Archaeological sources are the foundation for our understanding of the past in HSC Ancient History.

While ancient writing is definitely useful in a study of HSC Ancient History, it is subject to bias and discrimination.

The HSC Ancient History markers know this, and expect every student to incorporate both written sources as well as archaeological sources.

So, here are 4 steps towards successfully integrating your HSC Ancient History sources into your response!

We will practice these steps using the following question:

‘Outline the archaeological evidence for Greek influence at Pompeii and Herculaneum’

Step 1: Create a List

Go through your notes and resources and create a list of any relevant archaeological sources that can be used to answer the question.

Example:

Grid plan is designed according to the principles of Hippodamos (Greek architect)

Mosaics, paintings (Greek mythology e.g. painting of Theseus), and statues

Temple of Apollo; worship of Apollo, Hercules, Minerva, Dionysus, Hermes, and Demeter is evident

Corinthian columns, wall paintings and statues at Temple of Apollo; Greek influence also evident in palaestra design

Greek peristyles at the House of the Citharist

Step 2: Structure Your Response

After creating a list of relevant resources, structure your response by outlining the various aspects of the question that can be explored.

Example: Aspects of ‘archaeological evidence for Greek influence’

Greek design influence

Greek artistic influence

Greek religious influence

Greek architectural influence

Greek horticultural influence

Step 3: Pair Your Structure with Your Sources

Use the structure you’ve outlined to dictate which sources you can use in the response.

Example:

Greek design influence: Grid plan is designed according to the principles of Hippodamos (Greek architect)

Greek artistic influence: Mosaics, paintings (Greek mythology e.g. painting of Theseus), and statues

Greek religious influence: Temple of Apollo; worship of Apollo, Hercules, Minerva, Dionysus, Hermes, and Demeter is evident

Greek architectural influence: Corinthian columns, wall paintings and statues at Temple of Apollo; Greek influence also evident in palaestra design

Greek horticultural influence: Greek peristyles at the House of the Citharist

Step 4: Write the Response

Example:

The archaeological evidence for Greek influence in Pompeii and Herculaneum is vast and multifaceted. One of the ways in which Greek influence can be seen is in the design of the Pompeii’s grid plan, which is reconcilable with the principle of Hippodamos, a famous Greek architect. Another aspect of Greek influence is evident in the art of the two cities, which prominently feature Greek deities and mythology, such as the painting of Theseus. Greek religious influence is also evidenced in Pompeii through the Temple of Apollo. Further evidence for Greek influence can also be seen in Pompeiian architecture, such as the Corinthian columns, wall paintings and statues at the Temple of Apollo. Finally, Greek influence can be seen in Pompeii through horticulture in the Greek peristyles at the House of the Citharist.

 If you want to know how to write a Band 6 Extended Response for Ancient History, we deconstruct it all for you here!

Integrating Sources on the Fly

I understand that you’ll need to be able to integrate sources mid-exam, so creating lists and organising your sources may not be a possibility. So how do you do it?

Fill your notes with archaeological sources

If you haven’t already, supporting the majority of the information in your notes with actual sources is extremely useful. Being able to draw on multiple sources at will is necessary for the HSC exam, so supplementing your notes with sources is almost a non-negotiable.

Example:  

  • Information: Religion permeated much of Pompeii and Herculaneum
  • Source: “The large number of such shrines indicated widespread religious practices among the inhabitants of Pompeii as a whole” (Alison Cooley)

Looking for extra help with HSC Ancient History?

We pride ourselves on our inspirational HSC Ancient History coaches and mentors!

We offer tutoring and mentoring for Years K-12 in a variety of subjects, with personalised lessons conducted one-on-one in your home or at our state of the art campus in Hornsby!

To find out more and get started with an inspirational tutor and mentor get in touch today!

Give us a ring on 1300 267 888, email us at [email protected] or check us out on Facebook!


Jack Theodoulou studies a double degree of Education/Arts majoring in English at the University of Sydney. Previously an instructor of classical guitar, Jack began coaching at Art of Smart in 2015. In his spare time, Jack often finds himself entangled in a love-hate relationship with creative writing and an occasional obsession with video games.