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Medieval African clothing – more and more cotton

By | 2018-04-13T01:30:20+00:00 October 2nd, 2017|Africa, Clothing|

Cotton cloth made in Gujarat, India andfound in Fustat (Cairo, Egypt) - ca. 800 AD(Now in Oxford, England) People first began to weave cotton in India, also around 2000 BC, but cotton weaving soon spread to Egypt, and all down the east side of Africa. By the 400s AD, the people of Meroe and Kush were growing and weaving cotton for their clothes. Before 800 AD, [...]

King David and Israel – Bible stories

By | 2017-08-23T23:11:58+00:00 August 23rd, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

David uses his sling to throw a stone at Goliath, helped by angels. From the Bristol Psalter, written in the 1000s AD in Constantinople. After they got free from the Philistines, the Jews were independent again for a while. This is the time of the story of Ruth. At this time the Jews did [...]

Early Arabia – Arabian peninsula

By | 2018-04-23T15:27:01+00:00 July 23rd, 2017|History, Islam|

Ibex hunt from Yemen, 0-300 AD People probably first arrived in the Arabian peninsula about 60,000 BC,, crossing over the Sinai from Egypt or going all around the coast in their small boats. Some went on to Iran and India, but others settled down in the Arabian peninsula. Mostly they gathered seaweed and seafood, and fished from their boats. By about 2500 BC, Arabian traders were selling [...]

What games did people play in ancient India?

By | 2017-07-20T09:49:31+00:00 July 20th, 2017|Games, India|

A die found in excavations at a Harappan period site. Note that the six is not opposite the one. People brought the idea of throwing the knucklebones of sheep or pigs to tell the future, or to play a game of skill like jacks, when they first came from Africa to India about 40,000 BC. But people in India may have been [...]

Animals of ancient and medieval India

By | 2018-04-18T23:55:59+00:00 July 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 [...]

Ancient Indian economy

By | 2018-04-23T14:47:03+00:00 July 20th, 2017|Economy, India|

Ancient India trade: Indian herbal medicines Most people in ancient India, as in other parts of Asia and Europe at this time, were farmers. In India, farmers mainly grew wheat and rice, and cotton for cloth. They grew opium for medicine too. On the coast, people produced salt in big evaporation flats, and in Sri Lanka they dove for pearls. Indian traders shipped teak wood to [...]

Where does squash come from? Central America

By | 2018-04-20T00:09:03+00:00 June 23rd, 2017|Central America, Food|

Squash history: Pumpkins growing Where is squash from? Squash is the fruit of a vine plant that grows wild in Central America. Squash probably evolved around the same time as the other flowering plants, about 350 million years ago. It's related to cucumbers, melons and gourds that grew in Africa, Europe, and Asia. [...]

Salt caravans in Africa and China

By | 2018-04-10T00:13:56+00:00 June 23rd, 2017|Africa, Economy, Food|

A salt caravan across the Sahara Desert By 252 BC, a Chinese governor named Li Bing also figured out how to mine salt. People dug deep pits down to where there were natural underground salt water pools, and forced the salty water out through bamboo pipes. People in China generally didn't sprinkle salt [...]

Farming and famine – Climate change

By | 2018-04-19T14:44:11+00:00 June 20th, 2017|Environment|

Climate change: Hunters, bison and aurochs Cave painting from Lascaux, ca. 15,000 BC Climate change encouraged the evolution of the first humans, who probably evolved in Africa as the climate got drier and grasslands replaced jungles. People came down from the trees and evolved to swim and fish. They learned to walk upright [...]