Exploring the Myths and Symbols
As you learned in the unit, cultures have a lot on common. One of the ways scholars of mythology know so much about the beliefs of past cultures is through the artifacts that they leave behind. These tell us a lot about a culture’s beliefs and values. Fortunately, a lot of museums have their collections available online at Google Arts and Culture. Visit the site and find representations from two different cultures that use a similar symbol, such as those that you read about in the unit, like trees, serpents, etc. Using a search term like “deity” will help you get right to artifacts that relate to mythology since gods and goddesses figure heavily in many cultures’ myths. If you have a specific culture in mind, like Vikings or Ancient Egypt, you can search for that as well. When you have found your two artifacts, imagine that you are a museum guide and create a 5-minute podcast or video that addresses the following points:
- A description of each artifact, including when and where it was created as well as a physical description
- A description of how the symbol is used in each artifact
- A description of how the symbol meant in the culture that created it
- An interpretation of both artifacts using a comparativist approach
- An interpretation of both artifacts using a particularist approach
Depending on the detail provided in the description of the artifact that you have chosen, you might have to do a little more research online to correctly interpret the symbols. Be sure to turn in a list of websites you used, including a link to images of each of the artifacts, with your podcast. Also, before submitting your recording, play it back to make sure that it is audible throughout. If you made a video, make sure that any visual elements and audio are clear.