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Trajan’s Markets – Roman architecture

By |2018-04-24T23:46:55+00:00August 31st, 2017|Architecture, Romans|

The view from Trajan's Markets After the Forum of Julius Caesar and the Forum of Augustus, later emperors also built more extensions on to the Roman Forum, to make more room for businesses. The emperor Trajan built a new forum about 100 AD. The front of Trajan's Markets, facing his forum and Trajan's Column In the forum, between [...]

Basilica of Maxentius – Roman architecture

By |2018-04-24T23:28:35+00:00August 27th, 2017|Architecture, Romans|

Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine in the Roman Forum The Basilica of Maxentius was the last building the emperors built in the Roman Forum before the fall of Rome. The Emperor Maxentius started it in the early 300s AD. He wanted a big meeting-space where officials could hold court cases, or public meetings. Maxentius' architects were very up-to-date. They designed the building [...]

Friction project – Physics experiments

By |2018-05-31T11:49:14+00:00August 16th, 2017|Physics|

How much friction do you think a scrubbing brush will get you? Which things have more friction? Try to predict which things will be harder to push, and then measure this and see for yourself whether your predictions are true. Get a plain wooden board and put it on the ground. Put things [...]

Toulouse – St. Sernin – Romanesque

By |2018-04-15T16:50:51+00:00July 31st, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Church of St. Sernin, Toulouse, France In 1080 AD, the church of St. Sernin in Toulouse was a busy place. Charlemagne had given the church some saints' relics, and many people stopped to pray there when they were on pilgrimage to St. Jacques de Compostela in Spain. But the little old church, built in the 300s AD under Roman rule, was too [...]

Ships and sailing in ancient India

By |2017-07-22T06:20:41+00:00July 22nd, 2017|India, Science|

Indus River boat (ca. 2500 BC) The first people to come to India from Africa, about 50,000 BC, may have come in boats, following schools of fish along the coasts around the Arabian Peninsula. Certainly people in India were using not only boats but sails in the Stone Age, by 3000 BC. These early boats may have been made out [...]

Harappan architecture – India

By |2017-07-19T14:13:00+00:00July 19th, 2017|Architecture, India|

Bath building at Mohenjo-Daro, 2500 BC The earliest big buildings in India were built by the Harappan people in the Indus River valley, about 2500 BC. The Harappan buildings included high brick walls around their cities to keep out enemies. Most of the buildings were ordinary houses, with rooms arranged around a small courtyard. Probably some families owned a [...]

What is straw? History of straw

By |2018-10-04T06:25:57+00:00June 12th, 2017|Crafts, Economy|

History of Straw: loose straw in a pile What is straw made of? Straw is the dried stalks of tall grasses like wheat, millet or barley. After people harvested the seeds of these grasses for food, they used the straw for everything from shoes to mattresses to baskets. More about wheat Where does [...]

Ming Dynasty Architecture – Forbidden City

By |2018-04-18T09:53:24+00:00June 5th, 2017|Architecture, China, Medieval|

Hall of Supreme Harmony Forbidden City (Beijing, 1406 AD) Early Ming Emperors built Taoist temples to show their power, like the Golden Hall in the Wudang Mountains. But the great achievement of the Ming Dynasty architects was that they built the great palace called the Forbidden City. This was the palace of the [...]

Han Dynasty Architecture – Ancient China

By |2018-04-18T09:53:24+00:00June 5th, 2017|Architecture, China|

Eastern Han watchtower (an ancient Chinese model, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art) By the time of the Han Dynasty, about 200 BC, architects were building all kinds of different buildings including watchtowers, palaces, temples, and store-houses. Architects started to experiment with more complicated roofs, using gables and overhanging eaves. They also [...]