Those Clever Ancient Greeks – Part 2

You could set out your research task something like this – but of course with information in the box!

Welcome back from holidays, 7C!

As you already know, many people from ancient Greece were remarkably influential, impressively inventive and downright clever. For instance, there was Euclid, who figured out the rules of geometry and whose textbooks were used in schools until the 19th century. There was Homer, who is credited with writing down the legends of Odysseus and the Trojan War and whose stories have intrigued and inspired people ever since. There was the poet Sappho, whose work only survives in fragments – yet those fragments are so surpassingly beautiful, so intense and so memorable, that modern people still read her work with wonder. I could go on, but I want you to discover an ancient Greek thinker for yourselves. Here is your task:

Choose ONE of the great Greek thinkers listed below. Try to read two or three websites and one or two books about that person. The books could include an encyclopedia in the library or a dictionary or encyclopedia of biography.  Once you have found your information, design an attractive and eye-catching page about your famous Greek. Your page should include:

♦a summary of the person’s achievements

♦what you find interesting or admirable about him/her

♦quotations attributed to the person

♦diagrams representing inventions or mathematical principles, etc.

♦an attractive heading

♦a mini bibliography

♦symbols representing the person’s ideas or achievements (for instance, I have chosen a question mark for Socrates, because he was famous for asking questions)



Recommended Websites

Summary and other links:


Homer again:


Archimedes again:

One more Archimedes site:








An icy introduction to historical research: Ötzi


 ARCHAEOLOGY: The study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artefacts and other physical remains.

Dear 7B,

I love that description of archaeology up there. It makes the task sound so clean, so simple, so straightforward. It might be more honest to mention that archaeology is a slow, painstaking and supremely messy job, which is only undertaken by truly dedicated people in a quest for knowledge.

I hope you’ll show some of the same attention to detail in History, though I don’t expect you to get muddy. 

Today you can learn more about the story of Ötzi, the man from the Copper Age who, about 5000 years ago, climbed up a glacier and died. Naturally preserved in this frozen environment, he was found in 1991 and became the subject of intense archaeological study.

This is an example of natural mummification, like the kind that sometimes occurs in a peat bog, where the lack of oxygen and the low temperatures slow the decay of the body. In Cheshire, England, for instance, two well-preserved bodies were discovered in Lindow Moss in the 1980s, arousing great archaeological interest. At the time Lindow Woman was found, police suspected a criminal, Peter Reyn-Bardt, of the murder of his wife. Confronted with the discovery of Lindow Woman, Reyn-Bardt confessed to the murder; imagine his chagrin when radio-carbon dating later showed that in fact the body was almost 2000 years old. On the strength of his confession, however, he was later found guilty of his wife’s murder.

(The radiologists who studied Lindow Man nicknamed him “Pete Marsh”, a play on the phrase “peat marsh”. The British press took up the phrase.)

And now, back to Ötzi…

Read these sites to discover more…

♦DNA tests have been successful in producing Ötzi’s complete genome. Read the details at this site.

The "iceman" was wearing a grass cloak and shoes lined with grass.

♦Ötzi was wearing an intriguing collection of clothing, including a grass cloak, specially made shoes that allowed him to walk in the Alps and a knee-length garment made of tanned goat leather. The shoes are particularly interesting because they were made of bear leather (sole) and deer leather (upper) and were carefully lined to protect Ötzi’s feet from the cold. For precise details about Ötzi’s clothing, go to this link:

Ötzi’s shoes were partially made from bear leather.

♦Ötzi was carrying some beautifully crafted tools, including the only perfectly preserved prehistoric axe ever found. While the axe was made of copper, the dagger was made of flint. This shows that even when people started using copper, flint was still a very important resource. Read about Ötzi’s equipment at this site:


  • See what else you can discover about Ötzi. Create an A4 page of pictures and information boxes.
  • Include one box with 4 conclusions about Ötzi, which should be worded with care.
  • Make use of some of the “possibility words” in the slide at the bottom of this post.

♦Information about the body:

♦How he died:

♦His injuries:

♦His final moments:

Finally, a reminder that you should use some of the possibility words and phrases shown on the slide below:

Being able to use words that show you have reached conclusions from evidence, but cannot be completely certain that you are correct, is very important for a historian. The examples in the slide above will help you write like a historian.