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13 09, 2017

West Asian food – Mesopotamia and Iran

By |2019-09-05T05:41:27-07:00September 13th, 2017|West Asia|0 Comments

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 [...]

1 09, 2017

Roman food – rich and poor

By |2019-09-16T20:26:18-07:00September 1st, 2017|Romans|3 Comments

Roti bread made with millet Romans ate a lot of fish Although the first people who came to the Mediterranean were probably following along the coast, and ate mainly fish, shellfish, seaweed, and wild figs, by the time the Roman Republic got started, there were far too many people in the Mediterranean to be able to live entirely from [...]

1 09, 2017

Mediterranean Food in the Roman Empire

By |2018-04-19T22:46:14-07:00September 1st, 2017|Food, Romans|0 Comments

Woman baking bread Poor people who lived near the Mediterranean Sea had to eat food that would grow in very dry areas, with light and not very fertile soil. Mostly they ate what archaeologists call the "Mediterranean triad" or three things: wheat and barley (made into beer or porridge or flatbread or soup), olive oil (soaked into the bread, or on vegetables), [...]

12 08, 2017

Californians fight the Missions

By |2018-10-02T07:43:05-07:00August 12th, 2017|History, Native American|0 Comments

Ohlone people crossing San Francisco Bay, with a European wool blanket (Louis Choris, 1816 AD) Native people in California In 1500 AD, California was a popular place to live. About one out of every three people living in what would become the United States lived in California. Early Native Californians More articles about [...]

4 08, 2017

European food history – Renaissance to today

By |2019-06-11T11:13:06-07:00August 4th, 2017|Food, Modern Europe|0 Comments

European food history: An early chocolate house Trade brings new foods During the 1500s and 1600s AD, European traders brought back all kinds of new foods from places they sailed to around the world. Rich people began to eat sugar and ginger from India. (Combining these two new foods together gave us the gingerbread man). History of sugar Renaissance economy [...]

25 07, 2017

The Islamic story of wheat on the chessboard

By |2019-03-22T17:57:14-07:00July 25th, 2017|Islam, Literature|0 Comments

Muslims playing chess in Spain What is exponential growth? About 1260 AD, Ibn Khallikan, a Kurdish historian living in the Abbasid Empire (modern Iraq), wrote an encyclopedia with biographies of many famous men (though no women). One of the biographies includes a story about chess and the meaning of "exponential growth." What are exponents? More Islamic stories All [...]

20 07, 2017

Mehrgahr – Stone Age India

By |2019-09-17T11:00:35-07:00July 20th, 2017|India|2 Comments

Clay figurines from Mehrgahr First people in India The first people reached India from Africa around 40,000 BC. There were probably still Neanderthals and Denisovans further north, but not in India. At first Indian people probably got most of their food from fishing and gathering shellfish, like other people around the world at this time. People leave Africa Early [...]

16 07, 2017

Persephone and Hades – Greek religion

By |2018-04-23T09:49:50-07:00July 16th, 2017|History|0 Comments

Hades kidnaps Persephone (mosaic from Amphipolis, 300s BC) Persephone was the daughter of the goddess Demeter. One day Persephone was dancing with her friends in a sunny meadow, having a good time, picking flowers. Suddenly Persephone's spooky uncle Hades burst out of the ground and grabbed her and pulled her into his chariot! He took Persephone (purr-SEFF-oh-nee) [...]

13 07, 2017

Eleusinian Mysteries – a Greek mystery cult

By |2019-05-27T14:00:32-07:00July 13th, 2017|Greeks, Religion|0 Comments

Eleusinian Mysteries: Demeter, Persephone, and Triptolemos (the boy), an 1899 drawing from a stone carving found at Eleusis . When did the Eleusinian Mysteries start? Beginning at least as early as the Late Bronze Age (about 1400 BC) and maybe much earlier even than that, the people of Eleusis in Greece celebrated a [...]

12 07, 2017

Who is Demeter? Greek goddess Demeter

By |2019-05-04T07:13:55-07:00July 12th, 2017|Greeks, Religion|0 Comments

Greek goddess Demeter: A field of wheat growing What does "Demeter" mean? The Greek goddess Demeter is an earth goddess; her name is De, which means earth (the same word as Gaia) and meter, which means mother. Demeter is the goddess of growing things, especially of grains like wheat and barley and millet. History of [...]