knotted carpets

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Medieval economy – Europe

By |2018-04-24T08:21:22+00:00August 1st, 2017|Economy, Medieval|

Medieval economy: A carpenter works in his shop. Collapse of trade After the fall of Rome, people in Europe used money less than they had before. Instead they mostly lived on what they could produce themselves. Rich people lived on what they could make other people give them because they were landlords or landladies. Money and silk [...]

Medieval Islamic economy – The Silk Road

By |2017-07-23T16:24:26+00:00July 23rd, 2017|Economy, Islam|

Turkomen on the Silk Road with camels Just like under Persian or Sassanian rule, the economy of West Asia during the Islamic period depended very heavily on trade. The Silk Road ran right across the Islamic Empire. It reached east from China, to Tajikistan, to Uzbekistan, to Iran, to Iraq and Syria. Then it ran west to Lebanon, to the Byzantine Empire, and across the Mediterranean to Italy. Arab [...]

Medieval Islamic art history

By |2017-07-23T15:13:04+00:00July 23rd, 2017|Art, Islam|

Mosaic from the Great Mosque in Damascus (about 710 AD) As soon as the Islamic Empire formed, under the Umayyad dynasty, artists began exploring the new ideas of Islam and what they meant for art. The first big difference between Roman art and Islamic art was that the followers of Islam, like the Jews, took seriously the commandment that you should not [...]

Slavery in medieval India – History of India

By |2017-12-06T21:45:42+00:00July 20th, 2017|India, People|

Dancing woman from Mohenjo Daro, in what is now Pakistan Slavery in ancient India There were probably always slaves in India, but until about 1000 AD there were only a few people who were enslaved, and most of them worked as house servants or entertainers. Islam brings more slavery to India But when Islamic conquerors reached India, they forced many [...]

Knotted rugs – Central Asian Economy

By |2017-05-31T09:39:30+00:00May 31st, 2017|Central Asia, Economy|

Pazyryk rug (ca. 300 BC) The world's first knotted rugs were probably made just south of the Caspian Sea in what is now northern Iran. They were all made of wool, and they used the same types of patterns that people were using to embroider on their clothes, or (if we believe Herodotus) [...]

What was the Silk Road? Central Asian Economy

By |2018-09-26T08:36:48+00:00May 31st, 2017|Central Asia, Economy|

Mongol herdsman Hunting wild animals The first people moved into Central Asia about 50,000 BC. They were probably following the big animals that they hunted for food and leather skins - the wild aurochs and the wild horse. The great grasslands of Central Asia were a good place for aurochs and horses, because [...]