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Mercenaries and military history

By |2018-04-20T08:25:06+00:00September 20th, 2017|War|

Nubian archers in the Middle Kingdom (from the Nubian museum in Aswan, Egypt). About 2000 BC. Mercenaries (MURR-sinn-air-eez) are paid volunteer soldiers: they are soldiers who are fighting as a job, not in order to save their country or for the glory of God. They only fight if they are paid, or for the [...]

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 [...]

Late Bronze Age timeline: 2000 – 1000 BC

By |2017-09-10T17:55:52+00:00September 10th, 2017|Central Asia, History|

Earliest known spoked wheels, from a grave in western Siberia When about 2000 BC the Central Asians invented better wheels with spokes, so you could fight from your chariot, a new wave of Indo-Europeans moved from Central Asia west to Greece, and Italy, or south into Egypt and Iran, and from Iran about 1500 BC to India. Some of [...]

Where do Easter eggs come from? History of religion

By |2018-04-09T23:07:27+00:00August 21st, 2017|Religion|

Ostrich eggshell from Diepkloof Rock Shelter, South Africa (60,000 BC) Easter eggs go back long before Easter, and even long before the beginning of farming. As long ago as the Paleolithic, about 60,000 BC, people in Africa were scratching patterns and lines on ostrich eggs, though nobody knows what they had in mind. By the later Stone Age, [...]

Farming and famine – Climate change

By |2018-04-19T14:44:11+00:00June 20th, 2017|Environment|

Climate change: Hunters, bison and aurochs Cave painting from Lascaux, ca. 15,000 BC Climate change encouraged the evolution of the first humans, who probably evolved in Africa as the climate got drier and grasslands replaced jungles. People came down from the trees and evolved to swim and fish. They learned to walk upright [...]

War and battle in ancient Egypt

By |2018-11-12T13:50:53+00:00June 19th, 2017|Africa, Egypt, War|

Victims of civil war in ancient Egypt. They're bound with ropes and have their heads cut off and placed between their legs. (from the Narmer palette, about 3000 BC) Civil wars in ancient Egypt Because it is surrounded by deserts like the Land of Oz, Egypt is pretty hard to invade. So a [...]

Who was the Egyptian god Bes?

By |2018-04-19T22:41:44+00:00June 18th, 2017|Africa, Egypt, Religion|

The Egyptian god Bes An African god Beginning about 2500 BC, near the end of the Old Kingdom period in Egypt, people started worshipping a new god, Bes. Nobody knows for sure where Bes came from, but he may have started out as a Nubian god, from south of Egypt in what's now [...]

Amun – Egyptian god – religion in Ancient Egypt

By |2018-04-21T12:09:40+00:00June 18th, 2017|Africa, Egypt, Religion|

The Egyptian god Amun is the blue figure in the center.(From the tomb of Rameses VI at Luxor) Why does Amun have blue skin? Amun (or Amon), in Egyptian religion, was the god of air and wind. He was sometimes invisible, like air. Other times artists showed Amun with blue skin, or as [...]

When did the Persians rule Egypt?

By |2018-05-08T15:36:34+00:00June 15th, 2017|Africa, Egypt, History|

Cambyses II capturing the Egyptian pharaoh Psamtik, from a seal (500s BC) The Persian king Cambyses II conquered Egypt in 525 BC. Libyans attacked from the east, but the Persians fought them off. After the Greek victory at Marathon in 490 BC, the Egyptians revolted against the Persians (in 484 and again in 460 BC) with [...]