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Who were the Persians? Iran – West Asian history

By | 2017-11-01T22:57:18+00:00 September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia, Where|

Central Asian steppe Around 1200 BC, some Indo-European people from Central Asia moved south into West Asia. These people were the Persians and the Medes. The Persians and the Medes were distantly related to the Scythians, the Hittites, the Greeks and the Romans, and they spoke a related language. Like the Scythians, the Medes and the Persians were nomadic people. They travelled around Central Asia [...]

Who were the Scythians? Central Asian history

By | 2017-09-14T15:45:16+00:00 September 14th, 2017|Central Asia, History|

Scythian milking a sheep (Tolstaja Mogila kurgan, Ukraine, 400 BC) The Scythians were a large group of loosely connected people who lived in Russia. They also lived further south around the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.  Like the Hittites, the Greeks and the Germans, they were Indo-Europeans. We don't know when the Scythians first formed a group. But by 600 BC they were [...]

Scythian art history – Central Asian art

By | 2017-09-11T22:57:06+00:00 September 11th, 2017|Art, Central Asia|

Scythian deer from about 700-500 B.C. It is made out of gold, and it's now in St. Petersburg. The Scythians were horse-riding nomads, who traveled around the western part of Central Asia taking care of their big herds of cattle and hunting wild animals like this deer. Scythian art was mostly small, so people could carry it around conveniently. For [...]

Late Middle Ages timeline – 1100-1500 AD

By | 2017-10-13T13:09:23+00:00 September 10th, 2017|Central Asia, History, When|

The Mongol court (1200s AD) After the warming trend of 1000 AD came a colder period around 1300 AD called the Little Ice Age. Again, people felt the effects around the world. In Central Asia, the Mongols rose to power in the late 1200s AD. They conquered China, Russia, northern India, and most of the Islamic Empire and united them into one huge [...]

Late Bronze Age timeline: 2000 – 1000 BC

By | 2017-09-10T17:55:52+00:00 September 10th, 2017|Central Asia, History|

Earliest known spoked wheels, from a grave in western Siberia When about 2000 BC the Central Asians invented better wheels with spokes, so you could fight from your chariot, a new wave of Indo-Europeans moved from Central Asia west to Greece, and Italy, or south into Egypt and Iran, and from Iran about 1500 BC to India. Some of [...]

Bronze Age timeline: 4000-2000 BC

By | 2017-09-10T17:45:55+00:00 September 10th, 2017|Central Asia, History|

A clay pot with a drawing of a wheeled cart from what is now Poland, about 3500 BC Around 4000 BC, there were enough people in West Asia, Egypt, China, and Peru for them to live in small cities (about 10,000-50,000 people). These places began to choose kings to govern them. Then they formed the first small empires. They built the [...]

What is steel? Ancient and medieval steel

By | 2017-09-08T09:39:35+00:00 September 8th, 2017|India, Science|

Damascus steel sword from the 1200s AD Soon after 300 BC, with the rise of the Silk Road, people were all looking for new ideas for things they could sell. Thanks to Buddhist monks, there were big universities in Mauryan India, where people came from all over Asia to study and work, and they, or someone else in India, [...]

What was smallpox? History of disease

By | 2017-09-07T09:51:49+00:00 September 7th, 2017|Central Asia, Science|

A baby with smallpox (from the CDC) Smallpox was a very serious disease caused by a virus. Many people died of it. Smallpox caused little bumps on your skin, like chickenpox but much more serious. About two to five of every ten people who got smallpox died of it. There was (and is still) [...]

What is opium? World history of medicine and drugs

By | 2017-09-07T09:33:48+00:00 September 7th, 2017|Central Asia, Science|

Opium poppy flower Opium comes from a kind of poppy flower. It evolved around 100 million years ago in West Asia and Central Asia. People probably realized as soon as they got to West Asia, about 60,000 years ago, that you could use opium as a medicine. By 6000 BC, in the Stone Age, West Asian farmers were already growing opium in their [...]

What did Manichaeans believe? – Christianity

By | 2017-08-22T13:35:09+00:00 August 22nd, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Manichaean painting (Turfan, western China, ca. 900s AD) In the 300s and 400s AD many Christians turned to believing in Manichaeism, a form of Christianity. A man named Mani started this movement in the late 200s AD. Mani lived in the Sassanian Empire, where lots of people were Zoroastrians. So Zoroastrianism influenced Mani's thinking a lot. Manichaeans believed [...]