisations expand?

This short video offers an overview of why civilisations expanded, by looking at the past for commonalities and patterns. The need to expand is one such pattern with massive empires growing then collapsing. Expansion was necessary to pay for increasing infrastructure, government and the military, and internal resources ...

Video

How did the world become interconnected?

This 10 minute video in 3 parts offers an overview of the growth of information networks through developments in the technologies of communication and transportation. Part 1 discusses how writing, inventions of paper and printing improved communication between societies and the development of transport and courier systems ...

Video

Systems of Exchange and Trade

This short (4 minute) video offers an overview of the history of world trade, focusing on the beginnings during the time of agrarian civilisations. The four great civilisations of the Romans, the Kushans, the Parthians and the Han Chinese were the key players, with their development of roads, ports and coin systems. The ...

Image

Panning for gold on the Mulgrave River, c1888

This is a black-and-white photograph showing five miners prospecting for alluvial gold on the banks of the Mulgrave River in Queensland. Two of the men hold shovels and stand by a sluice, two others pan for gold and the fifth rests on a wooden wheelbarrow. Several other mining implements are in evidence - a pan, pick, shovel ...

Image

Ophir gold diggings in 1851 - asset 3

This is a hand-coloured lithograph made by Thomas Balcombe (1810-61), measuring 27 cm x 47.5 cm, and based on a sketch made on the spot by J Korff. It depicts gold diggings at the confluence of Summer Hill Creek and Lewis Ponds Creek at Ophir in New South Wales. A horseman is shown approaching miners standing near the creek, ...

Image

John Forrest's 1874 expedition

This is a 52.5 cm x 69 cm, black-and-white photoengraving, of John and Alexander Forrest, James Sweeney, James Kennedy, Tommy Windich and Tommy Pierre with their horses after crossing the Great Victoria Desert in 1874. On the far right is the Overland Telegraph Line, about 120 kilometres north of Coober Pedy in South Australia. ...

Image

'Attacking the mail, bushranging, NSW 1864'

This is a coloured print, measuring 19.8 cm x 25 cm, painted by the famous colonial artist Samuel Thomas Gill (1818-80) and published in 'The Australian Sketchbook'. It shows three masked bushrangers holding up the Royal Mail coach with shotguns and muskets. Their horses are hidden in nearby shrubs. The Mail is shown crowded ...

Image

'Gold digging in Australia 1852: bad results'

This is the first of a pair of oval watercolours, measuring 20.2 cm x 26.4 cm, painted by Samuel Thomas Gill (1818-80), a famous colonial artist. It shows two gold miners sitting dejectedly beside their mine, probably on the Victorian gold fields. Behind the men is a windlass, as well as their wheelbarrow, pick and spade. ...

Image

'The claim disputed', c1852

This is a watercolour, measuring 19.4 cm x 25.4 cm, by Samuel Thomas Gill (1818-80), a famous colonial artist. It shows a well-dressed man - presumably the Gold Commissioner - arbitrating a dispute over a claim involving three diggers, probably on the Victorian gold fields. Two of the diggers are in animated discussion ...

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Concert room at Ballarat, 1855

This is a watercolour, measuring 22.8 cm x 31.9 cm, by Samuel Thomas Gill (1818-80), a famous colonial artist. It shows Charles Thatcher (1831-78), a comic singer well known on the gold fields, performing popular songs on stage at the Charlie Napier Hotel in Ballarat with a female accompanist. The painting has the artist's ...

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Women stapling ration books, 1943

This is a sepia-toned photograph, taken in April 1943, of young women at the South Australian Government Printing Office using large machines to staple ration books.

Image

'Meeting of Major Mitchell and Edward Henty, Portland Bay, 1836'

This is a photo-engraving, approximately 52.5 cm x 69.0 cm in size, depicting two men in front of a farm greeting a party of visitors. It shows Edward Henty shaking the hand of Major Thomas Mitchell, who is on horseback. They are watched by a man standing on the left-hand side and by four members of Mitchell's party on ...

Image

Macquarie Island party, 1911-14

This is a black-and-white photograph of five members of Sir Douglas Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911-14 team at Macquarie Island. The men are posed in front of two rocky outcrops, dressed in heavy Antarctic clothing. The personnel pictured are (left to right) Charles A Sandell, wireless operator and mechanic; ...

Image

Successful explorers at the South Pole, 1911

This is a mounted sepia photograph, measuring 7.6 cm x 12.6 cm, taken by Olar Bjaaland (1873-1961) at the South Pole on 14 December 1911. It shows his four companions paying tribute to the Norwegian flag flying from their tent. Written across the mount below the photograph is the caption, 'The successful explorers at the ...

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Sheet music cover for 'Australia draws her maiden sword', 1885

This is the damaged front cover of a three-page score for the song 'Australia Draws her Maiden Sword'. It depicts Australia as a maiden drawing her long sword and preparing for imminent conflict. Behind her, troops are shown marching out of their encampment. On the bottom of the cover in copperplate are the words 'WRITTEN ...

Audio

Alexandra Shackleton discusses Ernest Shackleton, 2005

This is an edited sound recording of the Hon Alexandra Shackleton, grand-daughter of the Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. She recounts aspects of his leadership of a 1907-09 expedition to Antarctica, relating how, for the sake of the survival of his team, he abandoned his bid to be the first to reach the geographic ...

Image

US soldier and air-raid shelter, Brisbane, 1942

This colour photograph taken in May 1942 shows a US army officer posing at the entrance of an underground air-raid shelter in Brisbane. The photo was taken in the grounds of Somerville House, an exclusive girls' boarding school requisitioned by the US forces in the Second World War as one of their headquarters in Brisbane. ...

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Shackleton expedition at Lyttelton Harbour, 1914

This is a black-and-white photograph showing the sailing ship 'Endurance' being loaded with ponies and sled dogs at Lyttelton (east coast of the South Island of New Zealand) for Ernest Shackleton's expedition to Antarctica. A crowd of people is aboard the ship, watching proceedings, and there are groups of people in the ...

Image

Enrolling in the Land Army, c1944

This is a posed black-and-white photograph, measuring 24.7 cm x 19 cm and taken around 1944 in Drouin, Victoria by Jim Fitzpatrick. It shows a formally dressed young woman seated in front of a desk labelled 'War Agricultural Committee'. A man, seated behind the desk, is handing her a book entitled 'Food front'. The furniture ...

Image

Cartoon of an Australian wife kissing a US soldier, 1943

This cartoon shows a US soldier romancing the wife of an Australian soldier. A shocked Australian Army private in uniform is depicted peering from behind a curtain at his attractive wife in the arms of a suave-looking US staff sergeant, who is also in uniform. The private holds a photograph album and the uniform hats of ...