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Ancient history timeline: 10,000-4000 BC – the Stone Age

By |2018-04-19T15:03:06+00:00September 10th, 2017|History, West Asia, When|

Ancient history timeline: Building at Gobekli Tepe in what is now  Turkey (ca. 9000 BC) Beginning of farming Around 10,000 BC, with the end of the last major Ice Age, people all over the world - not everyone, but a lot of people - began to shift from fishing and hunting and gathering to farming as their main way of getting food. Farming [...]

Central and South American religion

By |2017-09-10T10:53:07+00:00September 10th, 2017|Central America, Religion, South America|

Maya Corn King on a plate The people who lived in South and Central America before 1500 were polytheistic - they believed in many different gods. Because they lived pretty near one another, and ate many of the same foods, some of their gods were pretty much the same. The Mayan Corn God, for example, [...]

What are llamas? South American animals

By |2018-04-12T08:53:21+00:00September 8th, 2017|Environment, South America|

A llama in Bolivia Llamas evolved from camels. Camels evolved in North America about 45 million years ago. They lived in the Rocky Mountains and all across the southern part of North America. While they were still in North America, some camels evolved into llamas. Llamas spread from there south into South America about 3 million years ago. [...]

Roman sacrifice – animals and incense – Roman religion

By |2018-04-09T10:31:19+00:00September 4th, 2017|Religion, Romans|

Sacrificing a cow, a sheep, and a pig in the Late Republic Probably around the time people began farming their food and raising tame animals for their meat, which in Italy was about 5000 BC, people also began to sacrifice animals to their gods. This was the same thing people did in West Asia - including the Zoroastrians and the Jews - and in Greece at the [...]

Creation and the Jewish Bible

By |2017-08-23T21:56:08+00:00August 23rd, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

God creates the Sun and the Moon, in a medieval European painting Many of the Jewish people in West Asia believed that at the beginning of time God created order out of Chaos. This is what is written in the beginning of the Bible, in the book called Genesis. Jewish ideas about the beginning of the [...]

Animals of ancient and medieval India

By |2018-04-18T23:55:59+00:00July 20th, 2017|Environment, History, India|

A white cow Cattle were probably the most important animals in India for people. Indian people did not eat cows, because Hindus thought of cows as sacred. But people used cows to pull carts, and for plowing fields, and also used cows' milk to make yogurt. Water buffalo People in India also got a lot [...]

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 [...]

Ancient Greek people

By |2018-04-22T11:13:36+00:00July 11th, 2017|Greeks, People|

Ancient Greek people: boys playingknucklebones (ca. 440-430 BC, now in the Getty Museum, Los Angeles) Like other Indo-European people, the Greeks had a general tendency to divide the world into pairs of things, one opposed to the other. Ancient Greek people saw everything as divided into two parts, which fought with each other [...]

Proterozoic Eon – eukaryotes to worms

By |2018-04-21T11:56:39+00:00June 24th, 2017|Biology, Geology|

Two and a half billion years ago, the Archaean Eon ended and the Proterozoic Eon began. Trillions of prokaryote cells lived in Earth's oceans. Some of these cells could photosynthesize their energy from sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide. These photosynthesizing cells pooped out a lot of oxygen. By about 2.3 billion years ago, the iron [...]

Ancient Egyptian Animals – Egypt’s wild animals, domesticated animals, and pets

By |2018-04-07T17:04:22+00:00June 13th, 2017|Africa, Egypt, Environment|

Ancient Egyptian animals: Crocodiles from the New Kingdom Mostly, the same kinds of animals lived in ancient Egypt as in other parts of Africa. Wild animals included crocodiles, who lived in the Nile River water (and there are still lots of crocodiles in the Nile today, too!). There were lots of water birds [...]