Unrecognized Potential: Terra Preta, Ancient Orchards, and Life in the Amazon

Until relatively recently, it was widely believed that the Amazon Rainforest was incapable of sustaining large scale human development.  New findings have challenged this view, and evidence of ancient agriculture suggests that humans once developed this fragile region in ways so subtle that – in the form of carefully managed soils and prehistoric orchards – they have been hiding in plain sight all this time, challenging the basic tenants of “agriculture” as western eyes tend to recognize it. Continue reading “Unrecognized Potential: Terra Preta, Ancient Orchards, and Life in the Amazon”

The Andes, the Inca, the Spanish, and the Making of Modern South America

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A Guided Tour of Bolivia, 2016.

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What if people told European history like they told Native American history?

An Indigenous History of North America

The first immigrants to Europe arrived thousands of years ago from central Asia. Most pre-contact Europeans lived together in small villages. Because the continent was very crowded, their lives were ruled by strict hierarchies within the family and outside it to control resources. Europe was highly multi-ethnic, and most tribes were ruled by hereditary leaders who commanded the majority “commoners.” These groups were engaged in near constant warfare.

Pre-contact Europeans wore clothing made of natural materials such as animal skin and plant and animal-based textiles. Women wore long dresses and covered their hair, and men wore tunics and leggings. Both men and women liked to wear jewelry made from precious stones and metals as a sign of status. Before contact, Europeans had very poor diets. Most people were farmers and grew wheat and vegetables and raised cows and sheep to eat. They rarely washed themselves, and had many diseases because…

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The Inca: Church, State, and the Arc of History in the Realm of the Four Parts

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Admiral Yi Sun-Sin, Defender of the Korean People

When is it ok to defy authority? To break the rules? Where is the fine line between success and catastrophe?
This lesson was reported from:
Adapted in part from open sources.

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Sejong the Great

Would you rather have a leader who is powerful or one who is wise? Can wisdom lead to strength? Is it better to break with tradition, to follow it, or to adapt it to suit your circumstances?
This lesson was reported from:
Adapted in part from open sources.

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Pungsu, the Art of Korean Geomancy

How does a society explain good and evil? How does it find balance and harmony with its surroundings? Is your society in harmony with nature?
This lesson was reported from:
Adapted in part from open sources.

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Korean History – The Basics

How have the three dynasties of Korea, its foreign invasions, and Chinese contacts influenced Korea’s historical development?
This lesson was reported from:
Adapted in part from open sources.

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