Newsletter: July 4 2016
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Projects and Pages for mid July:

drawing of a crowd of women marching
Women leading the French Revolution

FRENCH REVOLUTION: July 14, 1792 AD - To support the American Revolutionary War in 1776, the French king, Louis XVI, had spent a lot of money. He paid for it by raising French people's taxes, and the French started their own revolution against him. Their first big protest was storming the Bastille prison to free political prisoners there - that's still celebrated, with fireworks, as Bastille Day in France. More about the French Revolution.

MORE RESISTANCE: In honor of Black Lives Matter, some other resisters-of-color through history - Martin Luther King - Denmark Vesey, who led an African-American revolt against slavery - Gandhi, who led Indian resistance to British colonialism - the Pueblo Revolt against the Spanish - the Apache and the Sioux.

stone carving of a group of men
Sogdians in China

NERO AND THE GREAT FIRE: July 18, 64 AD - A terrible fire starts in the Subura, where poor people live in Rome, and destroys a large part of the city including many rich people's houses. The Emperor Nero blames the Christians, and rebuilds the land as an enormous palace for himself called the Golden House of Nero, which ends up as an inspiration to Raphael in the Renaissance.

AN LUSHAN REVOLT: July 14, 756 AD - The Sogdian general An Lushan led a rebellion against the T'ang Emperor of China. An Lushan won at first, but in the end the T'ang Emperor's son hired Uighurs as mercenaries and defeated An Lushan. As a result the Sogdians and Central Asia became Islamic rather than Buddhist and Chinese-influenced.

FIRST CRUSADE: July 15, 1099 AD - French and English invaders, fighting as part of the First Crusade, seize Jerusalem from the Fatimids.

FOURTH CRUSADE: July 17, 1203 AD - European invaders on the Fourth Crusade capture Constantinople and plunder and burn it.

CATHERINE THE GREAT - July 17, 1762 - Catherine the Great becomes the ruler of Russia, as part of a century in which mostly women ruled Russia.

WHAT TO DO THIS WEEK: See what you can do to help Black Lives Matter - join a protest march, or write a letter to your mayor asking for police reform.

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New page this week:

red ostrich eggshell with lines carved on it
Decorated ostrich egg from
South Africa, 60,000 BC

EASTER EGGS: The history of Easter eggs goes back to the earliest people, who decorated ostrich eggs and thought of them as a symbol of rebirth. Decorating eggs to put in tombs or bring to spring festivals is a shared tradition among Egyptians, Persians, Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

New discoveries this week:

PHILISTINES: It's not really news yet, but the discovery of a Philistine cemetery will soon let us do DNA analysis on Philistine bones and get a better sense of where they came from, before they got to Israel. (In the Bible, the Philistines are Goliath and Delilah.)

NEW MOSAICS: They've also found new mosaics on the floor of a big synagogue at Huqoq in Israel, with scenes showing Noah's Ark and the parting of the Red Sea, complete with drowning Egyptian soldiers being eaten by big fish.

BRAZILIAN HOUSES: New excavations of Brazilian pit-houses show that people who lived in southern Brazil in the Middle Ages were settled farmers, not wandering hunter-gatherers. They lived in these houses for up to 200 years, fixing them up with new roofs and floors just the way people do today.

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Seasonal food of the week:

ZUCCHINI: The first zucchini of the year are ripe now, so here are some good ways to use zucchini and yellow summer squash: it's time to make zucchini quiche, stuffed zucchini, galette stuffed with zucchini and cherry tomatoes, or zucchini omelette. Or, really, make all of them - there's plenty of zucchini!

Also check out our seasonal and budget recipes at Gevirts.com.

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Newsletter (12-7-2015)

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Newsletter (11-23-2015)

Newsletter (11-16-2015)

Newsletter (11-2-2015)

Syrian Refugees (September 2015)

History of Iran (August 2015)

Music in Ancient Africa

Women in the Roman Empire

How did people evolve to have eyes?

Riots and the Cancellation of Debts

Why do bees like flowers, and flowers need bees?

Where did chocolate come from?

Why do horses like apples and carrots?


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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
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