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West Asia in the Stone Age

By |2018-09-04T08:07:08+00:00September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia|

Stone Age West Asia: A building at Gobekli Tepe (ca. 9000 BC) Stone Age West Asia By around 10,000 BC, people in West Asia were beginning to settle down in one place instead of traveling around, even though they were still hunting and gathering and fishing. What is gathering?  Probably this was because the end of the Ice Age was [...]

Sumerian architecture – Mesopotamia

By |2018-05-21T09:04:25+00:00September 11th, 2017|Architecture, West Asia|

Sumerian architecture: the ziggurat at Warka (reconstructed by Saddam Hussein) Mud-brick and brick Like other people around the world, the Sumerians started to build big temples on artificial platforms around 3500 BC. They were living in the area between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers. in what is now Iraq. Because there's practically no building stone in this [...]

West Asian economy – Safavids and Ottomans

By |2018-04-25T23:04:52+00:00September 11th, 2017|Economy, West Asia|

A man making paper West Asia entered the 1500s AD in a very powerful position in world trade. Iran, together with the Central Asian state of Uzbekistan and the Mughal Empire, dominated the Silk Road, and the Silk Road was at the center of world trade. Small factories with hundreds of employees - slave or free - made high-quality steel, knotted wool carpets, paper, glass dishes and silver vases, and [...]

Judah and Israel – Bible stories

By |2017-08-24T09:59:50+00:00August 24th, 2017|History, Religion, West Asia|

Assyrian prisoners of war from the siege of Lachish. Sennacherib's palace at Nineveh, 704-681 BC. (now in the British Museum) Under Solomon, Israel was a strong united kingdom. But when Solomon died, two of his sons divided the kingdom of Israel between them. At least that's what the Bible says. Certainly Israel really split [...]

Ibn al-Haytham – Medieval Islamic science

By |2018-04-16T10:32:27+00:00July 27th, 2017|Islam, Science|

Diagram of an eye, by Ibn al-Haytham (ca. 1000 AD) Ibn al-Haytham was born about 965 AD in Basra, near the Persian Gulf (modern Iraq), and when he grew up he went to Cairo, then a rich university center under Fatimid rule, and became a scientist. Al-Haytham first worked on a plan to build a dam across the Nile [...]

Medieval Islamic pottery – Islamic art

By |2018-04-23T15:22:28+00:00July 23rd, 2017|Art, Islam|

A tin-glazed plate Just about the time of the Arab conquests (about 600-700 AD), potters started to use metal-based glazes on their pots. So Islamic pottery looks very different from the Roman pottery that came before it. Tin-glazed bowl imitating Chinese pottery, ca. 850 AD West Asian potters invented this way of glazing pottery during the Roman Empire, [...]

History of dates (food) – West Asia

By |2018-04-19T15:40:07+00:00June 21st, 2017|Food, West Asia|

History of dates: Two dates Dates are from West Asia Wild dates probably evolved around 50 million years ago, as a way for date palms to get animals to eat their seeds and carry them to other places before pooping them out. Date palms are palm trees, related to the palms that Africans [...]

A day in Mesopotamia – food, costumes, activities

By |2018-04-07T17:04:22+00:00June 11th, 2017|Crafts, West Asia|

Molded bricks form an archer at ancient Susa, in Iran If you're a teacher, parent, or day camp counselor thinking of spending a week or so on ancient West Asia (Mesopotamia and Persia), here's some ideas other people have found useful: Clothes: For boys, as in the picture, a long colorful tunic down [...]

Assyrian reliefs – West Asian project

By |2017-06-11T23:53:00+00:00June 11th, 2017|Art, Crafts, West Asia|

Siege of Nineveh When the Assyrian kings of what is now Iraq and Syria (ancient Mesopotamia) built their great palaces in the 700s and 600s BC, artists carved long stories into the walls, like stone comic books. These stories showed the wars that the kings fought - marching out to war, besieging cities, [...]

Mesopotamian plate project – West Asia

By |2017-06-11T23:42:53+00:00June 11th, 2017|Art, Crafts, West Asia|

Mesopotamian plate, made by kids at Laurelhurst School, Portland Oregon West Asia was probably the first place on earth where people began to use clayto make pottery dishes and bowls and cups, about 5000 BC in the late Stone Age. By about 3500 BC, people began to make geometric designs on their dishes, [...]