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What is tuberculosis? History of diseases

By |2018-04-18T18:18:04+00:00September 7th, 2017|Science, West Asia|

A child with tuberculosis Tuberculosis is a lung disease caused by germs. Today we can usually cure it with antibiotics. But in antiquity there was no cure. Many people died of tuberculosis. One kind of tuberculosis seems to have infected people since the Paleolithic. It came to North America and South America with the first people, about 13,000 BC. This tuberculosis [...]

Maccabees – Jewish history

By |2017-10-09T17:20:27+00:00August 24th, 2017|History, West Asia|

Alexander the Great Under the Persians the Jews did very well. They were able to worship their own God, and even to travel around the Persian Empire converting people to Judaism. But in 331 BC Alexander the Great, who was from Macedon, conquered the Persian Empire and "liberated" (as he called it) the Jews from Persian rule. [...]

Shiva – Hindu god – Ancient India

By |2017-07-21T13:13:00+00:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

The Hindu god Shiva Shiva was a Hindu fertility god, who made the crops grow. He was not mentioned in the Rig Veda, about 1000 BC, and seems to have come into Hinduism later than that. Around 300 BC, in the Mauryan period, people began worshipping Shiva. This might be another name for the Harappan god Rudra. But unlike the earlier Hindu gods, [...]

What is Hinduism? A religion of India

By |2017-10-14T16:35:20+00:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion, What|

Arjuna fighting Karna, with Krishna as his charioteer (Duttapara Temple, ca. 1500s AD) The word Hindu comes from the river Indus, and it just means the people who live near the Indus river (actually in modern Pakistan). The Harappa people who lived near that river about 2500 BC carved images of several different gods on their clay seals. We can't read Harappan writing, [...]

What was Egypt like in the Stone Age?

By |2018-05-08T15:37:30+00:00June 17th, 2017|Africa, Egypt, History|

Hunting birds in ancient Egypt During most of the Stone Age, people in Egypt, like people everywhere else in the world, lived by hunting and gathering their food. They traveled around from place to place in the Nile Valley, harvesting wild grasses and digging up roots. People picked berries, and found bird eggs. They [...]

What is a wet nurse? History of wetnursing

By |2018-05-08T08:36:59+00:00June 12th, 2017|Economy|

What is a wet nurse? An ancient Egyptian wet nurse nursing a baby (From the tomb of one of the daughters of Akhenaten) What is a wet nurse? A wet nurse is a woman who breast-feeds somebody else's baby, either for money or because she is enslaved. From the Stone Age up until the [...]

History of Cheese – Central Asia

By |2018-04-19T09:26:55+00:00June 12th, 2017|Central Asia, Food|

History of cheese: There are lots of different kinds of cheese. How to preserve milk? If you don't have a refrigerator, there's no way to keep milk from going bad within a few hours. Even WITH a refrigerator milk goes bad in about a week. But ancient cows and sheep and goats only [...]

Who domesticated cattle? Central Asia

By |2018-04-18T23:54:16+00:00June 12th, 2017|Central Asia|

History of cows: Cows in a field The wild auroch Cattle are the tame version of the wild aurochs that used to live on the grass plains of Asia, Africa, and Europe. About 5000 BC, people in Central Asia began to keep tame cattle. At first people just kept cattle for their meat [...]