Lower 6 IB students visited the Arch and Anth Museum in Cambridge on Tuesday this week in order to find a Theory of Knowledge related question to follow up back at school. There were some fascinating artefacts in the archaeology and anthropology sections of the museum, the most eye catching was the gigantic totem pole that towered over the whole exhibition. The collection included items collected from people all over the world, from many different periods of history. We saw a lot of intricate jewellery, coins, clothes, tools, religious items, toys and practical items. This was my second visit to the museum, I enjoyed it just as much as last time, but by thinking critically about objects and trying to think of Knowledge questions related to objects, exhibitions or the museum as a whole, I got so much more out of it. We came up with some really interesting questions which we discussed back at school the following morning.
Many of us found the exhibition on artefacts that belonged to children very interesting as it was something we haven’t seen in a museum before and brought up a lot of questions. Some questions that people came up with, inspired by the visit: ‘How do we know what is worth remembering?’, ‘How does our perception of a time period affect how we view artefacts from that period?’ (inspired by the Dark Ages jewellery collection), ‘How do historians place value on artefacts?’ Does the position of an object or exhibition in a museum change how significant we think it is?’