Geography Education
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2600 years of history in one object

TED Talks A clay cylinder covered in Akkadian cuneiform script, damaged and broken, the Cyrus Cylinder is a powerful symbol of religious tolerance and multi-culturalism.

 

At first glance this TED Talk appears to be more about ancient history, archaeology and biblical studies that anything modern.  Yet as Neil MacGregor, the Director of the British Museum continues his discussion of the Cyrus Cylinder (A clay cylinder covered in Akkadian cuneiform script), it becomes clear that this historical artifact is vital in understanding how modern states conceive of their heritage, cultural legacy and role within the Middle East today (such as Israel, Iraq, Iran and even the U.K.).  As such the Cyrus Cylinder is a powerful symbol of religious tolerance and multi-culturalism and plays a role in shaping Middle Eastern cultural and political institutions. 

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Don Brown Jr's comment, October 1, 2012 9:18 PM
Objects, ideas and land can have multi overlapping meanings that are constantly being reinterpreted by each succeeding generation creating new symbolic understandings that overlap into many societies and cultures.
Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, November 8, 2013 9:16 AM

Neil MacGregor, the Director of the British Museum, explains Middle Eastern history using the Cyrus Cylinder.  His first point in this TED talk is especially interesting because he explains that people age and perish and objects do the same, but objects such as this cylinder survive and are able to tell important stories of history for a much longer time than people normally can.

Geography Education
Global news with a spatial perspective:  Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon