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Roman wall painting – Ancient Rome

By |2018-04-25T08:58:15+00:00August 31st, 2017|Art, Romans|

First Style Roman wall painting (now in the Louvre) There was also a lot of wall painting to decorate the walls of houses during this time. The wall painting of the first century AD is sometimes divided into four different styles, mainly because of the many different styles of wall painting that were found at [...]

Half timber houses – medieval architecture

By |2018-04-10T22:46:18+00:00July 30th, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

A half-timbered house in Toulouse, France In the Middle Ages, many people in northern Europe (northern France, Germany, and England) built their houses in this half-timbered way. This was because wood for building was expensive. Most people couldn't afford to build their whole house out of wood. Instead, they built just a frame of [...]

What is straw? History of straw

By |2018-10-04T06:25:57+00:00June 12th, 2017|Crafts, Economy|

History of Straw: loose straw in a pile What is straw made of? Straw is the dried stalks of tall grasses like wheat, millet or barley. After people harvested the seeds of these grasses for food, they used the straw for everything from shoes to mattresses to baskets. More about wheat Where does [...]

Shang houses and altars – Shang Dynasty China

By |2018-04-18T09:53:25+00:00June 5th, 2017|Architecture, China|

The Shang Dynasty city wall around Zhengzhou (thanks to Gary Todd) There was a city wall of rammed earth around the Shang capital at An-yang, and around other cities like Zhengzhou, a little south of An-yang. These were built by piling up dirt and pounding it (probably with stones or wooden mallets) until [...]

Zhou Dynasty Architecture – Ancient China

By |2018-04-18T09:54:12+00:00June 4th, 2017|Architecture, China|

A fancy roof tile from the Zhou Dynasty By the time of the Zhou Dynasty, about 1100 BC, there seem to have been a lot of big palaces and shrines to people's ancestors. But nothing much is left of any of them for us to look at now. We know from stories and [...]

What is marble? History of Art

By |2018-06-15T16:15:43+00:00May 25th, 2017|Architecture, Art, Geology|

What is marble? A Cycladic figurine from Ancient Greece in marble What is marble made out of? Marble is metamorphic limestone . That is, marble is a metamorphic rock made out of limestone. (More about metamorphic rocks) And then limestone is a rock made from the shells of billions of tiny sea creatures that died [...]

What is limestone? History of Art

By |2018-04-15T11:31:53+00:00May 25th, 2017|Architecture, Art, Geology|

A block of limestone Starting with seashells Limestone is a kind of sedimentary stone that is very common all over the world. This kind of stone forms out of the shells of zillions of little tiny sea snails and creatures like that. These snails and stuff lived in the sea, billions of years ago. When [...]

What is fresco painting? History of Art

By |2018-04-21T15:09:35+00:00May 25th, 2017|Art, History|

Fresco painting from Thera, Greece (about 1600 BC) Fresco is the Italian word for "fresh", and that's because painters do fresco painting on fresh, wet plaster walls. That way the colors really sink in to the plaster, and you get a glowing kind of color that is very different from what you would get [...]