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Medieval African history – Timbuktu and Great Zimbabwe

By |2018-04-21T12:09:34+00:00October 3rd, 2017|Africa, History|

Mansa Musa of Mali After the 400s AD, the Bantu expansion slowed down. They had already settled most of the good farmland in southern Africa. What was left was mainly desert or thick jungle. It was no good for farming or herding cattle. The Bantu left that land to the Khoikhoi and San people who already lived there. [...]

Medieval African food – what did people eat?

By |2018-02-22T12:32:54+00:00October 2nd, 2017|Africa, Food|

Medieval African food: an olive orchard in Tunisia The Romans grow olive oil in North Africa The foods people ate in Africa didn't just stay the same. Instead, they changed slowly over time. Around 800 BC, with the arrival of Greek and Phoenician invaders, the people of North Africa began to plant olive orchards and produce olive oil. They ate a [...]

Indian food history – spices and sugar in ancient India

By |2018-11-05T16:07:15+00:00July 20th, 2017|Food, India|

Indian food: rice, chapatis, sauces, lentils What did people eat in ancient India? The earliest Indians, the Harappans, probably ate mainly wheat and rice, millet and sorghum, chickpeas and lentils. Often they ate fish, if they lived near the coast or a river. Sometimes they ate beef, pork, lamb and goat meat, and chicken. Why chickpeas get ripe in the summer Where does chicken come from? Lots more [...]

Plants in India – What grew there?

By |2017-07-20T07:23:08+00:00July 20th, 2017|Environment, India|

An Indian man selling mangoes When people first came to India, about 60,000 BC, they found some plants that they already knew about, like figs and onions. There were also a lot of new plants, and people soon began to experiment with these new foods. One new food was sugar cane, which you chewed to get the soft [...]

Where do bananas grow today?

By |2017-06-20T15:01:39+00:00June 20th, 2017|Central America, Food|

Bananas growing on a banana tree Bananas were the hip new food in Europe in the 1400s AD, so it's not surprising that the first Portuguese sailors who came to the Americas brought banana seeds with them. The sailors wanted to try growing bananas in the Caribbean and Brazil, just as they brought [...]

History of Bananas – Southeast Asia

By |2017-06-20T03:50:19+00:00June 20th, 2017|Food, India|

A bunch of bananas Wild ancestors of banana trees grew in southeast Asia. Like chickens, bananas were first domesticated in southeast Asia, possibly as early as 8000 BC but certainly before 5000 BC. That's about the same time as apples and earlier than peaches and avocados and oranges. In southeast Asia and Papua New [...]