Interpretation of Sources

Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut. (c. 1460 BC). Deir el Bahari.
Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut. (c. 1460 BC). Deir el Bahari. Source: http://modernscribe.blogspot.com.au

Interpreting a source requires you to think a bit more about what a source says or shows about a topic. This requires you to identify implicit (‘hidden’ or less obvious) meanings in historical sources. You will need to do this most often with visual sources that take time to interpret. However, some written sources will often not be explicit enough for you and they will require your interpretation of the information.

 

Since this requires you to explain what a source means, it will usually require you to use indirect quotes to summarise the intended meaning of a source.


Demonstrating interpretation in your writing:

 

The tomb of Hatshepsut appears to be built on such a vast scale in order to leave a lasting impression on the worshippers who visited it and, as a result, acted as a shrewd form of dynastic propaganda (Appendix 1).