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Coca leaves – South American medicine

By | 2017-09-10T14:01:50+00:00 September 10th, 2017|Science, South America|

Coca farming Like potatoes and tomatoes, coca plants grow wild in the Andes Mountains of South America; they probably evolved around the same time as the other flowering plants, around 120 million years ago. The plants make cocaine in their leaves, probably to keep animals from eating them. Woman chewing coca leaves (Uruguay, ca. 500 BC-500 AD) When people first [...]

Greek sculpture – ancient Greece

By | 2017-07-05T04:45:06+00:00 July 5th, 2017|Art, Greeks|

Winged Victory (Nike of Samothrace) - Now in the Louvre, Paris Not very much Greek sculpture has survived for us to see. You might think stone statues made of limestone and marble would last well, but both limestone and marble can be burned and turned into lime, which is one of the ingredients [...]

Stone Age Greek architecture

By | 2017-07-01T15:54:01+00:00 July 1st, 2017|Architecture, Greeks|

Before the New Stone Age, people had lived in caves, but around 6000 BC people living in Greece began to build houses for themselves instead. At first they built small houses out of wattle and daub: sticks woven together and plastered over with mud. The roofs were thatched with grass and they left a hole [...]

Archaic Greece – Stone temples

By | 2017-06-30T15:05:48+00:00 June 30th, 2017|Architecture, Greeks|

Temple of Herakles, Agrigento, Sicily In early Archaic Greek temples, the columns and the roof were made of wood. To keep the wood from rotting, Greek builders put a flat stone under each column. And to help the columns support the weight of the roof, they put a block of wood at the top of [...]

What are sedimentary rocks? Shale and limestone

By | 2017-06-26T02:19:25+00:00 June 26th, 2017|Geology, History|

Limestone cliffs in Saudi Arabia When the Earth was first forming, about six billion years ago, there weren't any sedimentary or metamorphic rocks. The only rocks were igneous rocks like quartz. These formed when melted silica, carbon, and other molecules cooled off and stuck together. But gradually some of these igneous rocks started to [...]

What is quartz? Igneous rock

By | 2017-06-26T00:11:13+00:00 June 26th, 2017|Geology|

A chunk of white quartz Quartz is an igneous rock made out of molecules of silicon and oxygen atoms held together in a crystal pattern. All of the silica and oxygen that make quartz came originally from the insides of stars, and it shot out of the stars when the stars exploded as [...]

Where are the Himalaya Mountains? India

By | 2017-06-25T03:00:25+00:00 June 25th, 2017|China, Geology, India|

Himalaya Mountains About 55 million years ago, plate tectonics made the land that is now India break off from what is now Africa. At this time, the first modern mammals like rats and guinea pigs were evolving, and most of the Earth was covered in forests. For five million years India floated slowly [...]