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Persephone and Hades – Greek religion

By |2018-04-23T09:49:50+00:00July 16th, 2017|History|

Hades kidnaps Persephone (mosaic from Amphipolis, 300s BC) Persephone was the daughter of the goddess Demeter. One day Persephone was dancing with her friends in a sunny meadow, having a good time, picking flowers. Suddenly Persephone's spooky uncle Hades burst out of the ground and grabbed her and pulled her into his chariot! He took Persephone (purr-SEFF-oh-nee) [...]

Devonian Period – Gondwana, ferns, lungfish

By |2018-04-21T11:56:37+00:00June 24th, 2017|Biology, Geology|

Coelocanth Four hundred and sixteen million years ago, when the Silurian period ended and the Devonian period began, most of the land on Earth was clumped together into a supercontinent called Gondwana. At this time the only creatures that lived on land were small plants like moss and lichens, mushrooms, and other fungi, [...]

History of wheat farming – West Asia

By |2018-05-07T16:17:58+00:00June 23rd, 2017|Food, West Asia|

Wheat history: a field of wheat Did early humans eat wheat? Ever since people left Africa for West Asia, about 70,000 BC, they have probably always eaten wheat, which tastes good and is also a good source of carbohydrates and not a bad source of protein. Wheat is native to West Asia, so people [...]

Where do sunflowers come from? North America

By |2018-06-01T10:58:55+00:00June 23rd, 2017|Food, Native American|

Wild sunflowers or Black-Eyed Susan flowers Where do sunflowers grow wild? Sunflowers grew wild all over North America. From the Paleo-Indian time on, many different groups of people picked sunflowers and ate the little seeds. Where do sunflower seeds come from? Sunflower seeds grow in the middle of the flower, packed tightly together. They are [...]

Where does sorghum come from? African food

By |2018-04-17T22:27:15+00:00June 23rd, 2017|Africa, Food|

A field of sorghum growing Sorghum, like millet, is one of the plants that African people figured out how to farm and then spread to the rest of the world. It's a kind of gluten-free grain, about five feet tall, that grows wild all across Africa, Asia, and Australia. Sorghum doesn't need very [...]

History of rye bread – Central Asia

By |2018-04-16T12:29:35+00:00June 23rd, 2017|Central Asia, Food|

A field of rye growing Like barley and wheat, rye's a kind of grass that is a good source of carbohydrates for people. Rye is different from the other grains mainly in that it will grow much further north, in colder climates, and in poorer soils. So people who lived further north, in [...]

Rice history: Where does rice come from? South-east Asia

By |2018-05-04T16:53:44+00:00June 23rd, 2017|China, Food|

Rice history: A bowl of brown rice What is rice? Rice is a kind of grain, or grass, like wheat, millet, or barley, that provides carbohydrates to people who eat its seeds. In south-east Asia, rice grows wild like other grasses. (More about the evolution of grasses) Rice farming: 6000 BC - first China, [...]

History of Lentils – West Asian Food

By |2018-04-16T12:29:33+00:00June 22nd, 2017|Food, West Asia|

Brown lentils Lentils are a type of bean, native to West Asia. They grow on low bushes, and can do well with very little water. The lentils themselves are the seeds of the plant. People have surely been gathering and eating lentils since they first came to West Asia, about 60,000 years ago. [...]

History of dates (food) – West Asia

By |2018-04-19T15:40:07+00:00June 21st, 2017|Food, West Asia|

History of dates: Two dates Dates are from West Asia Wild dates probably evolved around 50 million years ago, as a way for date palms to get animals to eat their seeds and carry them to other places before pooping them out. Date palms are palm trees, related to the palms that Africans [...]

Corn history – Where does corn come from? (Teosinte)

By |2017-12-31T17:48:18+00:00June 21st, 2017|Central America, Food|

Corn history: Corn on the cob Teosinte and corn Corn is a kind of seed, like rice or wheat, that comes originally from a kind of wild grass that grows in Mexico called teosinte. Corn has lots of carbohydrates, but not as much protein as wheat or barley. Corn also has some vitamins, [...]