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History – Gone to the Dogs! (Part 3): Dogs of Ancient Israel, Egypt and Mesopotamia

Israelites and Their Dogs While dogs were generally popular in the region, the Israelites seem to have started bringing dogs into their families somewhat later than their neighbors. They don’t get a favorable depiction in the Hebrew Bible. The Talmud even claims that dog barking can cause miscarriages.  The people of the region did not always feel this way.  A twelve thousand year old grave contains an old man buried with a puppy.   Canaan Dogs: These dogs were used as guard dogs, generally the only accepted use of dogs within the culture.  The dogs eventually returned to the wild and…

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History… Gone to the Dogs! (Part 1): 4 Furry Friends from Ancient Greece and Rome

I might be a little bit obsessed with dog breeds.  About a year ago, I found myself looking for a new dog.  Given my background in research, it might not surprise you that I spent quite a bit of time reading about different breeds.     I made a spreadsheet with our criteria and assigned a point value to each category, then ranked my top 25 breeds from most compatible to least compatible. (We ended up with a collie, if you’re curious).  All this to say: please make sure that when you choose a dog, you make sure you understand the…

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History… Gone to the Dogs! (Part 2): 5 Furry Friends from Ancient China

I’m still on my imaginary, time-traveling quest for the perfect dog. Today, I am headed to Ancient and Medieval China.   I am going all the way back to The Qin dynasty, the first dynasty of Imperial China, lasting from 221 to 206 BC. Named for Qin state, where it began, the dynasty was founded by Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of Qin. The Qin Dynasty unified China and created The Great Wall of China and the Terra Cotta Army.  During the Qin Dynasty, the Shar Pei appeared. Shar Pei were bred as fighting dogs and continue to be…

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December Celebrations: A Light in the Darkness!

Photo by Tim Riesner on Unsplash Imagine. It is thousands, maybe even tens of thousands of years ago. You are living somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere.   Suddenly, the animals are scarce, either because they have left or hidden themselves away.  The plants you have gathered are withering, their leaves drifting to the ground. Each day, the night seems to come sooner and end a little later. Why does this happen, you might wonder?  What if the light and warmth never return? What will happen to you, with no light, no warmth, no food.  With no other answers, you might find…

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Totally Mind Blowing Timeline Truths!

When we study history, it’s so often in isolation, making it difficult to see where various events overlap.  For example, in the United States, we often study American history entirely independently of other events in the world. To Americans, that 600 – or so – year span of events that involved our nation seems vast. But there is more. Much more.  In the magazines included in every History Unboxed box, we also offer a quick snapshot of what else is going on in the world. And often, we find some truly incredible things…. Let’s start with something that began 80,000…

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Gross and the Glorious: History Hygiene Habits

Ewwww!!! or Ahhhh!!!???  Although popular in some ancient cultures, bathing fell out of favor in Europe during the Middle Ages. (Imagine how you would smell after a few days, not to mention a few months!)  You see, people believed bathing was a health risk. They didn’t understand how germs spread and thought disease could enter the body’s pores from sitting in dirty water.  The Church did not help the cause of personal cleanliness either, concluding that bath houses were dens of sin.  While it didn’t stop Charlemagne, it stopped plenty of other people from regular bathing.   For starters, for your…

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Five Ancient Civilizations You (Probably) Never Studied in School

When I was in 5th grade, we had an Ancient Greece festival. It was a lot of fun, especially since I pretended to be the Oracle at Delphi and told fortunes to all my classmates.  We talked about ancient Greece during several different grade levels at school.  I think we also studied the Egyptians and Romans in elementary school. In high school history, we learned about ancient history in Mesopotamia, India, and China.  Taking a peek at today’s standards in the state where I live, not much has changed. Imagine, when you go beyond the range of Alexander the Great’s…

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