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Who built Great Zimbabwe? Central African history

By |2018-04-13T01:39:20+00:00October 2nd, 2017|Africa, History|

Central Africa in the Middle Ages: Great Zimbabwe Iron comes to Central Africa Besides South Africa, central Africa is the most isolated part of Africa - for many years, the people who lived here saw almost nobody from outside their own area. So it took longer for people in Central Africa to find out [...]

American science after colonization

By |2018-04-08T11:21:58+00:00September 28th, 2017|Americas, Native American, North America, Science|

European trade goods (thanks to Nebraska Game and Parks Division) North American people made rapid scientific advances in the course of the 1500s AD, inspired by contacts with traders and explorers from Europe. People learned how to tame horses and ride them, and they learned how to use guns. They also began to use a [...]

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 [...]

West Asian economy in the Dark Age

By |2018-04-25T23:26:45+00:00September 12th, 2017|Economy, West Asia|

The temple of Goliath's town, Gath - apparently founded by the Philistines, when they fled the economic problems at home and arrived in Israel around 1100 BC The political collapse around 1200 BC in West Asia may have been related to an economic collapse about the same time. Between about 1200 and about 1000 BC, not so much trade was [...]

What is steel? Ancient and medieval steel

By |2018-04-24T08:21:18+00:00September 8th, 2017|India, Science|

Damascus steel sword from the 1200s AD Soon after 300 BC, with the rise of the Silk Road, people were all looking for new ideas for things they could sell. Thanks to Buddhist monks, there were big universities in Mauryan India, where people came from all over Asia to study and work, and they, or someone else in India, [...]

History of iron and blacksmithing – from iron to steel

By |2018-04-07T17:04:34+00:00September 7th, 2017|Science, West Asia|

History of iron: a Greek black-figure vase showing a blacksmith at work (Athens, about 550 BC) Why do people use iron? The history of iron doesn't start until much later than bronze. Iron is harder to form into metal than copper or bronze, because it needs a much hotter fire and a more complicated process. But if [...]

What is a bellows? Who invented the bellows?

By |2018-12-12T11:45:27+00:00September 7th, 2017|History|

(Tomb of Rekhmire, Egypt, ca. 1450 BC) Who invented the first bellows? About 14,000 BC, potters in China started to use kilns to fire clay pots. By about 3500 BC, people in West Asia were beginning to use furnaces to smelt metal - to burn copper and tin ore and melt it to get the copper and tin out, and mix them to make bronze. [...]

History of engineering – transportation, cooking, metal

By |2018-04-19T11:10:59+00:00September 5th, 2017|Science|

A Neanderthal stone awl People have been using engineering to solve the problems of their daily lives since the first caveman picked up a rock and chipped away at it to make a handaxe. That was in the Paleolithic, about 70,000 years ago. It is impossible to list all of the inventions that people have made since then, [...]

Samson and Delilah story – Bible stories

By |2018-05-22T23:12:35+00:00August 25th, 2017|History, Religion, West Asia|

Samson and Delilah story: Samson (or David?) wrestles the lion. Silk tapestry, probably from Syria, in the 600s AD Backstory of Samson and Delilah Just as the Jews were finally getting rid of the Canaanites, around 1100 BC, the Bible says that a new enemy came to Israel. These were the Philistines (FILL-uh-steens). (More about the Philistines) [...]

The Moon – Astronomy – Physics

By |2018-05-31T11:49:27+00:00August 19th, 2017|Physics|

Earth's moon (about 239,000 miles from Earth) (That's almost ten times as far as going all the way around the Earth) Nobody knows exactly how the moon formed, but this is one possibility. After the planet Earth formed (along with the other planets), about four and a half billion years ago, during the Hadean Eon, there were [...]