Year 11 Preliminary Ancient History

Year 11 Preliminary Ancient History

Ancient Israel topics Year 11

Suggested Scope & Sequence for Year 11 Preliminary

Scope & Sequence


Features of Ancient Societies: Ancient Israel and Near East

Here are a couple of good options to choose from for an Ancient Near East study of 'Features of Ancient Societies'. Please follow the links to each topic to access our collated resources, discussion of evidence & sources, accompanying class activities and discussion points.


Investigating Ancient History - Case Study: Masada

Aerial View of Masada, Israel
Wikimedia Commons

A study on Masada, Lachish, Jericho or Megiddo would all form useful case studies as part of the 'Investigating Ancient History - Case Study' unit for teachers planning Ancient Israel topics for Year 12. We have prepared some teaching materials including a good reading list for a case study on Masada.

Current news

For information on the current excavations at Masada, see the blog: Masada. "The Strongest of them all".

The excavation is a Tel Aviv University project directed by Dr Guy Stiebel. The blog is posted by Joshua Errington, a team member of the Masada excavation and Macquarie University research student.

Scope and Sequence

Here is our suggested unit outline (approx. 15 lessons) for a case study on Masada.

Scope and Sequence for B6: Masada.

Reading List 
Introductory Texts
  • Yadin, Y. (1966), Masada, Herod’s Fortress and the Zealot’s Last Stand. Michigan

Masada in Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

  • Friend, G. and Fine, S. (1997), "Masada", in: The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East 1. Oxford: pp.428–430.
  • Murphy-O'Connor, J. (2008), The Holy Land: An Oxford Archaeological Guide from Earliest Times to 1700. Oxford Archaeological Guides. Oxford: p.385.
  • Stiebel, G. (2006), "Masada", in: Skolnik and Berenbaum (eds.), Encyclopaedia Judaica (2nd ed.) Vol. 13. Detroit: pp.593-599.
Representations of Masada – Ancient and Modern (including Patriotic Archaeology)

The Question of Ethnicity:

  • Zias, J. (2000), "Human Skeletal Remains from the Southern cave at Masada and the Question of Ethnicity". In: Schiffman, Van der Kam and Emanuel (eds.) The Dead Sea scrolls fifty years after their discovery. Jerusalem: pp.732–738

Validity of Ancient Sources:

  • Cohen, S. 1982 Masada: Literary Tradition, Archaeological Remains, and the Credibility of Josephus. Journal of Jewish Studies 33: pp.385–405
  • Rodgers, Z. (ed.). 2007. Making History: Josephus And Historical Method. Brill: p.397

Between Myth and Material Culture:

  • Ben-Yehuda, N. 1995. Masada Myth: Collective Memory and Mythmaking in Israel: Wisconsin: 48
  • Ben-Yehuda, N. 2002. Sacrificing Truth: Archaeology and the Myth of Masada. New York
Geographical and Historical Context 
  • Avi Yonah, M. et al. 1957. The Archaeological Survey of Masada. Israel Exploration Journal 7: 1–60
  • Tsafrir, Y. 1982. The Desert Fortresses of Judea in the Second Temple Period. The Jerusalem Cathedra 2: 120–45
Occupation and Siege of Masada
  • Gichon, M. 1995. A Further Camp at Masada. Bulletin du Centre Interdisciplinaire de Researches Aeriennes 18: 25–27
  • Goldfus, H. and Arubas, B. 2002. Excavations at the Roman Siege Complex at Masada – 1995. In: Freeman, P., Bennet, J. Fiema, Z. and Hoffmann, B. (eds.). Proceedings of The XVIIIth International Congress of Roman Frontier Studies held in Amman, Jordan (September 2000), vols. 1–2: 207–14
  • Richmond, I. 1962. The Roman Siege-Works of Masada, Israel. Journal of Roman Studies 52: 142–55
  • Roth, J. 1995. The Length of the Siege of Masada. Scripta Classica Israelica 14: 87–110
Ancient Sources (primary):
  • Josephus (Ant., 14, 15; Wars, 1, 2, 4, 7)
  • Strabo (Geography 16, 2:44)
  • Pliny the Elder (Natural History 5:17, 73)
Ancient Sources (secondary):
  • Solinus (third century C.E.?)
  • Martianua Capella (c. 400 C.E.)
Archaeological Materials (Primary):
  • The Yigael Yadin Excavavions 1963 –1965 Final Reports (1989–2006):
  • Yadin, Y. and Naveh, J. 1989. Masada I: The Aramaic and Hebrew Ostraca and Jar Inscriptions. Michigan
  • Meshorer, Y. 1989. Masada II: The Coins of Masada. Michigan
  • Cotton, H. and Geiger, J. 1989 Masada II: The Latin and Greek Documents. Michigan
  • Netzer, E. 1991.  Masada III: The Buildings, Stratigraphy and Architecture. Michigan
  • Barag, D. and Hershkovitz, M. 1994. Masada IV: Lamps. Michigan
  • Sheffer, A. and Granger-Taylor, H. 1994. Masada IV: Textiles. Michigan
  • Bernick, K. 1994. Masada IV: Basketry, Cordage and Related Artifacts. Michigan
  • Liphschitz, N. 1994. Masada IV: Wood Remains. Michigan
  • Holley, A. 1994. Masada IV: Ballista Balls. Michigan
  • Zias, J., Segal, D, and Carmi, I. 1994. Masada IV: Addendum: Human Skeletal Remains. Michigan
  • Foerster, G. 1995. Masada V: Art and Architecture. Michigan
  • Talmon, S. 1999. Masada VI: Hebrew Fragments from Masada. Michigan
  • Bar-Nathan, R. 2006. Masada VII: The Pottery of Masada. Michigan
  • Stiebel, G. and Magness, J. 2006. Masada VII: The Military Equipment from Masada. Michigan
  • Reich, R. 2006. Masada VII: Spindle Whorls and Spinning at Masada. Michigan
  • Reich, R. 2006. Masada VII: Stone Mugs from Masada. Michigan
  • Reich, R. 2006. Masada VII: Stone Scale-Weights from Masada. Michigan

Investigating Ancient History - Nature of Ancient History

Ancient Israel suggested studies

Below are some suggestions of how to incorporate the Ancient Near East into the 'Investigating Ancient History - The Nature of Ancient History' unit.

The Investigation of Ancient Sites and Sources:

  • Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Siloam tunnel inscription
  • Petra

Historical Authenticity and Reliability:

  • Dead Sea Scrolls

The Representation of the Ancient Past:

  • King David and King Solomon

Preservation, Conservation and/or Reconstruction of Ancient Sites:

  • The Temple Mount

Cultural heritage and the role of Museums:

  • Palmyra

The Treatment and Display of Human Remains:

  • Mummies from Canaan

Assyrian War chariot

Assyrian war chariot dating to the reign of Ashurnasirpal II, 865-860 BCE.
Detail of a gypsum wall relief from Nimrud, Iraq, currently housed in the British Museum
Wikimedia Commons

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