The “Pitmen Painters” of England and Japan in the Early 20th Century

Throughout the centuries, a number of coal miners have documented their lives with paintings. Some of their works are now in museums and bring the stories of the “pitmen” back to life. By Dr. Diana Cooper-RichetChercheur au Centre d’histoire culturelle des sociétés contemporainesUniversité de Versailles Saint-Quentin en Yvelines – Université Paris-Saclay Introduction Curiously, despite its[…]

The Influence of Neighboring Cultures on Medieval Japan

Exploring the civilization of Japan from about 500 to 1700 C.E. Introduction Together, the Japanese islands make up an area about the size of Montana. Japan’s four large islands are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Of these, you can see that Honshu is the largest and most centrally located. To the west, the Sea of[…]

The ‘Horse-Rider’ Theory of the Conquering of Ancient Japan

The ‘horse-rider theory’ (kibaminzokusetsu) was proposed by the historian Egami Namio in 1948. Introduction The ‘horse-rider theory’ is a controversial proposal that Japan was conquered around the 4th or 5th century CE by a culture from northern Asia to whom the horse was especially important. Although archaeological evidence and genetics point to a close relationship[…]

The Paleolithic Period of Prehistoric Japan

The study of the Paleolithic period in Japan did not begin until quite recently: the first Paleolithic site was not discovered until 1946. Curated/Reviewed by Matthew A. McIntoshPublic HistorianBrewminate Introduction The Japanese Paleolithic period is the period of human inhabitation in Japan predating the development of pottery, generally before 10,000 BC.[1] The starting dates commonly given to this[…]

Common Ground: How Communities Rise Together to Respond to Disasters

“Human beings are a community. If we are in China, in Puerto Rico, in Japan, wherever.” By Robert RaymondCo-Producer and Creative Director, Upstream PodcastSenior Producer, Designer, and Creative Director, The Response When Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017, Judith Rodriguez was asleep in her home. Or rather, she was trying to[…]

The Compassionate Instinct: A Biological Basis for People Helping People

Think humans are born selfish? Think again. By Dr. Dacher KeltnerProfessor of PsychologyCo-Director, Greater Good Science CenterUniversity of California Berkeley Introduction Humans are selfish. It’s so easy to say. The same goes for so many assertions that follow. Greed is good. Altruism is an illusion. Cooperation is for suckers. Competition is natural, war inevitable. The[…]

Ground Zero: How Do Scientists Predict a Hurricane Season?

Keep an eye on the African monsoon, ocean temperatures, and a possible late-blooming La Niña. By Dr. Kristopher KarnauskasAssociate Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic SciencesFellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental SciencesUniversity of Colorado Boulder Introduction As summer in the Northern Hemisphere approaches, forecasters begin watching every bout of rainy weather between the[…]

Philolaus: Philosophy and Science in Classical Greece

Philolaus is said to have claimed that mathematical reason has a certain affinity with the nature of the universe, By Daniel CostaHistorian Introduction Philolaus of Croton (c. 470 – c. 385 BCE) was an ancient Greek philosopher from Magna Graecia, in modern-day southern Italy. He shared the Pythagoreans’ interest in music, numbers and the soul, which shone through his output. He[…]

Distant Grind: The Largest Hurricane in the Solar System on Jupiter

The Great Red Spot has been observed since 1831. Continuous observation began in 1879. Curated/Reviewed by Matthew A. McIntoshPublic HistorianBrewminate Overview The Great Red Spot is a persistent high-pressure region in the atmosphere of Jupiter, producing an anticyclonic storm that is the largest in the Solar System. Located 22 degrees south of Jupiter’s equator, it produces wind-speeds up to 432 km/h (268 mph). Observations from 1665 to[…]

The Use of Fire by Stone Age Humans to Permanently Change the Landscape

How ancient humans by Lake Malawi in Africa were the first to substantially modify their environment. By Dr. Jessica ThompsonAssistant Professor of AnthropologyYale University By Dr. David K. WrightProfessor of Archaeology, Conservation and HistoryUniversity of Oslo By Dr. Sarah IvoryAssistant Professor of GeosciencesPenn State Introduction Fields of rust-colored soil, spindly cassava, small farms and villages[…]

Bean Press: Over 9,000 Coffee Shops in the Middle East, and Counting

Several countries in the Middle East have generally been considered fertile ground for coffee roasting and retail growth. By Nick Brown New research from Allegra World Coffee Portal suggests that the Middle East branded coffee market boasts more than 9,000 outlets in 2018, while significant future growth is predicted in many of the 12 Middle Eastern countries[…]

History, Types, and Preparation of Turkish Coffee

Turkish coffee is a style of coffee prepared using very finely ground coffee beans without filtering.[1][2] Curated/Reviewed by Matthew A. McIntoshPublic HistorianBrewminate Introduction First appearing in the Ottoman Empire, under the strictest interpretations of the Quran the strong coffee was considered a drug and its consumption was forbidden. Due to the immense popularity of the beverage, the sultan eventually lifted this prohibition.[11][…]

A Touch of Turkish: Honoré de Balzac’s Life, Work, and Love of Coffee

The 19th-century author liked his coffee as strong as possible, and a lot of it! Curated/Reviewed by Matthew A. McIntoshPublic HistorianBrewminate Introduction Honoré de Balzac[2][3][4][5], born Honoré Balzac;[1] was a French novelist and playwright. The novel sequence La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of post-Napoleonic French life, is generally viewed as his magnum opus. Owing to his keen observation[…]

A History of Coffeehouses in the Turkish Ottoman Empire since the 16th Century

The tradition of the Ottoman coffeehouses was exported to the other European empires where coffee became a staple. Curated/Reviewed by Matthew A. McIntoshPublic HistorianBrewminate Introduction The Ottoman coffeehouse, or Ottoman Café was a distinctive part of the culture of the Ottoman Empire. These coffeehouses, started in the mid-sixteenth century, brought together citizens across society for educational, social, and political activity[…]

Past and Present: Lessons from Ancient Greece for Today’s Grieving

Loose threads: Life unravels when a loved one dies. By Bethany GreyAuthor Introduction According to Greek mythology, before we were born, high above the clouds, the three Moirai spun thread on a spindle to determine our fate. As the goddesses of life and death, ancient Greeks entrusted them with ensuring that a mortal’s destiny would[…]

Sacrilege!: The Desecration of Statues of Hermes in Ancient Athens

On the morning of June 7, 415 BCE, the denizens of Athens awoke to vandalism causing mass fear and outrage. By Philip Mathew Introduction On 7 June 415 BCE, various statues of the god Hermes were desecrated in Athens. The Peloponnesian War (431-404 BCE) had been raging for decades as one of the biggest civil wars in Ancient Greece, and the[…]

Listen and Learn: Exploring the Secrets of Ancient Egyptian Tombs

Egyptologists unearth the world’s richest seam of ancient archaeology. Presentation by Channel 4 Documentaries The first royal tombs, called mastabas, were built at Abydos during the first and second dynasties. They were marked with a stele inscribed with the kings’ names. The burial chambers were cut into the rock, lined with sun-baked bricks and faced[…]

A Brief Visual Guide to Ancient Egyptian Gods

Even today, the gods of Egypt loom large in the imagination, and are easily recognized by their iconic features. By Arienne King Introduction This image gallery is a visual guide to the gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt. It includes depictions of many of Egypt’s more iconic and widely worshipped deities, along with brief descriptions of their[…]

Featured Scholar: Barry Cunliffe – Archaeology of Neolithic Europe

His interest in Iron Age Britain and Europe generated a number of publications and he became an acknowledged authority on the Celts. Curated/Reviewed by Matthew A. McIntoshPublic HistorianBrewminate Overview Sir Barrington Windsor Cunliffe, CBE, FBA, FSA (born 10 December 1939), known as Barry Cunliffe, is a British archaeologist and academic. He was Professor of European Archaeology at the University of Oxford from 1972 to[…]

Death, Burial, and the Afterlife in Ancient Celtic Religion

In the ancient Celtic religion, there was a belief in an afterlife in the ‘Otherworld’, a place like this without disease and suffering. Introduction The ancient Celts who occupied large parts of Europe from 700 to 400 CE displayed a clear belief in an afterlife as evidenced in their treatment of the dead. In the absence of extensive written[…]

The Hottest Sports Events on the Line – You’ll Be Upset If You Miss Them

European club competitions have gone on break and summer is here. This means that fans of the beautiful game are finally to see Euro 2020, which was rescheduled for 2021 due to the coronavirus outbreak. Enthusiasts of sports forecasts have held their breath as well, while Scores 24 prepared plenty of top tournaments for making[…]

Sipping the Feels: Garden Therapy – A Natural Stress Reliever

Even when a person stops and takes a moment to enjoy a plant’s beauty, they feel better. By Siobhan SearleAuthor and Environmentalist Introduction Society’s downward spiral continues, and with it go my spirits. As the chaos of the global pandemic persists, it has become harder to step away from the fear and uncertainty and take[…]

Food and Medicine in Medieval Monastic Gardens

Each type of garden had its own purpose and meaning, including satisfying medicinal, food, and spiritual needs. Curated/Reviewed by Matthew A. McIntoshPublic HistorianBrewminate Introduction A monastic garden was used by many people and for multiple purposes. Gardening was the chief source of food for households, but also encompassed orchards, cemeteries and pleasure gardens, as well as providing plants for[…]

Hortum Domus: The House Garden in Ancient Rome

Roman gardens were built to suit a range of needs and activities. Curated/Reviewed by Matthew A. McIntoshPublic HistorianBrewminate Overview Roman gardens and ornamental horticulture became highly developed under Roman civilization. The Gardens of Lucullus (Horti Lucullani), on the Pincian Hill in Rome, introduced the Persian garden to Europe around 60 BC. It was seen as a place of peace and tranquillity, a refuge from urban life, and[…]

Brewminating: The Social, Ecological, and Cultural Conscience of Coffee

Growing coffee beans with respect for the environment and the workers. By Caleb Brown Social Conscience Overview Coffee is the second-most traded commodity in the world after oil. Just as consumers of energy need to be conscious of the sources of their energy in the face of increasing climate change, consumers of coffee must also[…]

‘De Agri Cultura’: Agriculture in Ancient Greece

Agriculture was the foundation of the Ancient Greek economy. Nearly 80% of the population was involved in this activity.[1] Curated/Reviewed by Matthew A. McIntoshPublic HistorianBrewminate Introduction Most Greek language agricultural texts are lost, except two botany texts by Theophrastus and a poem by Hesiod. The main texts are mostly from the Roman Agronomists: Cato the Elder’s De agri cultura, Columella’s De re rustica, Marcus Terentius Varro and Palladius. Varro mentions[…]