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Civilizations in Contact

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Civilizations in Contact aims to promote greater understanding between today's world cultures by demonstrating how these cultures and civilizations were interconnected and interacted with each other in the past.

CiC has completed two educational outreach projects since its founding as a registered charity in 2012:

Both were funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. In both cases, while the projects focused on particular civilizations, the connections between those and other world civilizations were emphasised: the Romans with Britain to the West and China and India to the East; the Vikings with many parts of the world, including Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean World and North Africa. Please click on the links from their titles to see the legacy websites for these projects (including photos, videos and lesson plans), or navigate to them from the general project page by clicking here.

Civilizations in Contact has recently launched a new venture called the Holiday History Camp. We have offered five camps so far to secondary school and sixth form students to learn about Alexander the Great and map his expeditions using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software at the Department of Geography between April 2015 and August 2017. These courses have been taught by Dr Daniel Unruh, who recently completed his PhD at the Faculty of Classics, Dr Christos Tsirogiannis, who has his PhD in Archaeology from the University of Cambridge, and Juljana Mandra, a PhD student in the Faculty of Education. They have involved up to 23 secondary school pupils from all over the UK and also a group from Beijing. We hope to run more sessions like this on this and other topics in the future. Please get in touch with Dr Sally K Church (skchurch at gmail.com) if you are interested in participating or contributing.

Online Resource

One of Civilizations in Contact's core aims is to create a new online history learning resource that will demonstrate the interconnections that existed between different cultures and civilizations across Afro-Eurasia from 4000 BCE to 1800 CE. This resource in its present draft form consists of modules in five key categories (Travellers, Cities, Routes, Trade Goods and Themes), which all intersect, encouraging exploration in time, space, and across categories. Through interlinking texts, illustrations and maps, users will be able to cross political and conceptual boundaries and see the world from multiple perspectives. The aim is to excite curiosity in young people as well as adults about these early contacts, and the pre-modern world in general, while also enhancing an understanding of geography and chronology.

The resource will be accompanied by teaching materials prepared in collaboration with experienced teachers. For primary schools, these will include worksheets, lesson plans, creative activity packs and educational outreach activities. For secondary schools, we will provide questions and topics for discussion, essay-writing and research, and recommend books to be read and reviewed. We will work in collaboration with museums and libraries to bring history and the arts closer to the community.

Civilizations in Contact is a registered charity, no. 1148995. Its Director, Dr Sally K. Church, is an Affiliated Researcher in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. From 2008 to 2011, Civilizations in Contact was a research project based in the Faculty.