Indo-Europeans

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Monotheism and polytheism – West Asian religion

By |2018-09-23T06:26:07+00:00September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

The Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar or Inanna What is polytheism? The earliest people in West Asia were all polytheistic: they all worshipped many gods. From 3000 BC to 539 BC, the Sumerians, the Akkadians, the Assyrians and the Babylonians all worshipped pretty much the same set of gods, despite their cultural differences. The most important of these gods was Ea. Ishtar was the most important [...]

Third Dynasty of Ur – Mesopotamia – West Asian history

By |2018-04-25T23:49:52+00:00September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia|

Standard of Ur This is the Middle Bronze Age in West Asia, about 2100 BC to 1700 BC. It corresponds roughly to the First Intermediate Period in Egypt, and just as in Egypt this was a time when West Asia was broken up into a lot of little kingdoms instead of being one big empire. In Greece, [...]

Who were the Trojans? – West Asian history

By |2018-04-07T17:04:51+00:00September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia|

A reconstruction of what Troy VI might have looked like. For thousands of years, people read Homer's Iliad and learned the story of the Trojan War. But nobody knew if it had really happened, or if there really even was a city of Troy. In the 1800s, a German man named Heinrich Schliemann decided to look for [...]

Who were the Persians? Persian Empire – Iran – history

By |2018-10-30T07:40:22+00:00September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia, Where|

The Persians came from the Central Asian steppe The Persians and the Medes Around 1200 BC, some Indo-European people from Central Asia moved south into West Asia. These people were the Persians and the Medes. Who were the Indo-Europeans? More Central Asia articles More West Asia (Middle East) articles Nomads and cattle-herders in Central Asia The Persians [...]

Who were the Scythians? Central Asian history

By |2018-04-24T11:39:59+00:00September 14th, 2017|Central Asia, History|

Scythian history: A Scythian milking a sheep (Tolstaja Mogila kurgan, Ukraine, 400 BC) Scythians lived in Central Asia The Scythians were a large group of loosely connected people who lived in Russia. They also lived further south around the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.  Like the Hittites, the Greeks and the Germans, they were Indo-Europeans. Powerful in the Iron Age We [...]

Who were the Hittites? West Asian history

By |2018-04-25T23:55:40+00:00September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia|

History of the Hittites: Hittite musicians in long and short tunics (1500 BC, modern Turkey) History of the Hittites The Hittites were Indo-European people. They seem to have moved south from the Caspian Sea into southern Turkey around 2000 BC, about the same time that the Trojans were moving into Troy and the Greeks were moving into Greece. The Hittites were different from [...]

Black Sea – West Asian Environment

By |2018-04-25T23:35:41+00:00September 13th, 2017|Environment, West Asia|

Black Sea coast (from Turkey) The Black Sea was originally a fresh-water lake. In the Stone Age, many people lived around the edge of this lake. But around 7000 BC, as the world came out of the last Ice Age and all the glaciers melted, sea level rose. The Mediterranean Sea spilled over the little bit of land that separated it [...]

History of Rome – ancient Rome

By |2018-04-25T09:54:54+00:00September 3rd, 2017|History, Romans|

Villanovan cremation urn with helmet on top (ca. 900 BC) Italy's history in antiquity mostly followed the changes that were happening in West Asia a little earlier. The first modern people arrived in Italy from West Asia about 10,000 BC. About 5000 BC a second group of West Asian travellers brought farming and farm animals to Italy - Central Asian cows, West Asian sheep, [...]

The First Native Americans

By |2018-11-09T07:55:58+00:00August 9th, 2017|History, Native American|

The first Native Americans probably ran into a lot of glaciers like this one. How people got to the Americas The history of North America up to 1500 AD is a story of a continent that started out empty and gradually got more and more crowded. Probably the first people to come to North America [...]

Who were the Harappans? History of India

By |2018-11-23T12:45:43+00:00July 20th, 2017|History, India|

Harappan Seal Who were the Harappans? Around 4500 BC, some new people from West Asia moved into the Indus Valley and mixed with the Mehrgahr people who were already there. They brought some West Asian foods with them: lentils, and then later chickpeas. They also brought flax, to make linen clothing, and safflowers for their oil. And they brought, [...]