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West Asian food – Mesopotamia and Iran

By |2018-04-25T23:40:08+00:00September 13th, 2017|Food, West Asia|

Sumerians sipping beer through straws (ca. 2500 BC) The people of West Asia traditionally divided themselves into two groups who had very different eating and drinking habits. These two groups thought of themselves as enemies, even though they also traded with each other and married each other all the time. One group lived in [...]

Where did Passover come from? Jewish holidays

By |2017-08-24T14:32:07+00:00August 24th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Handmade Matzoh In its earliest beginnings, which could go back to the Stone Age, Passover was a Jewish spring festival. It celebrated the first barley harvest after the winter. All winter there had not really been enough to eat. Now in March or so there was finally some fresh new barley bread to eat! People were [...]

The end of animal sacrifice – History of religion

By |2018-04-21T12:09:34+00:00August 23rd, 2017|Religion|

Sacrificial procession (Pitsa, ca. 530 BC) People probably began to do animal sacrifice around the time they began farming and keeping domesticated animals, about 10,000 BC. They were certainly sacrificing animals to their gods all over Europe and Asia by 3000 BC. That's when we first have paintings and carvings and written stories about it. For seven thousand years or so, animal sacrifice [...]

History of Easter – Christian holidays

By |2018-04-09T23:07:33+00:00August 21st, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Wheat and barley on the Warka Vase (Sumeria, ca. 3200-3000 BC) When people moved out of Africa further north to West Asia and then to Europe, about 60,000 BC, they began to live in a world with changing seasons, where it was hard to find fresh food in the wintertime. People would get pretty hungry in the last part [...]

Atreus and Thyestes – House of Atreus – The Curse

By |2018-04-23T08:13:25+00:00July 14th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Atreus and Thyestes were brothers, the sons of Pelops and Hippodameia. The brothers grew up together and played together. But instead of loving each other, they were always rivals in everything. This may have been partly because of the curses on Tantalus, their grandfather, and Pelops, their father. When they grew up, Atreus married the daughter of the King of Mycenae, and so he [...]

History of sheep – Ancient sheep and goats

By |2018-04-19T11:22:35+00:00June 12th, 2017|Clothing, Food, West Asia|

History of sheep: Scythian man milking a sheep (Ukraine, 400 BC) Why are sheep important? Sheep are an important part of the economy of North Africa, Europe, and West Asia even today. They were much more important long ago. People wore clothes made out of wool from the sheep, and they drank milk [...]