Where Was the First City in the World?

How amazing to have a museum curator visit ...

Did you know that Queen Puabi from the Sumerian city of Ur (c. 2600 BC) had a headdress of gold, lapis lazuli, and other precious stones and metals which weighed more than five pounds? Curators in Academic Club Teacher Sara Hawkins’ Intermediate Museum Club do, thanks to a virtual visit from Curator Kevin Schott from the Penn Museum in Philadelphia.

Queen Puabi’s headdress as well as many other artifacts from Mesopotamia are part of an exhibit at the Penn Museum. From Mr. Schott’s presentation, Lab’s curators learned about anthropology and archaeology, how artifacts are excavated, cleaned, protected, and then shown in museums for the public to see and for researchers to study. They now understand the key questions that go into creating a museum exhibit — from who is the audience and what do you want the audience to discover to what is the simplest, most engaging way to show this information and what is the big, “takeaway” idea.

The students were able to ask questions about the artifacts and exhibit — and about Mesopotamia and the fact that the history of cities began in the Middle East.