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What is Nowruz? Zoroastrians – West Asian holidays

By | 2017-09-15T21:02:31+00:00 September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Persepolis may have been built in the 500s BC as a place to celebrate Nowruz. Zoroastrianism became much more popular suddenly when the Persian kings became Zoroastrians around 550 BC. Soon after that, Zoroastrian worshippers began to celebrate the first day of spring as an important holiday. That was the first day of their New Year. Nowruz is [...]

Who are the Arawak? – South American history

By | 2017-09-08T17:33:50+00:00 September 8th, 2017|History, South America|

Arawak family in Trinidad, ca. 1500 AD The Arawak probably first arrived in South America with the second wave of people, around 15,000 BC. They were probably fishing people with canoes or boats, travelling south along the Atlantic coastline following the fish. The Arawak settled first in what is now Venezuela, along the Orinoco River, eating a lot [...]

Central and South American food

By | 2017-09-08T17:13:27+00:00 September 8th, 2017|Central America, Food, South America|

Aztec men sharing a meal When people first came to Central and South America, perhaps about 15,000 BC, they hunted and gathered all of their food. They picked wild potatoes, wild teosinte (the ancestor of corn), wild beans and wild tomatoes and avocados. They hunted rabbits and llamas and turkeys, and fished in the rivers and the ocean. For fun, they probably fermented teosinte and other plants into [...]

Roman food – rich and poor

By | 2017-10-13T15:30:35+00:00 September 1st, 2017|Food, Romans|

Roti bread made with millet Although the first people who came to the Mediterranean were probably following along the coast, and ate mainly fish, shellfish, seaweed, and wild figs, by the time the Roman Republic got started, there were far too many people in the Mediterranean to be able to live entirely from the ocean, and although people kept [...]

The end of animal sacrifice – History of religion

By | 2017-08-23T11:56:30+00:00 August 23rd, 2017|Religion|

Sacrificial procession (Pitsa, ca. 530 BC) People probably began to do animal sacrifice around the time they began farming and keeping domesticated animals, about 10,000 BC. They were certainly sacrificing animals to their gods all over Europe and Asia by 3000 BC. That's when we first have paintings and carvings and written stories about it. For seven thousand years or so, animal sacrifice [...]

Levers – Simple machines – Physics

By | 2017-08-17T09:06:01+00:00 August 17th, 2017|Physics|

An orangutan child using a stick as a lever A lever is basically just a long stick that you push or pull against a fulcrum - a fixed object - to move something. A lever helps you move something heavy, or make something go fast. The earliest levers developed naturally inside animals' bodies. Whenever [...]

American environmental change

By | 2017-08-11T08:34:25+00:00 August 11th, 2017|Environment, North America|

Hunting Passenger Pigeons, about 1800 AD The story of the environment of North America after 1500 AD is one terrible change after another. Shortly after 1500 AD, most of the people living in North America seem to have died. They caught diseases from European people who had been trading with them. By 1700 AD almost nobody lived [...]

Iroquois food – What did Iroquois people eat?

By | 2017-08-08T10:03:37+00:00 August 8th, 2017|Food, Native American|

Corn, beans, and squash growing together People who lived in the Iroquois nation in the northeast part of North America ate mainly corn and beans and squash that they farmed. They made the corn into flat bread like tacos or tortillas. That was the same way that Pueblo and Mexican people ate their corn. But Iroquois people also cooked corn into polenta (grits) [...]

Native American food – North America – pemmican and succotash

By | 2017-12-27T13:45:29+00:00 August 8th, 2017|Food, Native American|

Native American food: Inuit carving of a sea lion Hunting and gathering wild food Early on, until about 2000 BC, people in North America ate only wild foods that they could hunt or gather. Salmon, wapato, pine nuts and acorn flour These foods varied according to the environment where each group of people lived. Inuit people, who lived in the far north along [...]

Cherokee food – What did Cherokee people eat?

By | 2017-08-08T09:21:11+00:00 August 8th, 2017|Food, Native American|

Corn on the cob People who lived in the Cherokee nation were mostly farmers. They ate mainly corn and beans and squash (the "Three Sisters") that they grew in their fields. They made the corn into flat breads like tacos and tortillas and they made the beans into refried beans, soups and stews. They also made popcorn for special treats! Cherokee people also grew and ate [...]