Benin c. CE 900 - 1300

Block D - Evidence

This topic provides you with an outstanding set of inspired plans and resources to enable you to study Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300 and to contrast many of its features with contemporary developments in British history; learn about the rise and establishment of the Benin Kingdom, consider what brought the Edo people to the rainforests of Benin and how the empire grew; study the rulers of the Edo people, their everyday life, their religion and worship, their trading currencies and trade routes, their music and art and finally how the Kingdom of Benin came to an end.

How do we know about Benin? What evidence survives from a thousand years ago to tell us about this civilisation on the west coast of Africa? In this block you will find out about the different types of evidence that survive and how reliable they are.

This Topic is written for Upper Key Stage 2. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

Supporting documents for topic
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01: Introduction to sources

Work out what different types of sources exist to help us understand the past. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.

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02: Oral history

Re-enact some of the myths of the Edo people about how the kingdoms of Ife and Benin had come into being and discuss how reliable these stories are.

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03: Written evidence

Learn how the earliest written evidence about Benin comes from the period when Europeans came. Before that there were no written records, so how useful are they in helping our understanding the earlier period?

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04: Archaeology

Find out what archaeologists have discovered about Benin and how it compares to the oral and written evidence. Is archaeology more or less reliable than other forms of evidence?

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05: Benin City

Make models of the city of Benin, based on all the sources they have come across so far.