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History of Vietnam from the Stone Age to today

By |2018-11-07T11:21:36+00:00October 15th, 2017|History, Southeast Asia|

Early Vietnam History of Vietnam: Fishermen's wicker boats on the beach at Danang, in Vietnam The first people, with their dogs and baskets, probably reached Vietnam around 45,000 BC, coming along the coast from Africa to India and then Southeast Asia. These first settlers lived mostly by fishing, probably from small boats. And they [...]

From Xerxes to Alexander – the later Persian Empire

By |2018-04-23T07:27:11+00:00September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia|

The Persian shah, Xerxes, from the 400s BC. Death of Xerxes and revolt King Xerxes was killed in 465 BC. His assassin may have been his son Ardashir I (Artaxerxes in Greek), who succeeded him. Ardashir was a weak king, and a lot of the conquered countries revolted while Ardashir was king. By this time, [...]

Who were the Scythians? Central Asian history

By |2018-04-24T11:39:59+00:00September 14th, 2017|Central Asia, History|

Scythian history: A Scythian milking a sheep (Tolstaja Mogila kurgan, Ukraine, 400 BC) Scythians lived in Central Asia The Scythians were a large group of loosely connected people who lived in Russia. They also lived further south around the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.  Like the Hittites, the Greeks and the Germans, they were Indo-Europeans. Powerful in the Iron Age We [...]

West Asian economy – Mesopotamia and Iran

By |2018-04-25T23:26:59+00:00September 12th, 2017|Economy, West Asia|

Obsidian tools West Asia is located in the middle of the very wide land mass we call Europe and Asia and Africa, and so it has always played an important part in moving things from east to west and from west to east. Beginning as early as the Stone Age, about 7000 BC, people in West [...]

Safavid Empire – Iran in the 1600s

By |2018-04-25T23:21:06+00:00September 11th, 2017|History, West Asia|

Battle of Hormuz Abbas, the Shah of Iran, after conquering most of what is now Iraq from the Ottomans, turned east again and took Kandahar (now in southern Afghanistan) from Nur Jahan of the Mughal Empire in 1622. As part of the same campaign, Abbas also - in an alliance with Queen Elizabeth of Britain - pushed [...]

What was the Safavid Empire? History of Iran

By |2018-04-25T23:04:50+00:00September 11th, 2017|History, West Asia|

The first Safavid, Ismail, kills the Uzbek leader Death of Timur When Timur died in 1405 AD, he left his empire to his sons, and they left it to their sons. But that last Mongol empire got gradually weaker and weaker. By 1506, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan broke up into many small kingdoms. Ismail and the Twelvers [...]

Sofia Baffo and the Ottoman Empire – 1600s AD

By |2018-09-16T12:38:21+00:00September 11th, 2017|History, West Asia|

Sofia Baffo Sofia Baffo - a woman in charge Sofia Baffo took control of the Ottoman Empire in 1583 AD. She ruled through her husband Murad III after her aunt and mother-in-law Nurbanu died. In 1593, Sofia entered into a war with Austria. What was going on before Sofia Baffo? After Murad died in 1595, Sofia ruled [...]

West Asian economy – Safavids and Ottomans

By |2018-04-25T23:04:52+00:00September 11th, 2017|Economy, West Asia|

A man making paper West Asia entered the 1500s AD in a very powerful position in world trade. Iran, together with the Central Asian state of Uzbekistan and the Mughal Empire, dominated the Silk Road, and the Silk Road was at the center of world trade. Small factories with hundreds of employees - slave or free - made high-quality steel, knotted wool carpets, paper, glass dishes and silver vases, and [...]

Steel history – medieval to modern steel

By |2018-09-10T06:07:42+00:00September 7th, 2017|Central Asia, Science|

Steel history: a Safavid steel helmet (Iran, 1500s AD) Medieval steel from India and Iran The wars after the collapse of the Mongol Empire in the 1300s stopped steel production in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. But metal-workers kept on making high quality crucible steel in India and Iran under the Pandyas, the Mughals, and the Safavid Empire. The wars also made it hard [...]

What is opium? World history of medicine and drugs

By |2017-09-07T09:33:48+00:00September 7th, 2017|Central Asia, Science|

Opium poppy flower Opium comes from a kind of poppy flower. It evolved around 100 million years ago in West Asia and Central Asia. People probably realized as soon as they got to West Asia, about 60,000 years ago, that you could use opium as a medicine. By 6000 BC, in the Stone Age, West Asian farmers were already growing opium in their [...]