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What is animal sacrifice? History of religion

By |2018-04-23T13:51:56+00:00July 16th, 2017|Religion|

Animal sacrifice: a sacrificial procession (Pitsa, ca. 530 BC) Sacrificing an animal In English, when we say "sacrifice", we mean that you have given up something you wanted in order to get something else, like you sacrificed your best piece of candy in order to get your friend to tell you his secret. In [...]

Hellenistic economy – ancient Greece

By |2018-04-22T12:28:03+00:00July 6th, 2017|Economy, Greeks|

Hellenistic economy: a sculpture of a woman selling vegetables at the market Mercenary soldiers After the Peloponnesian War was over in 404 BC, everyone in Greece was poorer than before, and many men who had been soldiers were out of work. So a lot of those men went to be mercenary soldiers for [...]

Rice history: Where does rice come from? South-east Asia

By |2018-05-04T16:53:44+00:00June 23rd, 2017|China, Food|

Rice history: A bowl of brown rice What is rice? Rice is a kind of grain, or grass, like wheat, millet, or barley, that provides carbohydrates to people who eat its seeds. In south-east Asia, rice grows wild like other grasses. (More about the evolution of grasses) Rice farming: 6000 BC - first China, [...]

Where do peaches come from? China

By |2018-04-19T15:12:08+00:00June 22nd, 2017|China, Food|

Peaches growing on a peach tree China was the first home of peaches. Peaches are related to almonds and apples, but apples and almonds grew further west, and peaches grew further east. People in southern China have been eating peaches since at least 1000 BC, and probably as early as 4000 BC. Many [...]

How to make a compass – China Activities

By |2018-04-18T18:18:12+00:00June 9th, 2017|China, Crafts, Science|

Early Chinese compass (reconstruction) Chinese scientists invented the first compasses, around the 200s AD, near the end of the Han Dynasty. These early Chinese compasses were very simple arrangements of an iron needle and a bit of cork, and you can easily make one just like them. On a sunny day, you can begin [...]

How to make Chinese coins – Ancient China project

By |2018-04-18T09:54:00+00:00June 9th, 2017|China, Crafts, Economy|

Replica Chinese coins, made by kids at Laurelhurst School, Portland Oregon People in China began to use cowrie shells for money about 1800 BC. But by about 400 BC, they were using bronze coins. Nobody knows whether moneyers in China thought of this idea on their own, or got the idea from West Asia, [...]

Astronomy in Ancient China

By |2018-05-24T11:54:19+00:00June 7th, 2017|China, Science|

Chinese astronomy: A Chinese star chart possibly dating from the 600s AD, during the T'ang Dynasty The Chinese zodiac Chinese scholars began by thinking of the stars, the sun, and the moon as gods. Like the scientists of Mesopotamia, they thought they could use the movements of the stars to predict the future. [...]

What is the I Ching? Ancient Chinese religion

By |2018-04-18T09:54:15+00:00June 7th, 2017|China, Religion|

Nobody knows for sure who wrote the I Ching, or when. But most scholars think somebody wrote the I Ching around 800 BC, during the last years of the Western Zhou Dynasty in China. That makes the I Ching the oldest piece of writing in China other than the oracle bones. Like the earlier oracle [...]