Iraq: Cradle of Civilization (1991) Documentary Review for Teachers | Student Handouts
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Legacy: The Origins of Civilization: Season 1, Episode 1; Iraq: Cradle of Civilisation
Iraq: Cradle of Civilization
Educative Value: 7/10
Film and Movie Guides for Teachers and Parents > Documentary Films
Release date: 1991
Reviewer: Ms. Fox
Length: 52 minutes
Age appropriateness: This documentary film is safe for all ages. Its content is best suited for students in grades 7 and up.
Creators and stars: Anne Moore, Chris Ledger, Edward Wynne, Leo Eaton, Lynette Frewin, Marie Brown, McDonald Brown, Michael Wood, Mike Claydon, Peter Harvey, Peter Spry-Leverton, Roger James, Tony Anscombe

"Iraq: Cradle of Civilization" is the first episode of season one of "Legacy: The Origins of Civilization."

Accuracy: "Iraq: Cradle of Civilization" gives an accurate overview of Iraqi History from earliest times through the Gulf War of 1991 (the year this episode first aired). This episode is great for introducing junior and senior high school students to Iraq's complex geography and History. The facts presented are accurate, but sparse. For example, Nebuchadnezzar is mentioned only once in passing, while several minutes are devoted to both the Mandians and Yazidis.

Watching this video in a classroom, we strongly recommend refreshing students' background knowledge on Iraq, having kids locate the country on a map, etc.
Review/Viewing questions: (1) What two major rivers are located in Iraq? (2) Describe the lives of Marsh Arabs. (3) From what did the biblical Garden of Eden get its name? (4) Uruk began as a _____ center. (5) What founder of Judaism is said to have been from Ur? (6) What group attacked and destroyed Baghdad in 1258? (7) What ancient city was rebuilt under Saddam Hussein?
Vocabulary terms and names: Sumer, Tigris, Euphrates, Mesopotamia, alluvial soil, continuity, civilization, Tel Afar, archaeology, Austin Layard, marshland, Genesis, Eridu, Eden/Edin, Uruk, William Loftus, ziggurat, Inanna/Ishtar, agriculture, cultivation, temple, wheel, writing, Epic of Gilgamesh, Erbil, citadel, inflation, Ur, Abraham, Islam, Shiism, Arab conquest, Mandians, pluralism, tolerance, Baghdad, Sunni Islam, scholars, Koran, Mosul, Yazidis, oil reserves, Saddam Hussein
Click here to print the vocabulary terms and questions. The PDF is four pages long, and can be printed on two double-sided sheets of paper. Terms and questions are given in the order in which they are presented in the film. The printable pages are numbered.
Movie Review Publication Date for Citation Purposes: May 29, 2013