Salt

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3 10, 2017

Islamic North Africa – caravans across the Sahara

By |2019-08-21T09:31:54-07:00October 3rd, 2017|Africa|0 Comments

Islamic North Africa: Kairouan mosque (ca. 800 AD) The Eastern Roman reconquest of North Africa in the 530s AD ended the Vandal kingdom there. But trade declined until the Islamic invasions of North Africa in the 600s AD and the establishment of the Umayyad, and then the Fatimid dynasties. Fatimids Under Islamic rule, North Africa became part of a [...]

2 10, 2017

Who built Great Zimbabwe? Central African history

By |2019-08-22T23:46:16-07:00October 2nd, 2017|Africa|0 Comments

Central Africa in the Middle Ages: Great Zimbabwe Iron comes to Central Africa Besides South Africa, central Africa is the most isolated part of Africa. For many years, the people who lived here saw almost nobody from outside their own area. So it took longer for people in Central Africa to find out about [...]

15 09, 2017

Mining and miners in ancient West Asia

By |2019-09-04T07:31:03-07:00September 15th, 2017|West Asia|0 Comments

Skeleton of a salt miner from Sassanid Iran Mining was a dangerous job. So most people in the ancient world didn't want to do it. This is the skeleton of a young salt miner. Very likely the miner was enslaved, so he didn't have any choice about working in the salt mine. He [...]

7 09, 2017

History of gold and gold mining

By |2019-07-08T15:52:19-07:00September 7th, 2017|Economy|0 Comments

History of gold - a bust of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamon When did people first use gold? People have been using gold to make jewelry since the Stone Age. You can find it just lying in little lumps in streams here and there. And gold is always pretty and yellow, even when it is just lying [...]

4 09, 2017

Medicine and doctors in the Roman Empire

By |2019-07-15T22:20:43-07:00September 4th, 2017|Romans, Science|1 Comment

Roman medicine: Galen used surgical instruments like these What do we mean by Roman medicine? Roman medicine is really West Asian and African medicine. That's because most of the great doctors of the Roman Empire lived in West Asia (in Turkey and Syria), or in Africa (in Egypt), not in Europe. Egyptian doctors [...]

25 08, 2017

Sodom and Gomorrah – Bible stories

By |2018-04-09T10:35:31-07:00August 25th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|0 Comments

Lot's wife turns to a pillar of salt as God destroys Sodom and Gomorrah. Morgan Bible, France, 1250s AD (commissioned by Louis IX) One story from the Bible about how nomads were good and cities were bad is about the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. In the time of Abraham, after the Jews had moved to [...]

9 08, 2017

Mississippi People – Native Americans

By |2018-04-07T17:05:36-07:00August 9th, 2017|History, Native American|0 Comments

A Mississippian warrior About 800 AD, the old Hopewell people seem to have developed what we call the Mississippian culture. People living near the Mississippi river got new kinds of corn about this time. Now, instead of just building burial mounds, people built mounds with flat tops and built buildings on top of the mounds, like a Mayan temple. Some [...]

1 08, 2017

Medieval food with recipes – European food in the Middle Ages

By |2019-09-13T06:48:25-07:00August 1st, 2017|Medieval|14 Comments

Medieval food: A man ladles porridge from a large pot over a fire Poor people's food was boring! In the Middle Ages in Europe, what people ate depended a lot on how rich they were. Poor people (which was almost everybody) ate mainly barley, or in some places oats. What's barley like? All about the history of [...]

27 07, 2017

Parchment and the history of books

By |2019-06-01T13:54:12-07:00July 27th, 2017|Literature, West Asia|0 Comments

Pseudo-Apuleius, Herbarium (about 600 AD, now in Leiden) Papyrus came first Scribes carved the first writing on wet clay tablets, but soon after that, about 3000 BC, the Egyptians invented papyrus. By about 500 BC most people in West Asia and the Mediterranean used papyrus for writing. What is papyrus? Making papyrus Invention of writing Who invented the alphabet? All our West [...]

19 07, 2017

Spices and cotton: Mughal Indian economy

By |2019-08-07T10:58:30-07:00July 19th, 2017|Economy, India|0 Comments

Japanese painting of Portuguese bringing Indian cargo to Japan (1500s AD) - the Mughal Indian Economy Trade under the Mughals Under the Mughal Empire, India continued to make a lot of money by trading. Trading ships carried things back and forth. They went west to East Africa and West Asia. And they went east to South-East Asia [...]