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Science in Islamic Africa – medieval African science

By |2018-10-04T06:52:15-07:00October 3rd, 2017|Africa, Science|

Medieval African science: The walls of Timbuktu, in Mali, West Africa Medieval African science In the 700s AD, the Islamic Empire conquered North Africa and began to trade a lot with East Africa. Islamic government did not allow women to work in science or medicine. But there were a lot of men in North Africa and East Africa, and in the area [...]

Ships and sailing in ancient Africa – early boats

By |2019-02-20T21:29:21-07:00October 3rd, 2017|Africa, Economy, Science|

Early boats: A person in a boat (Barramiya, Upper Egypt, ca. 4000 BC) Early boats: When did people invent boats? African sailing has a long history. People were probably using boats before the first people left Africa. At Blombos Cave in South Africa, people were fishing about 70,000 BC. African science and inventions History of [...]

Who were the Phoenicians? West Asian history

By |2018-04-16T14:36:44-07:00September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia|

The Phoenicians: Phoenician glass - a face pendant of an African man. 400-200 BC Phoenicians in the Late Bronze Age Sometime in the Late Bronze Age, around 1300 BC, a group of Semitic people living on the Mediterranean coast in modern Lebanon became more important than they had been before. These people, who had been called Canaanites, [...]

Phoenician art – West Asia

By |2018-04-25T23:24:29-07:00September 11th, 2017|Art, West Asia|

Core-formed Phoenician glass bottle (400s BC) The Phoenicians, from as early as 1500 BC, were mainly known for producing glass bottles and jars, especially for perfume. The Phoenicians sold these jars to Egypt and to the Assyrians. After the Dark Age they began to sell their jars (and the perfume) to the Greeks too. The rise of the Silk Road in the last centuries [...]

Roman sailing – boats in the Roman empire

By |2017-09-04T23:57:44-07:00September 4th, 2017|Romans, Science|

Roman sailing ship with square sails (100s AD, Bardo Museum, Tunisia) Until the First Punic War, in 264 BC, the Romans had not been sailors, and had never had a navy. But when they had to fight the Carthaginians, who were descended from the Phoenicians and were great sailors, the Romans learned to build ships by copying a [...]

Roman science – What did ancient Romans invent?

By |2018-04-25T10:26:44-07:00September 4th, 2017|Romans, Science|

Roman mold-blown glass (100s AD) What we call Roman science is a mixture of two different things. The first is the discoveries and inventions made by scientists working in parts of West Asia and Africa that the Romans had conquered. In these places, scientists had already been working for a long time. They [...]

Europe’s early modern economy

By |2019-04-05T07:52:02-07:00August 4th, 2017|Economy, Modern Europe|

Members of the painters' guild in Haarlem (1670s) Guild system develops In the Renaissance, as cities grew all over Europe and more people began to buy things in stores instead of making them at home, many cities and towns developed a system of guilds that controlled who could make things and how. What is the Renaissance? [...]

Medieval sailing – Ships in medieval Europe

By |2018-10-04T07:02:49-07:00August 4th, 2017|Medieval, Science|

Caravels, about 1500 AD (Livro das Fortalezas de Duarte Damas) Frame-first ship construction The Early Middle Ages - about 500 AD - brought a major change in Mediterranean ship-building. Instead of putting the planks together to build the outside shell of the ship first, Mediterranean ship-builders began to build the ship's frame first, and then fasten the shell [...]

Medieval astronomy in Europe

By |2018-04-24T08:21:21-07:00August 4th, 2017|Medieval, Science|

Astrolabe in Hebrew, probably from Spain (1300s AD) In the early Middle Ages, most people in Europe were too poor to have much time for astronomy. But some people were still interested in the stars. Astrologers tried to predict the future. Monks wanted to figure out the right day to celebrate Easter, or the right times for prayers. And a few [...]