Foot Binding and the Standard of Beauty

What is beauty? Is it universal, or specific to one’s culture? What effect do concepts of beauty have on the behavior and self-image of everyday people?
This lesson was reported from:
Adapted in part from open sources.

Continue reading “Foot Binding and the Standard of Beauty”

The Silk Road, International Trade, and Global Prosperity

How do goods, wealth, technology, and culture spread? What is gained or lost in the exchange? Does trade benefit all sides equally? Who sets the terms of international trade?
This lesson was reported from:
Adapted in part from open sources.
China’s ancient capital of Xian became a cosmopolitan melting pot because its position as a crossroad of the Silk Road trading network, a home to Buddhists and Muslims, where almost anything that was for sale in the ancient world could be bought or sold. (Xian, China, 2015.)

Continue reading “The Silk Road, International Trade, and Global Prosperity”

The Great Wall and Borders Beyond Our Control

How and why do governments regulate the flow of people and information? Is the government’s interest always the same as the people’s?

This lesson was reported from:
Adapted in part from open sources.

Continue reading “The Great Wall and Borders Beyond Our Control”

The Terracotta Army of Qin Shi Huang and the Projection of Power

What makes a great leader?  How do we know when a government is powerful? Can these words “great” and “powerful” mean different things?

This lesson was reported from:

Lintong, Xi’an, Shaanxi, China.

Adapted in part from open sources.

Continue reading “The Terracotta Army of Qin Shi Huang and the Projection of Power”

The Aztec: Life Under the Fifth Sun in Old Mexico

Continue reading “The Aztec: Life Under the Fifth Sun in Old Mexico”

Popcorn paved the way for the Aztec Empire

In the beginning, there was teosinte, the wild ancestor of modern corn.  Its kernels are too tough to eat or grind into flour.  It was consumed not as corn on the cob or as a torilla, but instead as popcorn.   Continue reading “Popcorn paved the way for the Aztec Empire”

Signs of Modern Astronomy Seen in Ancient Babylon

The New York Times reports that archaeologists have found evidence for sophisticated astronomical calculations in ancient Mesopotamia, calculations generally attributed to Europeans some 1500 years later. Continue reading “Signs of Modern Astronomy Seen in Ancient Babylon”

Cambodia in Splendor and Ruin

Continue reading “Cambodia in Splendor and Ruin”

China: Ancient History, Modern Nation

Continue reading “China: Ancient History, Modern Nation”