CURRENT EVENTS

Camel carvings in Saudi ArabiaSaudi Stone Camel Carvings Date to Stone Age: Archaeologists
September 16, 2021
The stone camels date to the Stone Age. A dozen life-size stone camels discovered in the Saudi desert were carved 8,000 years ago, archaeologists now say. That would put the date of carving firmly in the Stone Age, rather than later. When the group of French and Saudi scientists excavating in the Al Jouf province found the carvings, in 2018, they dated them to 2,000 years ago because they were similar findings to those found at Petra, in what is now Jordan. However, using more cutting-edge dating techniques (including portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry) in conjunction with analyzing tool marks and assessing erosion patterns led the archaeologists to revise their estimate of the age of the carvings, to the Neolithic Period, or New Stone Age. Such carvings predate the construction of Stonehenge and the Pyramids at Giza.

Egypt Finishes Restoration of Step Pyramid Builder's Tomb
September 13, 2021
Djoser Soutern Tomb restoration Egypt has finished a major restoration of the Southern Tomb structure of the famous King Djoser, who lived 4,500 years ago and ordered built the Step Pyramid, the world's oldest pyramid. The king was buried deep within the pyramid, in a chamber of granite, and not within the newly restored structure. However, Djoser did have provenance over the Southern Step PyramidTomb, a mostly underground complex of passageways and a central funeral shaft, with tiles and hieroglyphs adorning the walls. A burial chamber deep inside contains a large granite sarcophagus and a well, both of which echo similar structures inside the Step Pyramid. The Southern Tomb structure is at the southwest corner of Djoser's very large funeral complex. The restoration, which began in 2006, focused on refurbishing those carvings and reinforcing the walls of the passageways. Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism said that workers also installed lights, so that the public could revel in the splendor.

Canada-Mexico-U.S. Rail Merger Back to Original Suitors
September 12, 2021
Canadian Pacific Kansas City railway map The Canada–U.S.–Mexico railway merger appears to be back on track, after the original partners again came to an agreement. In March, Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern agreed to a merger that would have seen the former buy out the latter for $29 billion and create a new company titled Canadian Pacific Kansas City, with three headquarters: a global one in Calgary, Alberta; a U.S. one in Kansas City; and a shared Mexico one in Mexico City and Monterrey. However, Canadian National, the country's largest rail network, then offered Kansas City Southern a higher bid, of $33.7 billion. Either merger needed approval from the Surface Transportation Board, a subsidiary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Because Canadian National's bid was higher, the Surface Transportation Board ruled on the Canadian National-Kansas City Southern; in the Board's ruling, it said that the intended voting trust for that merger would fall afoul of industry regulations. As a result, Kansas City Southern went back to its original suitor, Canadian Pacific, which increased its bid to $31 billion. The boards of the original companies had approved the original merger. What is left is approval from shareholders of both companies and from the Surface Transportation Board, which had already approved that merger's voting trust, which was different from the one in the Canadian National deal.


COLONIAL AMERICA

Jamestown: First English Colony in America
Explorers had been landing in America for some time before English settlers arrived in what is now Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607. But it was in that spot on the James River that English colonization began and with it, the history of America.

The Pilgrims: Voyage to Freedom
Follow the Pilgrims as they sail across the Atlantic Ocean, from England to America, in search of religious freedom. See who they meet when they land in New England. Find out about the first Thanksgiving.

The 13 American Colonies
This fun, illustrated article describes the 13 American Colonies in detail, from economics to religion to agriculture to revolution. Also includes a clickable map with links to individual descriptions of each colony and a list of the first European settlements in North America. Outstanding resource!

Farming in the 13 American Colonies13 Colonies map
The focus is on agriculture in this look at how the colonists farmed and what they grew. See wheat turn into flour!

Religion in the 13 American Colonies
In colonial America, how you worshipped depended on where you lived. See how each colony taught religion and where they gathered for worship.

Education in the 13 American Colonies
Did colonial schools really keep girls out? Find out this and more in this entertaining look at education in colonial times.

Food in the 13 American Colonies
What did the colonists eat and how did they get it? This fun, illustrated article tells you.

Parks and Fun in the 13 American Colonies
Did colonial kids play? If so, what games did they play? This article has the answers for you. Some things haven't changed.

IN DAYS GONE BY
New Zealand: First to Have Women Vote
American voters granted women the right to vote in 1920. By that time, women in New Zealand had been voting for 27 years. The New Zealand Parliament voted for women's suffrage on Sept. 19, 1893.

Kate Sheppard: Suffrage Pioneer
Kate Sheppard (right), the driving force behind New Zealand's women's suffrage movement, was not a native New Zealander. She took the reins of the New Zealand movement, though, and drove the point home.

The Battle of Antietam
Battle of Antietam The Battle of Antietam was a Union victory during the American Civil War, in the sense that it ended a Southern invasion of the North. Casualties from this one-day battle were very high and are still the highest ever on American soil. Gen. Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia had marched. Eventually checking their progress was Gen. George McClellan and the Army of the Potomac. The battle took place on Sept. 17, 1862. The total number of killed and wounded exceeded 20,000. The Confederate army left the field of battle, so it was technically a Union victory.

U.S. Constitution Signed
U.S. ConstitutionIn the wake of the victory over Great Britain that created the United States, many in the new country found the current governmental structure, the Articles of Confederation, wanting. The result was the Constitutional Convention, which produced a new governmental blueprint, the Constitution. After much spirited debate, delegates to that convention signed the Constitution. This occurred on Sept. 17, 1787. Then, it was off to the various states to approve.


 

ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL MESOAMERICA AND SOUTH AMERICA

 

The Ancient Olmecs
Olmec Head Number 1 The Olmecs were one of the first advanced civilizations in Mesoamerica and, as such, influenced later, more well-known civilizations in that area. Historians estimate that the Olmec civilization arose somewhere between 1400 and 1200 B.C. (although some estimates push this back to 1600 B.C.). The people found very helpful the land and waters of the Coatzacoalcos river basin, with the Gulf of Mexico to the north. As the civilization grew, it spread out, to what is now southern and western Mexico and Guatemala. Prime among the remnants of the Olmec civilization are the colossal stone heads, some of which still adorn wings of modern museums. The heads weigh several tons and are, in some cases, more than 10 feet in height. Moreover, archaeologists have discovered that the stone heads rested, in some cases, dozens of miles from where the stone was quarried.

The Ancient Maya
Maya ruins From humble beginnings in the Yucatan, the Maya rose to dominance across what is now Central America and southern Mexico, spreading their knowledge of science, architecture, and survival far and wide. The Maya are famous for many things, among them advanced farming techniques, writing in hieroglyphs, superior knowledge of astronomy and the passage of time, creators of sturdy art, and a war-based ball game that has echoes down through the centuries. Maya settlements began about 1800 B.C. in what is now Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. Three distinct areas evolved: the Northern Lowlands on the Yucatan Peninsula, the Southern Lowlands in the Petén district of what is now northern Guatemala and an area of what is now Mexico, and the Southern Highlands, in the mountains of what is now Guatemala.

The Aztecs
Aztec calendar sun stone The Aztecs were an economic and cultural powerhouse, ruling much of what is now Mexico and the surrounding area for a few centuries in the late Middle Ages. They came to power by defeating internal rivals, and they lost power by underestimating an overseas foe. The Aztecs arrived in what became their most well-known homeland, what many today call Mesoamerica, in the early 13th Century, taking over from the Toltecs (and, some sources say, having a hand in their downfall). The Aztecs eventually ruled over a large amount of territory; the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan, was one of the largest cities in the world at its height. The Spaniards arrived in 1519 and, two years later, conquered the Aztecs, laying waste to Tenochtitlan and to the rest of the empire, through a combination of superior weaponry and firepower and the spreading of European diseases for which the Native Americans had neither immunity nor cure.

The Inca
Cuzco The Inca Empire stretched thousands of miles along the western coast of South America. At its height, this empire, with its capital at Cuzco, was the largest in the world. It enjoyed supremacy over its neighbors for a few centuries in the early Middle Ages but fell victim to conquest by Spanish forces. Inca lands stretched for thousands of miles up and down the western coast of South America, with a large network of roads connecting the far-flung reaches of the empire. A succession controversy eventually consumed the Inca hold on power, at the same time that a Spanish force arrived in search of gold and territory. The result was the conquest of the Inca.

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Why Is It?

Why Is It Called a River Delta?
As with many things, the answer lies in Ancient Greece.

Why Is It That American Elections Are on Tuesday?
Elections in American happen on a Tuesday. That's the law. But why?

Why Is It Called Big Ben? Big Ben clock tower
Big Ben is actually the giant bell inside the famous Clock Tower in London. It is not the only bell in the tower, and it is certainly not the tower itself. The giant bell, the official name of which is the Great Bell, is more than 7 feet tall and more than 9 feet wide and weighs 13.5 tons. It sounds an E-natural note. As to why any of it is called Big Ben, that's a matter of some debate.



Significant Sevens are the highest, the lowest, the deepest, the farthest, the oldest, the youngest, and a host of other lists in economics, geography, history, and much more.

The Seven Most Visited National Parks in the U.S.

The Seven Longest Train Journeys in the World

 

 

Social Studies for Kids
copyright 2002–2021
David White