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Medieval African clothing – more and more cotton

By |2018-04-13T01:30:20-07:00October 2nd, 2017|Africa, Clothing|

Cotton cloth made in Gujarat, India andfound in Fustat (Cairo, Egypt) - ca. 800 AD(Now in Oxford, England) People first began to weave cotton in India, also around 2000 BC, but cotton weaving soon spread to Egypt, and all down the east side of Africa. By the 400s AD, the people of Meroe and Kush were growing and weaving cotton for their clothes. Before 800 AD, [...]

Who built Great Zimbabwe? Central African history

By |2018-04-13T01:39:20-07:00October 2nd, 2017|Africa, History|

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 [...]

Zoroastrianism – Iran – West Asian religion

By |2018-06-11T18:34:59-07:00September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

An Iranian fire sacrifice Zoroaster/Zarathustra himself Around 1000 BC (probably), about the same time that people in India were writing the Rig Veda, a man named Zoroaster (also called Zarathustra) was a priest in a small temple in the eastern part of West Asia, in an area with a lot of small kingdoms and no major power. Zoroaster believed that [...]

Who is Tammuz? Mesopotamia – West Asian religion

By |2018-04-24T12:02:10-07:00September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

The god Tammuz (probably) with grain growing from his shoulders A West Asian god Tammuz (or Dumuzi) was a West Asian god who personified growing food, like Persephone in Greece or Osiris in Egypt. Like Osiris, Tammuz was male. The Sumerians worshipped Tammuz as early as 2600 BC - and probably much earlier - and so did all the other people [...]

West Asian food – Mesopotamia and Iran

By |2018-04-25T23:40:08-07:00September 13th, 2017|Food, West Asia|

Sumerians sipping beer through straws (ca. 2500 BC) The people of West Asia traditionally divided themselves into two groups who had very different eating and drinking habits. These two groups thought of themselves as enemies, even though they also traded with each other and married each other all the time. One group lived in [...]

Scythian art history – Central Asian art

By |2018-04-25T23:25:31-07:00September 11th, 2017|Art, Central Asia|

Scythian deer from about 700-500 B.C. It is made out of gold, and it's now in St. Petersburg. The Scythians were horse-riding nomads, who traveled around the western part of Central Asia taking care of their big herds of cattle and hunting wild animals like this deer. Scythian art was mostly small, so people could carry it around conveniently. For [...]

Eid al-Adha – Islamic holidays

By |2018-05-15T13:29:40-07:00September 1st, 2017|Islam, Religion, West Asia|

Eid al-Adha: an Islamic image of Abraham and Ishmael What is Eid al-Adha? Eid al-Adha is an Islamic holiday. It falls a few months after the end of Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr. These two celebrations are the two most important holidays of the year for Islam, and of the two, Eid al-Adha is the [...]

Cain and Abel – Bible Stories

By |2019-02-26T05:08:55-07:00August 23rd, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

A door panel by Ghiberti showing Cain and Abel. The Book of Genesis According to the Book of Genesis in the Bible, after Adam and Eve had to leave the Garden of Eden, they began to have children. Who are Adam and Eve? History of Judaism West Asian religion All our West Asia articles Adam and Eve [...]

Abraham and the Jews – Bible stories

By |2019-01-16T18:15:48-07:00August 23rd, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Abraham and Isaac (Egypt, 300s AD) The Jews leave Mesopotamia Shortly after the episode with the Tower of Babel, the Bible tells us that some of the Jews decided to leave Mesopotamia where the Sumerians were, and travel further west towards Canaan and modern Israel. What's the Tower of Babel? More about the Jews All our West Asia articles [...]

The end of animal sacrifice – History of religion

By |2018-04-21T12:09:34-07:00August 23rd, 2017|Religion|

Sacrificial procession (Pitsa, ca. 530 BC) People probably began to do animal sacrifice around the time they began farming and keeping domesticated animals, about 10,000 BC. They were certainly sacrificing animals to their gods all over Europe and Asia by 3000 BC. That's when we first have paintings and carvings and written stories about it. For seven thousand years or so, animal sacrifice [...]