Debating Ancient History


Weekdays during school term | 10am and 12.30pm

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
Critical and creative thinking
Year Level
Year 7 – 12
90 Minutes

$280 per group (up to 32 students)

How do we know about Australia’s ancient past, and how do we continue to learn more?

In this hands-on workshop, students unpack multiple perspectives on Australia’s ancient history, using objects and artefacts to piece together elements of the past. Using techniques to analyse real and replica objects from the Museum’s collections, students learn about archaeologists, Traditional Owners of Country and historians while considering ethical concerns associated with the treatment, display and interpretation of collections.


Student experience

Students will

  • View and handle significant and replica objects and artefacts from the Museum’s collections
  • Use inquiry-based learning to better understand professional investigation techniques
  • Explore the roles and contributions of Traditional Owners and archaeologists in Australia’s ancient history through visiting the Origins gallery.
  • Encounter challenging questions and interrogate issues around collecting cultural artefacts and human remains

Program feedback:

I loved the discussions about misappropriation of Aboriginal culture. The exhibits were great, the education team were clear and explained things well.

Skills development

This program links to the following strands of the Western Australian Curriculum:

Year 7

Depth Study 1: Investigating the ancient past

  • How historians and archaeologists investigate history, including excavation and archival research (ACDSEH001)
  • The range of sources that can be used in an historical investigation, including archaeological and written sources (ACDSEH029)
  • The importance of conserving the remains of the ancient past, including the heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (ACDSEH148) 

Year 11

Ancient History General

Unit 1 – Ancient civilisations and cultures
Elective: Ancient Australia and the First Peoples

Ancient History ATAR

Unit 1 – Investigating the ancient world
Students investigate the significant issues related to at least one of the following topics:

  • Historical authentication and reliability
  • Preservation, conservation, and/or reconstruction of ancient sites
  • Cultural heritage, ownership and the role of museums
  • Treatment and display of human remains

Year 12

Ancient History ATAR

Unit 4 – Reconstructing the ancient world

  • Understanding the nature, purpose and significance of the sources
  • Understanding issues relevant to the fragmentary nature of the evidence, reliability, excavation, and conservation
  • Apply key concepts as part of a historical inquiry, including evidence, significance, perspectives, interpretations and contestability
  • Use historical skills