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Who is Tammuz? Mesopotamia – West Asian religion

By |2018-04-24T12:02:10+00:00September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

The god Tammuz (probably) with grain growing from his shoulders A West Asian god Tammuz (or Dumuzi) was a West Asian god who personified growing food, like Persephone in Greece or Osiris in Egypt. Like Osiris, Tammuz was male. The Sumerians worshipped Tammuz as early as 2600 BC - and probably much earlier - and so did all the other people [...]

Native American clothing history – cotton and agave

By |2018-04-07T17:05:26+00:00August 8th, 2017|Clothing, Native American|

Native American clothing: Pueblo cotton cloth (before 1500 AD) Native American cotton and agave Most people in North America made their clothing from agave plant fiber - some of it grew wild, and some of it they farmed. Richer people wore cotton clothing. Cotton came originally from the Aztec people south of them. Pueblo people spun and [...]

History of wheat farming – West Asia

By |2018-05-07T16:17:58+00:00June 23rd, 2017|Food, West Asia|

Wheat history: a field of wheat Did early humans eat wheat? Ever since people left Africa for West Asia, about 70,000 BC, they have probably always eaten wheat, which tastes good and is also a good source of carbohydrates and not a bad source of protein. Wheat is native to West Asia, so people [...]

Where does sugar come from? India

By |2017-06-23T01:18:05+00:00June 23rd, 2017|Food, India|

Sugar cane harvest in India Sugar cane began to grow wild in India and south-east Asia about a hundred million years ago, when grasses evolved from earlier plants. When people first walked to India, about 60,000 years ago, they probably began to eat the sugar cane pretty much right away. For people who [...]

Where does sorghum come from? African food

By |2018-04-17T22:27:15+00:00June 23rd, 2017|Africa, Food|

A field of sorghum growing Sorghum, like millet, is one of the plants that African people figured out how to farm and then spread to the rest of the world. It's a kind of gluten-free grain, about five feet tall, that grows wild all across Africa, Asia, and Australia. Sorghum doesn't need very [...]

History of rye bread – Central Asia

By |2018-04-16T12:29:35+00:00June 23rd, 2017|Central Asia, Food|

A field of rye growing Like barley and wheat, rye's a kind of grass that is a good source of carbohydrates for people. Rye is different from the other grains mainly in that it will grow much further north, in colder climates, and in poorer soils. So people who lived further north, in [...]

Rice history: Where does rice come from? South-east Asia

By |2018-05-04T16:53:44+00:00June 23rd, 2017|China, Food|

Rice history: A bowl of brown rice What is rice? Rice is a kind of grain, or grass, like wheat, millet, or barley, that provides carbohydrates to people who eat its seeds. In south-east Asia, rice grows wild like other grasses. (More about the evolution of grasses) Rice farming: 6000 BC - first China, [...]

Corn history – Where does corn come from? (Teosinte)

By |2017-12-31T17:48:18+00:00June 21st, 2017|Central America, Food|

Corn history: Corn on the cob Teosinte and corn Corn is a kind of seed, like rice or wheat, that comes originally from a kind of wild grass that grows in Mexico called teosinte. Corn has lots of carbohydrates, but not as much protein as wheat or barley. Corn also has some vitamins, [...]

Environment of Central Asia

By |2018-04-18T09:54:08+00:00May 31st, 2017|Central Asia, Environment|

Central Asian steppe By the time the first Neanderthals reached Central Asia, maybe about 100,000 BC, most of Central Asia was covered by hundreds of miles of tall grass, like the prairies of South Dakota or Nebraska in North America. There were hardly any trees, and not much water. We call this grassland [...]