An important part of project-based learning is connecting with experts in relevant fields of study. The sixth grade class had two opportunities to be in conversation with experts in order to help them best answer the driving question, “Who does art truly belong to?”
They have been learning about ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Sumer through a selection of artifacts. After researching these artifacts and their cultural significance, students have been grappling with the modern arguments around repatriation of ancient artifacts. To where do these pieces truly belong?
On October 31st, the sixth graders interviewed Director of School and Family Programs at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Emily Jennings, via Zoom. She helped students understand perspectives, constraints, and considerations of large encyclopedic museums that hold ancient artifacts in their collections.
To follow up that conversation, students met with Dr. Aaron Brody, archeologist, Professor of Bible and Archaeology, and Director of the Badè Museum of Biblical Archaeology in Berkeley, on November 2nd. The sixth graders got to hold ancient artifacts and engage him in larger conversations around the laws and ethics of excavations as they seek to understand the circumstances under which the artifacts they have been researching were collected.