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Mauryan art in India – 300 to 100 BC

By |2017-09-14T17:17:58+00:00September 13th, 2017|Art, India|

Buddha comes down from heaven. Butkara I, Swat Valley, Pakistan, 100s BC. (Now in Swat Museum.) The rise of Buddhism in India during the Mauryan Empire brought with it a new interest in carving the stories of the Buddha's life. And Indian artists were now seeing scenes from Greek mythology on the metopes [...]

The Roman Republic – Ancient Rome

By |2018-04-28T14:05:02+00:00September 3rd, 2017|History, Romans|

Doric temple at Paestum, Italy Conquering southern Italy Once they had established their Republic,  the Romans began to conquer southern Italy. They used another good idea to help them. Offering to help cities Like Alexander the Great about the same time, Romans told everybody that if any city needed help fighting a war, the Romans would be happy [...]

Sinbad the Sailor – Arabian Nights

By |2017-07-26T09:40:30+00:00July 26th, 2017|Islam, Literature|

An island turned out to be a whale Sinbad was (as Sheherazade told the story) a trader from Baghdad. He sailed his trading ships all around the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean, carrying cotton cloth and gold and cinnamon and sugar and rugs and steel from one place to another. But he [...]

Ghaznavid Dynasty – Medieval Islam

By |2017-07-23T23:47:02+00:00July 23rd, 2017|History, India, Islam, West Asia|

A minaret in Ghazni (Afghanistan), from about 1000 AD Beginning in the 850s AD, the Abbasid caliphs of the Islamic Empire were looking for soldiers they would be able to trust, who were not other Arabs who would be trying to get into power. The Abbasids thought that the Turks would be trustworthy soldiers. So they captured a [...]

Who is Lakshmi? Hindu goddess – India

By |2017-07-21T11:07:45+00:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

Lakshmi (Sanchi Stupa, central India, 200s BC) Lakshmi was (and is) a Hindu goddess of light, wealth, good luck and success. Her name comes from the Sanskrit word laks, which can mean "light" or "goal". And that comes from an earlier Yamnaya word for "bright and shiny". There are statues of Lakshmi starting about 500 BC, but she probably became a [...]

Animals of ancient and medieval India

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

Alexander the Great and the Silk Road

By |2018-04-22T22:58:37+00:00July 7th, 2017|Central Asia, Greeks, History|

Alexander in the east: Darius' palace at Persepolis When Alexander finished conquering Persia (modern Iran), he burned Darius' great palace at Persepolis: only ruins are left today. Then he marched further east with his army up into the mountains of Bactria (modern Afghanistan). This had also been part of the Persian Empire, but [...]

Chinese animals – Environment of China

By |2018-04-18T09:53:29+00:00June 6th, 2017|China, Environment, What|

A camel caravan in northern China Long ago, in the Stone Age, about 3000 BC, many different kinds of wild animals lived in China - elephants, lions, pandas, wild horses, wolves, wild dogs, aurochs, and many others. But as there got to be more and more people and farms, there was less room. [...]

What is Ivory? History of Ivory

By |2018-02-09T23:58:29+00:00May 19th, 2017|Africa, Art|

What is ivory? History of ivory: An elephant using her tusks What is ivory? Ivory is the same thing as elephant tusks. People used to kill elephants in India and Africa and cut off their tusks, and carve the tusks into beads or small statues. Sometimes traders sold the tusks to Egypt, Greece, Rome, [...]