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Cats of the Ancient World! A History Through Art and Archaeology

Josee Dimson
Average rating:4.9Number of reviews:(32)
In this one-time lesson, we will learn about the origins of the domesticated cat, starting with its origins in prehistory and following our furry friend through time and the world.

Class experience

US Grade 3 - 6
Students will learn about the use of archaeological materials and ancient art to learn about a specific animal.  They will investigate the role of animals in the ancient world. They will learn that archaeologists need to be impartial and fair in their interpretation of evidence.
I am a trained archaeologist, and I excavated at sites such as Mytilene and Kommos in Greece for many field seasons. I have travelled extensively through Europe, and I have taught Greek and Roman art, archaeology and mythology at Concordia University, Montréal.  I held a position at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada, where I created and led tours for children on the topics of Greek, Roman and Egyptian archaeology, the Medieval period, dinosaurs and natural history. More recently, I have taught labs on water science and solar energy to Kindergarten and Grade 1 students through Scientists in School. Since July 2021, I have had the pleasure of teaching many archaeology and ancient civilizations classes on Outschool. 
No supplies required
Learners younger or older can attend the class.  The material can be altered to suit any age group.
I will present the class material through the use of slides, both from my own collection and from archaeological excavations and museum collections.  The idea for this class is based on a student request and a book entitled "A Cat's Tale" by Paul Koudounaris and Baba the Cat;  the author has kindly given me permission to use his wonderful illustrations.  
The learner will look at the archaeological material and learn how to interpret it, and discover that evidence can lead to different opinions.  In order to refine our understanding of the topic, ancient literary and artistic sources, for example Egyptian wall paintings, will be used to support the many theories surrounding the origins and the role of cats in the ancient world.  We will also look at ancient texts and maps in order to decipher and understand what ancient people communicated.  The goal is to show learners how to use all this evidence in order to learn about the origins of our furry friends.
As an archaeologist, I base my classes on scholarly texts, scientific secondary sources such as textbooks, scholarly journals (Archaeology Magazine, National Geographic, etc.), and archaeological reports, while keeping it age appropriate.  I also use primary sources, for example Homer, English translations of Egyptian hieroglyphs, Latin texts, etc.  Other visuals than my own are drawn from sites such as Open Licensed Images, Ancient World Image Bank, World History Encyclopedia, the New York Public Library Digital Collection, and Public Domain Pictures. All sites allow for free use of images, with credits.
Learners do not need to access any sites during class.

Average rating:4.9Number of reviews:(32)
Hi! My name is Josée and I am originally from Montréal, Québec, Canada. I have always wanted to study archaeology, travel and go on excavations, and I have been very lucky to be able to fulfill my dreams!  

I have earned a double major in... 
Group Class


per class
Meets once
55 min

Completed by 31 learners
Live video meetings
Ages: 8-12
3-9 learners per class

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