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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ancient Trade Routes of the Arab World DVD

This made for school DVD highlights an important and oft-ignored facet of history

Any teacher of world history knows that some subjects have plenty of supplemental resources available. For example, the Ancient Romans and Greeks have literally thousands of DVDs, books, workbooks, programs, units, games and activities available as supplements, including whole weeks of programming on the History Channel.

Equally influential eras, such as the Arab Trade Routes are often ignored or have scant materials available even though these trade routes were the source of medieval Islam's strength, wealth and intellectual flowering.

The DVD Ancient Trade Routes of the Arab World does address this topic, but only in a 3-star (ok, but not great) way. The DVD features three short films (12 minutes or so for a total of 38 minutes) about three trading hubs - Zanzibar in East Africa, Dhofar in the Arabian Peninsula and Ghadames in the Sahara. The movies show the modern-day versions of these cities and discuss their place in history. The Dhofar video does a great job of explaining the past value of frankincense and how it was made and traded in the ancient world.

There is a support website available (listed in the movie intro credits) but you'll probably have to make your own worksheet to make sure the your students' attentions don't wander too much.

I rate this DVD 3 stars out of 5.

This DVD can be found on Amazon.com here: Ancient Trade Routes of the Ancient World.

Reviewed on August 29, 2008.

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