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Medieval African food – what did people eat?

By | 2017-10-02T23:21:02+00:00 October 2nd, 2017|Africa, Food|

Olive orchard in Tunisia The foods people ate in Africa didn't just stay the same. Instead, they changed slowly over time. Around 800 BC, with the arrival of Greek and Phoenician invaders, the people of North Africa began to plant olive orchards and produce olive oil. They ate a lot of olives and olive oil, even though they also shipped a [...]

Early Native American Economy – farming and trade

By | 2017-09-28T11:57:29+00:00 September 28th, 2017|Economy, Native American|

Pomo people fishing (California, 1816) When people first came to North America, maybe about 15,000 BC, they were probably mostly following the fish along the coast, and fishing is what they spent most of their time doing. In California, and along the East Coast, people like the Iroquois also gathered acorns and crushed them to make bread. Cree people [...]

West Asian food – Mesopotamia and Iran

By | 2017-09-13T17:12:18+00:00 September 13th, 2017|Food, West Asia|

Sumerians sipping beer through straws (ca. 2500 BC) The people of West Asia traditionally divided themselves into two groups who had very different eating and drinking habits. These two groups thought of themselves as enemies, even though they also traded with each other and married each other all the time. One group lived in [...]

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 [...]

Where does chewing gum come from? Central America

By | 2017-09-08T16:16:48+00:00 September 8th, 2017|Central America, Food|

Sapodilla tree - where chewing gum comes from Nobody knows when the first person began to chew gobs of sap from trees, but it was probably before they were really even people. Certainly somebody was chewing gobs of tree sap as early as 3000 BC in Finland. People also chewed gum in ancient Greece, early North America, [...]

What are llamas? South American animals

By | 2017-09-08T16:00:40+00:00 September 8th, 2017|Environment, South America|

A llama in Bolivia Llamas evolved from camels. Camels evolved in North America about 45 million years ago. They lived in the Rocky Mountains and all across the southern part of North America. While they were still in North America, some camels evolved into llamas. Llamas spread from there south into South America about 3 million years ago. [...]

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 [...]

Mediterranean Food in the Roman Empire

By | 2017-09-01T16:17:16+00:00 September 1st, 2017|Food, Romans|

Woman baking bread Poor people who lived near the Mediterranean Sea had to eat food that would grow in very dry areas, with light and not very fertile soil. Mostly they ate what archaeologists call the "Mediterranean triad" or three things: wheat and barley (made into beer or porridge or flatbread or soup), olive oil (soaked into the bread, or on vegetables), [...]

How did people eat in ancient Rome? Roman silverware and dishes

By | 2017-10-14T16:39:27+00:00 August 31st, 2017|Food, Romans, Science|

Spoons made out of bronze and animal bone from ancient Rome Most people in ancient Rome ate most of their food with spoons. A lot of it was soups and porridge. The spoons in this picture are made of bronze and bone. But a lot of Roman spoons were made of wood. Fancy rich people [...]

Roman restaurants – going out to eat in ancient Rome

By | 2017-08-31T22:39:33+00:00 August 31st, 2017|Economy, Food, Romans|

A carving of a fast food restaurant in northern Europe Many people in bigger towns in ancient Rome lived in just one room and didn't have kitchens in their apartments. They ate most of their meals in fast food restaurants like this one in the picture. You can see that one guy is sitting at a booth while [...]