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Medieval African history – Timbuktu and Great Zimbabwe

By |2018-04-21T12:09:34+00:00October 3rd, 2017|Africa, History|

Mansa Musa of Mali After the 400s AD, the Bantu expansion slowed down. They had already settled most of the good farmland in southern Africa. What was left was mainly desert or thick jungle. It was no good for farming or herding cattle. The Bantu left that land to the Khoikhoi and San people who already lived there. [...]

Medieval African food – what did people eat?

By |2018-02-22T12:32:54+00:00October 2nd, 2017|Africa, Food|

Medieval African food: an olive orchard in Tunisia The Romans grow olive oil in North Africa The foods people ate in Africa didn't just stay the same. Instead, they changed slowly over time. Around 800 BC, with the arrival of Greek and Phoenician invaders, the people of North Africa began to plant olive orchards and produce olive oil. They ate a [...]

What is malaria? History of diseases and medicine

By |2018-04-24T08:21:21+00:00September 7th, 2017|Africa, Science|

A baby with malaria (from World Health Organization) You catch malaria by being bitten by a mosquito that has malaria parasites living inside it. (Female mosquitoes bite people to get blood. That gives them enough energy to make baby mosquitoes.) When the mosquito bites you, the malaria parasites go from the mosquito's mouth into your blood. [...]

African-American slavery – American history

By |2018-04-24T11:04:40+00:00August 14th, 2017|Africa, North America, People|

Slave fort in Ghana Although other people, both white and Native American, have been held as slaves in North America, the experience of the African people who were forced to come to North America as slaves was more unusual, because more than half of the people living in slave states were slaves. Most of the people who became [...]

Restoration England – British history

By |2018-04-24T10:40:56+00:00August 14th, 2017|History, Modern Europe|

Charles II of England Oliver Cromwell tried to leave his job as Lord Protector to his son Richard when he died in 1658, but Richard was so useless that two years later Parliament invited Charles I's son, Charles II, to come be king in England after all: historians call this the Restoration, because it restored the [...]

American history after colonization

By |2018-04-19T11:29:05+00:00August 13th, 2017|History, North America|

Venetian trade bead from the 1400s AD Just about 1500 AD, many, many people in North America began to die from mysterious diseases like smallpox and measles that nobody in North America had ever seen before. Soon people saw that they were catching these diseases from European sailing men who had come to the Atlantic coast to trade knives and [...]

American food history – tacos to… tacos!

By |2018-04-24T09:45:59+00:00August 11th, 2017|Food, North America|

People eating in Virginia, about 1550 AD (from the British Museum) Native American food In 1500 AD, most of the people living in North America, like the Pueblo, the Cherokee, the Iroquois, and the Mississippians, ate mainly beans and corn and squash. Sometimes people ate their corn baked into tacos or tortillas; other times people boiled corn into mush or soup. To go with [...]

European economy in the 1700s

By |2018-04-08T11:14:15+00:00August 4th, 2017|Economy, Modern Europe|

Kids in a spinning mill in England During the 1700s AD, the first modern factories opened. At first these were spinning factories to make thread for clothing, blankets, and sheets. Because most adults were busy working on farms, factory owners hired mostly children to work in the spinning factories. In Britain in 1788, two out of three [...]

Stone Age Japan – Japanese history

By |2018-04-23T15:31:47+00:00July 27th, 2017|History, Japan|

Jomon carving of a killer whale, ca. 3000 BC The first people in Japan People probably first reached Japan from two directions around the same time. Some people came north from Southeast Asia or Australia, in boats along the coast. These people were descended from the first people who left Africa about 70,000 BC, and [...]

Japanese food history

By |2017-07-27T11:45:32+00:00July 27th, 2017|Food, Japan|

Japanese sushi The very earliest people who lived in Japan, starting about 40,000 years ago, lived mainly on fish caught from the sea, though they sometimes hunted local deer or other animals for their meat and they collected plenty of nuts and pears, too, and ate lots of seaweed with their fish. They picked sudachi fruit (like limes) and squeezed [...]