HSC Ancient History - Integrated Ancient Near East study

HSC Ancient History - Integrated Ancient Near East study

Pedagogy: Thoughts on Integrated programming for HSC Ancient History by Dr Denis Mootz.

Suggested Scope and Sequence for an integrated Ancient Near East approach


9 hours (approx. 10 x 50 min lessons or 12 x 40 min lessons)

  1. The Ancient Levant
    • Chronological context
    • Geographical context 
    • Key regional powers 
    • Contact between societies (trade, war, foreigners, etc.)
  2. Ancient Israel
    • Geographical setting of the land, natural features and resources
    • Area of Israel vs. Judah and surrounding kingdoms
    • Important sites within Israel and Judah
  3. Assyrian Empire
    • Geography, topography and resources
    • Relations with neighbours 
    • Organisation of empire 
    • Concept of kingship 
    • Overview of political, military, economic and social structure 
    • Overview of Assyrian and Babylonian religions

Focus of Study

81 hours (approx. 96 x 50 mins lessons or 120 x 40 mins lessons)

Society – Kingdom of Israel

  1. Social structure and political organisation, including the roles and features of:
    • Israelite kingship, the Davidic dynasty
    • Jerusalem temple and priests in opposition to Israel
    • Prophets: Elijah, Amos, Elisha, Hosea
    • Bureaucracy, merchant class, artisans, workers
    • Women; royal and non-royal
    • Army
  2. Economy
    • Importance of agriculture
    • Occupations, crafts and industry: wood, stone, metal, mining
    • Technology: tools, weapons, engineering, water systems (Siloam tunnel)
    • Economic exchange: trade with Judah and Assyria
    • Features of fortified cities: silos, Megiddo stables
  3. Religion, death and burial
    • Conflicting religious beliefs and practices: polytheism, Ba’al, Asherah, Yahweh
    • Roles of priests and prophets
    • Roles and importance of religious places: High Places – Dan and Bethel
    • Importance of the Jerusalem temple
  4. Cultural and everyday life
    • Art and architecture: Samaria, Jezreel and Megiddo, Samarian ivories, seals
    • Writing and literature: biblical narrative and Samarian ostraca
    • Leisure activities

Historical Period – First Temple Period

  1. Kingdom of Israel and kingdom of Judah
    • Ancient Levant as a strategic geopolitical location and evidence for the presence of other peoples:
      • Philistines
      • Phoenicians
      • Kingdoms of: Edom, Moab, Ammon, Aram-Damascus
    • Expansion of population, trade and settlement
    • Reign of Solomon and building the First Temple
    • Division of the kingdoms Israel and Judah under Rehoboam c.931 BC
    • Changing relations between the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah from 931-722 BC.
  2. Foreign relations with Assyria and Babylon
    • Prosperity of the northern kingdom of Israel and contact with neighbours from mid 10th century BC.
    • Assyrian conquest of the northern kingdom of Israel and its capital Samaria in 722 BC.
    • Contributing factors and outcomes of the campaign of Assyrian king Sennacherib against Judah in 701 BC.
    • Judah’s prosperity in the 8th to 6th centuries BC as a client-state of Assyria
    • Relations with the Babylonian Empire

Personality - Sennacherib

  1. Background and rise to prominence of Sennacherib
    • Family background
    • Education
    • Early political and administrative career
  2. Key features and developments of the reign of Sennacherib
    • Succession to kingship
    • Military campaigns and defence of the empire 
    • Religious policies: promotion of Assur
    • Imagery and representations of the king 
    • Technological innovations: public works and building programs 
    • Foreign policy: relations with vassal states, Babylon, Elam and Lachish 
    • Organisation and administration of the empire
    • Manner and impact of his death
  3. Evaluation of the reign of Sennacherib
    • Impact and influence on his time 
    • Assessment of his life and reign 
    • Legacy 
    • Ancient and modern images and interpretations of Sennacherib
  4. One particular source or type of source (e.g. royal inscriptions of Sennacherib, Lachish reliefs in Sennacherib’s throne room in Nineveh).
    • Value and limitations of the source 
    • Evaluation of the source in the context of other available sources, including problems of evidence.
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