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Where did alphabet letters come from?

By |2018-04-13T01:35:55+00:00October 2nd, 2017|Literature, West Asia|

The first alphabet letters: the Canaanite alphabet Early Canaanite alphabet Each of the letters of the early Canaanite alphabet was the first sound of the most ordinary words in their language. The letter was a picture of that word's meaning. Often you can still recognize that picture in our letters today. And the order of [...]

West Asian science – Mesopotamia and Iran

By |2018-04-07T17:05:01+00:00September 15th, 2017|Science, West Asia|

The constellation Orion From the Stone Age through the Islamic empires, great scientific discoveries have streamed out of West Asia. West Asia is one of the places where farming got started, and maybe the sailboat. The Sumerians developed the world's earliest system of writing, including the first way to write down numbers. They invented the wheel, using it as a pottery [...]

The alphabet replaces cuneiform – West Asian writing

By |2018-04-07T17:04:54+00:00September 15th, 2017|Literature, West Asia|

This inscription from Kandahar, in Afghanistan, has Greek writing at the top, translated into Aramaic at the bottom. The Mauryan Indian king Ashoka put it up about 258 BC. When the Assyrian Empire collapsed in the 600s BC, the short-lived Babylonian Empire also used cuneiform writing. But when the Persians took over West Asia in 539 BC [...]

What is cuneiform? Mesopotamia – West Asian writing

By |2018-04-07T17:04:54+00:00September 15th, 2017|Literature, West Asia|

Cuneiform writing (now in LACMA, Los Angeles) Early Sumerian writing West Asia is probably the first place in the world where people figured out how to write. (Though Egyptian people began writing very soon afterwards.) People seem to have begun to write in Mesopotamia about 3000 BC, during the time of the Sumerians. The Sumerians, and everybody else in [...]

Where does Hebrew come from? Semitic languages

By |2018-04-07T17:04:54+00:00September 15th, 2017|History, West Asia|

Early alphabets and Hebrew Some time possibly around 4000 BC, as West Asian people settled down in towns and villages, each group of people began to develop their own special language. This was partly because the people of each region spoke to each other more often than they spoke to strangers, and it was partly a way [...]

What is Aramaic? An old West Asian language

By |2018-04-07T17:04:52+00:00September 14th, 2017|Bronze age, Literature, West Asia|

Comparing different ancient alphabets As people began to settle down in towns in West Asia, about 4000 BC, they began to speak differently from their neighbors. Some people spoke Hebrew, some spoke Arabic, some spoke Akkadian. The people who lived in Syria spoke Aramaic. After the Dark Age around 1000 BC, these Syrians spread out into Babylon and Assyria, and they brought [...]

History of the Alphabet – West Asia

By |2018-12-08T07:56:03+00:00September 14th, 2017|Literature, West Asia|

Egyptian temple to Hathor at Serabit in the Sinai Early Writing Before about 1800 BC, all people in the world wrote using pictures that each stood for a word or a syllable. In Egypt, these were called hieroglyphs, and in West Asia, they were called cuneiform. Egyptian hieroglyphs Mesopotamian cuneiform Writing in China Maya hieroglyphs More [...]

The Jews and the Levant – West Asian history

By |2018-04-25T23:49:08+00:00September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia|

Tel Kabri, a Canaanite palace ca. 1600 BC By the end of the Stone Age, the people who would eventually become known as the Hebrews, and then the Jews, were mostly settled down in villages, farming, though some of them may have been nomadic shepherds like Abraham and Isaac in the Bible. During the Bronze Age, the people living in Israel, [...]

West Asian economy in the Dark Age

By |2018-04-25T23:26:45+00:00September 12th, 2017|Economy, West Asia|

The temple of Goliath's town, Gath - apparently founded by the Philistines, when they fled the economic problems at home and arrived in Israel around 1100 BC The political collapse around 1200 BC in West Asia may have been related to an economic collapse about the same time. Between about 1200 and about 1000 BC, not so much trade was [...]

Roman schools – education in ancient Rome

By |2018-05-22T15:26:22+00:00September 4th, 2017|People, Romans|

Roman education outside of school: A Roman teacher home-schooling, about 200 AD Poor kids had to work Roman schools were for rich boys; most Roman kids did not go to school. Like their parents, they worked in the fields hoeing and weeding and plowing as soon as they were old enough. (More about Roman farming) Their parents needed [...]