December 10, 2009

Recreating the Ishtar Gate

This is a super late post, but I thought it was still worth sharing. A few weeks ago, while we were studying Babylon, Hannah Jane was given an assignment to recreate the Ishtar Gate in Babylon with salt dough and an array of other art supplies. She did an amazing job. The only trouble is, with the thickness of the dough, it took this long to dry. Once it dried, the depressions from the mortar lines caused weak spots and it broke into four pieces immediately. But, no big deal. We think that it makes it more authentic looking!

Here's the assignment steps!

Math part...Analyze the pattern formed by bricks in a typical wall. Compare it to the pattern found on the remnants of the Ishtar Gate and the recreation that has been built. Are they the same or different. Staggered or one brick on top of another? This is the point where we could have done a cool experiment to see why bricks are staggered if we had had some legos. Building a wall by staggering bricks and then building a wall where they are non staggered and then testing to see which one is sturdier. Opportunity missed :(

Other math part...because, yes! cooking counts as math as long as they do the measuring and doubling of the recipe! Use the recipe and make a double portion of salt dough. Roll it our and, using a knife, recreate the pattern formed by the bricks.
Art part...Once dry (or at least mostly dry) study the paintings found on the Ishtar wall. There are animals, representing various gods, and a striking blue color to the bricks. How many ruins have you seen with blue bricks? How might they have made blue bricks back in those days? We'll use paint and other supplies to make ours.

Now we have a little piece of the Ishtar Gate on out shelf to remind us of our Babylon studies! Pretty fun1

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