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Medieval West Africa

By | 2017-10-29T17:46:35+00:00 October 2nd, 2017|Africa, History|

Copper sculpture from West Africa (Tada, Nigeria ca. 1300 AD). By 800 AD, the people of Djenne-Djeno had built a tall wall of mud-bricks around their town, to protect themselves from their enemies. They wore gold jewelry. On the other end of the Niger river, in the forests down near the Atlantic Ocean in modern Nigeria, the people of Igbo-Ukwu [...]

West Asian science – Mesopotamia and Iran

By | 2017-09-15T23:16:03+00:00 September 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 [...]

West Asian economy – the Bronze Age

By | 2017-09-12T17:54:51+00:00 September 12th, 2017|Economy, West Asia|

Bronze Age tin ingots from a shipwreck near Haifa When people first began to use bronze, about 3000 BC, they had to trade a lot more than they had before, because they needed tin to make the bronze. You don't find tin just anywhere. At first there was some tin in Asia Minor (modern Turkey), but they [...]

Bronze Age Rome – History of Rome

By | 2017-09-02T18:05:21+00:00 September 2nd, 2017|History, Romans|

A gold cup from northern Italy (ca. 1800 BC) is like Bronze Age gold cups from Germany and England and may show that there was trading going on all across Bronze Age Europe. The people of Italy learned to use bronze from the people of West Asia, perhaps from the Phoenicians (foy-NEE-shans), who traded with them. But bronze was very [...]

Roman economy – jobs, stores, money, debt, and trade in ancient Rome

By | 2017-12-26T15:18:31+00:00 August 31st, 2017|Economy, Romans|

The Roman economy: a Roman olive press mosaic (200-250 AD) now in St. Germain en Laye, France Farming in the Roman economy Most people in the Roman world were farmers. Some of the people who worked on farms were slaves, but most of them were free. Some owned their own land, but most people had [...]

Samson and Delilah – Bible stories

By | 2017-08-25T09:50:41+00:00 August 25th, 2017|History, Religion, West Asia|

Samson (or David?) wrestles the lion. Silk tapestry, probably from Syria, in the 600s AD Just as the Jews were finally getting rid of the Canaanites, around 1100 BC, a new enemy came to Israel. These were the Philistines (FILL-uh-steens). Nobody knows for sure who the Philistines were or where they came from. But they seem to [...]

Stone Age Japan – Japanese history

By | 2017-07-27T13:42:11+00:00 July 27th, 2017|History, Japan|

Jomon carving of a killer whale, ca. 3000 BC People probably first reached Japan from two directions around the same time. Some people came north from Southeast Asia or Australia, in boats along the coast. These people were descended from the first people who left Africa about 70,000 BC, and they had dark skin. A [...]

Greek sculpture – ancient Greece

By | 2017-07-05T04:45:06+00:00 July 5th, 2017|Art, Greeks|

Winged Victory (Nike of Samothrace) - Now in the Louvre, Paris Not very much Greek sculpture has survived for us to see. You might think stone statues made of limestone and marble would last well, but both limestone and marble can be burned and turned into lime, which is one of the ingredients [...]