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Caribbean history – South America

By |2018-04-08T21:33:38+00:00September 8th, 2017|History, South America|

Arawak or Carib woman swimming with her kids ca. 1580 AD Arawak people had conquered the Caribbean islands about 300 BC. Then about 1200 AD, Carib people started trying to conquer the Arawak. In the middle of this process, with some islands Carib and others still Arawak, the first European invaders showed up to conquer them all. When Christopher [...]

Native American clothing history – cotton and agave

By |2018-04-07T17:05:26+00:00August 8th, 2017|Clothing, Native American|

Native American clothing: Pueblo cotton cloth (before 1500 AD) Native American cotton and agave Most people in North America made their clothing from agave plant fiber - some of it grew wild, and some of it they farmed. Richer people wore cotton clothing. Cotton came originally from the Aztec people south of them. Pueblo people spun and [...]

Early Modern Spain – Philip II

By |2018-09-17T08:09:16+00:00August 5th, 2017|History, Modern Europe|

Philip II of Spain Philip II of Spain As the great-grandson of Isabella, who had sent Columbus to America, Philip II ruled Spain in the mid-1500s AD. Philip also controlled huge Spanish territories in South and Central America, Mexico, Arizona, New Mexico, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Texas. Philip also ruled the Netherlands and Flanders (now part of Belgium), north of France. As [...]

Europe’s economy in the Renaissance

By |2018-04-12T08:53:24+00:00August 4th, 2017|Economy, Medieval|

The Portuguese force Islamic traders to give them access to the Indian port of Goa (1500s AD, Theodore De Bry) In 1500 AD, Europe was still a marginal player in the world economy, which was centered on Central Asia. Europeans sold mostly raw materials - fur, silver, timber, and amber, to Central Asia via the Silk Road. And the Europeans bought [...]

Geography of the Arabian Peninsula

By |2018-04-08T11:22:01+00:00July 27th, 2017|Environment, West Asia|

Map of the Arabian peninsula The Arabian Peninsula is part of West Asia that sticks out to the south. It's only separated from Africa by the narrow Red Sea. The peninsula is very dry and hot and sunny. It hardly ever rains there. But still the Arabian Peninsula has often been one of the richest places on Earth. One [...]

Early Arabia – Arabian peninsula

By |2018-04-23T15:27:01+00:00July 23rd, 2017|History, Islam|

Ibex hunt from Yemen, 0-300 AD People probably first arrived in the Arabian peninsula about 60,000 BC,, crossing over the Sinai from Egypt or going all around the coast in their small boats. Some went on to Iran and India, but others settled down in the Arabian peninsula. Mostly they gathered seaweed and seafood, and fished from their boats. By about 2500 BC, Arabian traders were selling [...]

Chola Empire – history of India

By |2018-04-23T15:17:11+00:00July 20th, 2017|History, India|

Rajaraja Chola, king from 985 - 1012 AD Collapse of the Guptan Empire Like the Roman Empire, the Guptan empire fell apart in the 500s AD. After that, India had a lot of kings ruling a lot of small kingdoms. In northern India, King Harsha ruled one of the small kingdoms. But after he died in the 600s [...]

Mauryan India – history of India

By |2017-09-13T08:21:08+00:00July 20th, 2017|History, India|

These punch-marked silver coins might be from the time of Chandragupta I Alexander went back to Babylon in 324 BC. Then a man named Chandragupta overthrew the old Vedic kingdom of Nanda and formed a big new empire. He ruled all of northern India and into Afghanistan. Greek historians said that Chandragupta got the idea from Alexander. But it [...]

Ancient Indian economy

By |2018-04-23T14:47:03+00:00July 20th, 2017|Economy, India|

Ancient India trade: Indian herbal medicines Most people in ancient India, as in other parts of Asia and Europe at this time, were farmers. In India, farmers mainly grew wheat and rice, and cotton for cloth. They grew opium for medicine too. On the coast, people produced salt in big evaporation flats, and in Sri Lanka they dove for pearls. Indian traders shipped teak wood to [...]

History of swimming in the Americas

By |2018-04-20T08:23:49+00:00June 23rd, 2017|Games, North America, South America|

Aztec swimmer from Teotihuacan (ca. 500 AD) The first people who came to the Americas probably already knew how to swim, as they got their food from fishing and gathering shellfish and seaweed. Aztec paintings from the 500s AD show swimmers using a flutter kick and possibly a crawl stroke. Arawak or [...]