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Educator Itineraries Cour Khorsabad

Length: 45 mins - Level: Easy/Visitors on the Autism Spectrum - Subjects: Multidisciplinary
Visiting days: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Mental disability

Aile Richelieu, salle 4, Cour Khorsabad
Aile Richelieu, salle 4, Cour Khorsabad

© 2010 Musée du Louvre / Angèle Dequier

Objectives

This itinerary is specifically designed for adolescents and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders or developmental and learning disabilities (communication impairments, language and attention deficit disorders, sensory processing disorders, or visitors requiring more time). Visitors need to be able to conceptualize and form mental images (in order to read a map or to connect an object to its image, for example). This itinerary is suited both to group leaders guiding several visitors, and to parents and relatives wishing to accompany individuals.
The itinerary is aimed at visitors who have already visited the Louvre or who are familiar with general museum rules of conduct.
The aim of this itinerary is to present some of the archaeological and civilizational features of Mesopotamia.

The objective is to guide visitors so that they may:

- Discover a new part of the Musée du Louvre – a selection of rooms in the Department of Near Eastern Antiquities
- Adjust to being physically close to people outside familiar surroundings
- Take part in an outing and in activities that will help them make sense of the day’s events
- Encounter architectural spaces as well as artworks
- Give a few points of reference in time and in space
- Tell the difference between reality, fantasy, and imagination
- Name feelings (improve and expand vocabulary)
- When possible, express an opinion, a viewpoint, a choice (e.g. through drawing or talking).

Approach

- Remain receptive to visitors’ questions and other forms of expression
- Be very explicit, leave nothing to interpretation
- Start with details and gradually move up to the bigger picture
- Use the prepared itinerary and commentary, and avoid overwhelming visitors with too much information
- To ensure better conditions for your visit, opt for morning tours on weekdays. Avoid weekends and school holidays, our busiest periods.
 

Materials required

- Notebooks and drawing pencils
An illustrated form summarizing the different tour stops, tailored for and handed out to each visitor before the tour to help them anticipate what they will see.
 

Code de Hammurabi, roi de Babylone
Code de Hammurabi, roi de Babylone

© RMN (Musée du Louvre) / Franck Raux

1The Code of Hammurabi

Provide some contextual elements – cuneiform script is a writing system that was invented in Mesopotamia (show what it looks like on the work). Explain that some 4,000 years ago, King Hammurabi created this first legal text, or legal code. Establish a link between writing and the law.

When looking at the code, ask what it is made of (stone, basalt). Point out that, thanks to the stone’s strength, it remains well preserved despite its 4,000 years. Establish a link between the solidity of the material and the importance of the text, which was intended to last for a great number of years (and which is “set in stone”).

If you wish to read excerpts of the code during your tour, please note that you will need to bring your own translation, as the translation on display is available in French only. A translation can be found on the following website:

If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out. If he break another man’s bone, his bone shall be broken. If a man knock out the teeth of his equal, his teeth shall be knocked out.

Ask visitors what they think of this legal measure. If the visitors cannot read, ask them to look at the top of the stele and to describe the two figures. How can we recognize the king? (by his throne and headdress)

Aile Richelieu, salle 4, Cour Khorsabad
Aile Richelieu, salle 4, Cour Khorsabad

© 2010 Musée du Louvre / Angèle Dequier

2View of the Cour Khorsabad

How can you tell this is an ancient courtyard? (point out the sky and the canopy). Show that you are both inside the Louvre palace and the Khorsabad courtyard by pointing out the overlapping of the museum’s façade and the exhibition panels leaning against it. Explain that the Khorsabad courtyard contains architectural components from a palace built by King Sargon II.

Taureaux androcéphales ailés de la cour Khorsabad
Taureaux androcéphales ailés de la cour Khorsabad

© 2012 Musée du Louvre / Thierry Ollivier

3Bulls at the gate

Stand facing the human-headed winged bulls and describe them – their human heads, bull’s bodies, their wings, and the cuneiform writing. Note their size, faces, shape, and overall appearance. Ask whether this animal exists in the real world. Explain or ask what “human-headed” means (an animal with the head of a human being).

Ask – are they nice, kind, or are they scary? What is their purpose? What do they support? Explain their role – as guardians of the palace gates, they protect the palace and bear the weight of the arch through which the visitors pass.

 

Aile Richelieu, salle 4, Cour Khorsabad - les taureaux
Aile Richelieu, salle 4, Cour Khorsabad - les taureaux

© 2010 Musée du Louvre / Angèle Dequier

4Winged bulls

Turn around to look at a side view of three winged bulls. Ask visitors to spot the differences between them. Are they all the same? Have the visitors look at their heads. In which direction are they looking – straight ahead or sideways? Ask the visitors to imitate the posture of the bulls to reproduce the position of the head relative to the axis of the body.

Aile Richelieu, salle 4, Cour Khorsabad - Deux serviteurs portant un siège et un vase
Aile Richelieu, salle 4, Cour Khorsabad - Deux serviteurs portant un siège et un vase

© 2011 Musée du Louvre / Thierry Ollivier

5The servants

Face the two bulls supporting the arch (Stop 3), then turn right to look at the low relief. Say that the relief features servants, a war chariot carrier, and a horse handler.
Ask visitors to point them out. How did you recognize them? Name the objects they are carrying. Indicate that they are walking in a line, one after the other. Ask – where are they going? In which direction are they heading? Who do you think they are going to see?
 

Aile Richelieu, salle 4, Cour Khorsabad - Génie bénisseur
Aile Richelieu, salle 4, Cour Khorsabad - Génie bénisseur

© Musée du Louvre, dist. RMN / Thierry Ollivier

6Blessing genius and warriors

Turn to your right and look at the low relief on the wall.

Note the presence of a genius and of armed warriors. Ask – where is the genius? What are his distinctive features? (wings, hat, pine cone). Also ask visitors to single out the warriors and their weapons.

Are all the characters moving in the same direction? Note that the genius is going in one direction, while the warriors are facing him. What will happen when the genius and the warriors cross paths? Explain that the genius blessed visitors by sprinkling them with holy water, using a pinecone soaked in the bucket he holds in his hand as an aspergillum.

Aile Richelieu, salle 4, Cour Khorsabad - Héros maîtrisant un lion
Aile Richelieu, salle 4, Cour Khorsabad - Héros maîtrisant un lion

© Musée du Louvre, dist. RMN / Thierry Ollivier

7The hero overpowering a lion

What is a hero? How can you tell this is a hero? (note his size). Does this character really exist? Could he possibly exist?

Aile Richelieu, salle 4, Cour Khorsabad - Fresque racontant le transport du bois du cèdre du Liban  - Façade N
Aile Richelieu, salle 4, Cour Khorsabad - Fresque racontant le transport du bois du cèdre du Liban  - Façade N

© 2010 Musée du Louvre / Angèle Dequier

8The transportation of timber

Explain that wood was essential for construction, and that it was transported from Lebanon. Ask visitors to spot the different log transportation methods (manual loading on dry land, transport by boat, rafting).
Focus on the figures and the animals. Ask visitors to distinguish between real animals and creatures that do not exist. Ask them to choose a few and to draw them.

Aile Richelieu, salle 4, Cour Khorsabad - L'entrée dans le palais
Aile Richelieu, salle 4, Cour Khorsabad - L'entrée dans le palais

© 1994 Musée du Louvre / Etienne Revault

9Entering the palace

Walk through the door between the winged bulls of stop 3. Enter a new area on the right. Say – let’s imagine we are entering a room of the palace of Sargon II.
Examine the map of the city of Khorsabad and try to get your bearings. Where are the city gates with the bulls? Where can we find the palace in the city of Khorsabad?
 

Aile Richelieu, salle 4, Cour Khorsabad
Aile Richelieu, salle 4, Cour Khorsabad

© 2010 Musée du Louvre / Angèle Dequier

10Final tour of the palace

Leave through the arch carried by the bulls. Scan the room one last time, and announce that the tour is coming to an end – We will now leave the Khorsabad courtyard.