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African-American slavery – American history

By | 2018-04-24T11:04:40+00:00 August 14th, 2017|Africa, North America, People|

Slave fort in Ghana Although other people, both white and Native American, have been held as slaves in North America, the experience of the African people who were forced to come to North America as slaves was more unusual, because more than half of the people living in slave states were slaves. Most of the people who became [...]

Phillis Wheatley – American literature

By | 2018-03-24T17:16:08+00:00 August 14th, 2017|Literature, North America|

Phillis Wheatley Enslaved at seven years old When Phillis Wheatley was seven years old, somebody sold her to European slave-traders, and she left Senegal or Gambia on a slave ship to North America. She got to America in 1761, just before the Revolutionary War. Her owners in Boston converted her to Christianity and gave her a good education. As she got older, [...]

United States Independence – American history

By | 2018-04-19T11:29:06+00:00 August 13th, 2017|History, Native American, North America|

Rock Art from Utah, about 1700 AD In the 1700s AD, most of North America was still under the control of native people. Because Pueblo people and the Navajo had taken Spanish invaders' horses and traded them north, they and the Sioux, Ute, Blackfoot, and other Plains Indians did very well. Hunting bison was much easier on horseback than it had been on foot. And [...]

American history after colonization

By | 2018-04-19T11:29:05+00:00 August 13th, 2017|History, North America|

Venetian trade bead from the 1400s AD Just about 1500 AD, many, many people in North America began to die from mysterious diseases like smallpox and measles that nobody in North America had ever seen before. Soon people saw that they were catching these diseases from European sailing men who had come to the Atlantic coast to trade knives and [...]

Medieval Islamic people

By | 2018-04-18T23:33:48+00:00 July 26th, 2017|Islam, People|

A plate from the Fatimid period (1000s AD), Egypt Children in the Islamic Empire generally did what their parents did (as many people still do today). Girls never went to school. They worked at home taking care of their brothers and sisters and cooking. Girls carried water from the well, and they went out to look for [...]

Hafsid Dynasty – Medieval Islam

By | 2017-10-29T17:42:34+00:00 July 24th, 2017|Africa, History, Islam|

Hafsid gold coin In the early 1200s AD, the Almohad empire fell apart into Marinid, Christian, and Hafsid kingdoms. The middle of North Africa broke away from the Almohad dynasty in 1229 AD. Modern Tunisia, western Libya, and eastern Algeria came under the leadership of Abu Zakariya. People called his descendants the Hafsids, because they belonged to the powerful Banu Hafs [...]

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

By | 2018-05-04T16:53:44+00:00 June 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, [...]

Honey spreads around the world – Bee keeping

By | 2018-04-09T10:31:18+00:00 June 22nd, 2017|Food|

Wax writing tablet from Uluburun shipwreck off the coast of modern Turkey (1300 BC) By 2400 BC, people were keeping bees in hives in Egypt, but nobody was keeping bees anywhere else in the world. Bee-keeping took thousands of years to spread around the world. It first spread out of Egypt with the [...]

History of Bananas – Southeast Asia

By | 2017-06-20T03:50:19+00:00 June 20th, 2017|Food, India|

A bunch of bananas Wild ancestors of banana trees grew in southeast Asia. Like chickens, bananas were first domesticated in southeast Asia, possibly as early as 8000 BC but certainly before 5000 BC. That's about the same time as apples and earlier than peaches and avocados and oranges. In southeast Asia and Papua New [...]