We took this trip at the beginning of July, but my computer was out of commission for the past month so I am just now getting this blog updated. For our second big field trip of the year we visited the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts. The MFA has an excellent collection of art from the ancient world which gave Lillia the opportunity to see artifacts from some of the cultures we studied this past year.
Ancient Near East
This exhibit gave us the opportunity to see some famous finds from the ancient near east. Lillia got to see a cuneiform tablet and a mosaic called the “Striding Lion” which dates to 604-561 BCE, among other things.
Lillia was really excited to see the Egyptian exhibit. She has been fascinated with Ancient Egypt for some time and I feel like a lot of other kids her age are, too. There must be something about this culture that appeals to preteens. She was really enthusiastic about seeing the mummies, but when we got to them she said she was scared and asked to hold my hand (so sweet).
We briefly toured the Ancient Greece exhibit but by this time Lillia was collapsing from exhaustion (we had driven in the car all morning to get there so some people were full of energy and some were worn out, depending on their personalities). I was really exited to see the gold libation bowl (Oresteia, anyone?) as well as the bust of Homer (which Lillia was less-than-thrilled about, as is attested by her expression in the photo I took of it). We still have some work to do on Ancient Greece so we might make a return visit in the fall, which we should probably do anyway so that we can also see their collection from Ancient Rome (our second unit of the coming year).
Today we took a field trip to the Boston Museum of Science to visit the Mammoths & Mastodons exhibit, as part of our studies in Prehistory.
From a press release by the Boston Museum of Science:
BOSTON, October 3, 2012—On Sunday, October 7, 2012, at the New England premiere of Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age at the Museum of Science, Boston visitors will be able to journey back 20,000 years when ice sheets covered large land masses and giant, woolly beasts roamed the frozen north. The 7,500-square-foot traveling exhibit brings to life how these colossal creatures lived and interacted with one another and with early humans.
On exhibit through January 13, 2013, Mammoths and Mastodons offers visitors the opportunity to examine full-scale replicas of massive, long-haired Ice Age mammals and stand face-to-face with skeletons of these great beasts that they can touch and examine up close. The exhibit features some of the oldest art in existence, huge skulls and tusks, weird and wonderful mammoth relatives, and mastodon bones collected by William Clark (of Lewis and Clark fame) for President Thomas Jefferson’s own collection.
Featured in the exhibit is a replica of Lyuba (pronounced Lee-OO-bah), a 40,000-year-old, intact baby mammoth specimen that a Siberian reindeer herder and two of his sons discovered in 2007. According to The Field Museum, who developed the exhibit, Lyuba is, by far, the bestpreserved specimen of her kind and provides researchers with rare insights into the lives and habits of her species. The exhibit includes not only a replica cast of Lyuba’s body, but also CT scans and other scientific evidence that confirm existing theories about her species, as well as new insights.
Mammoths and Mastodons illustrates how despite the creatures’ great size – weighing as much as eight tons with tusks up to 16 feet long – and their ability to adapt, these species still went extinct.