Teaching Ancient Civilisations

I am currently teaching Ancient Civilisations, which is great, and a subject I love. So far, we’ve covered Origins of Man, to which one of my students commented it should be Origins of Humankind, and she’s right, and hence that’s how we refer to it in class now. It was interesting to see the reaction from the class when it was discussed we came from one location 70,000 years ago. It made for a lively discussion.

Spartan Warriors Wikipedia

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Writing Update

It has been a while since I’ve written one of these, and it’s been two years since the publication of Search for the Golden Serpent. This is the reason why I started a blog, to showcase my writing, share my passion for ancient history and to support fellow indie writers. So today, I am going to let you know what I’ve been writing, or rather struggling to write, as in finding time!

Pencil this date into your diaries
1st October 2017

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Eat and drink with the Ancient Greeks

Like their ancient Egyptian cousins, the ancient Greeks recorded much of what they did on vases, sculptures and in print. I, for one, am very grateful for the information they left behind as it enabled me to research and learn what they ate. It was fascinating to read how much hasn’t really changed in the way food is prepared and used. Bread, wine and olives, and olive oil, formed the basis of their diet, to which today, most cultures still eat and drink.

Female baker taking bread from the oven.
early 5th century BC
Louvre Museum
Source/Photographer Marie-Lan Nguyen (2009)
Wikimedia Commons

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Book review – Apollo’s Raven by Linnea Tanner

Have you ever wondered what life would be like in Ancient Britannia in the 1st Century CE? Or how the British Celts felt about the invasion of the Romans and the political unrest that ensued?

Apollo’s Raven is insightful and informative historical novel from new American writer Linnea Tanner. It paints a picture of Ancient Britannia and the ruling structure of the Celtic tribes, an antithesis of what made the Roman Empire powerful and dominant dictators.

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Eat like an Ancient Egyptian

We know a lot about the Ancient Egyptians, thanks to this great ancient civilisation. Their desire and propagandist need to disclose what they did was paramount, especially for the pharaohs. They made sure their successes were touted everywhere. Rameses II was particularly good at promoting what a powerful and good ruler he was, even when the war he waged on the Hittites wasn’t a victorious campaign. If it wasn’t for the first pharaoh, Menes, of the 1st Dynasty to the Ptolemaic period, the last ruling pharaoh Cleopatra, who recorded everything, we’d know very little about this dynamic civilisation. Thank goodness, they did!

640px-Ramses_III_bakery

A depiction of the royal bakery from an engraving in the tomb of Ramesses III in the Valley of the Kings. There are many types of loaves, including ones that are shaped like animals. 20th dynasty.

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What did the Phoenicians eat?

Origins
The Phoenicians lived in northern ancient Canaan, where Lebanon is today. They were considered to be Canaanites, yet recent DNA evidence of Modern Lebanese, a study conducted by the National Geographic,  suggest they came from an ancient Mediterranean sub-stratum. What does this mean? The results showed their bloodline are of mixed origin and were not indigenous to the area. It could be the Phoenicians were related to the ‘sea people’, having migrated in the 3rd millennium BCE and mixed with the local Canaanites and hence the Phoenician line was born. You can read more here.

Phoenician trade routes Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Phoenician trade routes
Image courtesy of Wikipedia

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Goodbye 2016

I thought it was time to reflect on the year that was 2016. I haven’t written an article as such before, so here we go. 2016 was a roller-coaster and so to close the year out, here are some pivotal events that happened.

The year started very promising, I had started a new job and was working in two schools. It was hectic going from one school to the other, but I made it work. My new line-manager then offered extra days, which meant resigning from the other school. That was fine as I was travelling an hour and half each way to get there.

header-the-year-that-was

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What happened to the Minoans?

‘Empires inevitably fall, and when they do, history judges them for the legacies they leave behind.’ Noah Feldman

The Minoans left us with an enormous legacy, their extraordinary feats dazzle and confound us to this day. Yet in spite of their sea power, engineering marvels, sophisticated society and interactions with neighbouring and far-reaching civilisations, they could not prevent their eventual demise. Regardless of the multitude of times they rebuilt their mega cities, the Minoan race could not withstand the ultimate test of natural disasters and invasions.

minoan-artwork

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