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Medieval West Africa – Bronze, glass, and drought

By |2018-11-01T08:53:13+00:00October 2nd, 2017|Africa, History|

Copper sculpture from Medieval West Africa (Tada, Nigeria ca. 1300 AD). Djenne-Djeno's walls By 800 AD, the people of Djenne-Djeno had built a tall wall of mud-bricks around their town. The wall would protect them from their enemies. (But as we will see, in the end this didn't work!) The people of Djenne-Djeno were rich. Many of [...]

West Asian science – Mesopotamia and Iran

By |2018-04-07T17:05:01+00:00September 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 |2018-11-01T08:31:00+00:00September 12th, 2017|Economy, West Asia|

West Asian economy: Bronze Age tin ingots from a shipwreck near Haifa Trading for tin 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. What is bronze? Bronze Age timeline At [...]

Bronze Age Rome – History of Rome

By |2018-09-22T12:00:01+00:00September 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. When did Italy's bronze age start? Very early on, about 5000 BC, Stone Age people in northern Italy were mining [...]

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

By |2018-05-27T00:09:57+00:00August 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. (More about farming and debt) Some owned their own [...]

Samson and Delilah story – Bible stories

By |2018-05-22T23:12:35+00:00August 25th, 2017|History, Religion, West Asia|

Samson and Delilah story: Samson (or David?) wrestles the lion. Silk tapestry, probably from Syria, in the 600s AD Backstory of Samson and Delilah Just as the Jews were finally getting rid of the Canaanites, around 1100 BC, the Bible says that a new enemy came to Israel. These were the Philistines (FILL-uh-steens). (More about the Philistines) [...]

Stone Age Japan – Japanese history

By |2018-04-23T15:31:47+00:00July 27th, 2017|History, Japan|

Jomon carving of a killer whale, ca. 3000 BC The first people in Japan 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 [...]

Greek sculpture – ancient Greece

By |2018-04-15T16:49:51+00:00July 5th, 2017|Art, Greeks|

Greek sculpture: 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 [...]