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History of sheep – Ancient sheep and goats

By |2018-04-19T11:22:35+00:00June 12th, 2017|Clothing, Food, West Asia|

History of sheep: Scythian man milking a sheep (Ukraine, 400 BC) Why are sheep important? Sheep are an important part of the economy of North Africa, Europe, and West Asia even today. They were much more important long ago. People wore clothes made out of wool from the sheep, and they drank milk [...]

What is silk? Ancient Chinese clothing

By |2018-09-21T06:05:50+00:00June 8th, 2017|China, Clothing|

Silkworms and silk history Silkworms make silk People make silk from the cocoons of silkworms. Have you ever seen a butterfly cocoon? It is just like that. You have to take zillions of these cocoons and unwind them carefully, and that makes long threads like spider webs, and you spin these together to [...]

Steel needles and sewing machines – History of clothing

By |2018-04-18T21:28:32+00:00June 8th, 2017|China, Clothing|

Early thimble-ring from Han Dynasty China (200 BC-200 AD) During the Han Dynasty, about 200 BC, Chinese blacksmiths started to make sharp, thin steel needles (this is about 100 years after Indian metal-workers began to make steel). Chinese tailors and seamstresses needed these thin, strong needles to sew silk clothing, which was more [...]

Who invented sewing? History of clothing

By |2018-04-18T21:28:32+00:00June 8th, 2017|Central Asia, Clothing|

Sewing history: A Neanderthal stone awl Clothes before sewing When people first started to wear clothing, about 60,000 years ago, they didn't sew it at all: they just wrapped leather or furs around themselves. Probably they soon began to tie their clothes on with string or leather cords. People continued to wrap their [...]

What did people wear? The history of clothing

By |2018-04-29T12:00:53+00:00June 8th, 2017|Clothing|

History of clothing: Venus of Lespugue, ca. 25000 BC, now in the Musee du Quai Branly, Paris, wearing a grass or string skirt The first clothing Clothing was very expensive in the ancient and medieval world, because without engine-powered machines it was very hard to make. So most people had very few changes of [...]

Ancient China’s Economy – Ancient China Trade and Early Farming

By |2018-06-13T16:50:34+00:00June 6th, 2017|China, Economy|

Ancient China trade: Rice paddy with a Chinese man planting rice Farming in Ancient China In China, as in West Asia, India, or Africa, most people have spent most of their time farming for the last ten thousand years. Probably eight or nine out of every ten people who lived in ancient China [...]

Sewing, wheels, and steel – Central Asian science

By |2018-09-20T06:17:32+00:00June 1st, 2017|Central Asia, Science|

Central Asian science: A clay pot with a drawing of a wheeled cart from what is now Poland, about 3500 BC What was invented in Central Asia? Many of the world's most useful inventions come from Central Asia: sewing, leather, cart wheels and spinning wheels, burning coal. And then also the compound and [...]