middle east

"The Middle East: The Cradle of Civilisation Revealed" Stephen Bourke (Part 5)

The Middle East book is starting to get into the realm of real dates for events, and so I'm including some reference points for what else is happening in the world c.2900BCE to c.2200BCE. For this chapter my only points of comparison are in Egypt - the earliest potentially datable Chinese dynasty were the Xia in 2100BCE so a little later on.

Orientation dates:

"The Middle East: The Cradle of Civilisation Revealed" Stephen Bourke (Part 3)

This is the second half of the second chapter of this book (I've read a lot more of it I promise you, it's just the blog posts are lagging behind both in terms of being written and in terms of being published; you never know, I may've finished the book before you read this!).

"The Middle East: The Cradle of Civilisation Revealed" Stephen Bourke (Part 2)

The next chapter of this book covers the vast swathes of prehistory in the Middle East, taking us from the first migrations of pre-homo sapiens humans out of Africa all the way through to about 6000 years ago just before the first cities of Mesopotamia. Which is rather a lot of ground to cover! So much so that I have split the chapter into two blog posts, the first of which covers the Paleolithic cultures and the second will cover the Neolithic.

"The Middle East: The Cradle of Civilisation Revealed" Stephen Bourke (Part 1)

This post is about the first chapter from the new non-fiction book I'm working my way through. It's a complete change of pace from the previous one - the only thing in common is that it's a history book, but it's about a different time, a different place and it's a very different sort of book.

"The Arab Uprisings: The People Want the Fall of the Regime" Jeremy Bowen

J got me to reserve this book out of the library a few weeks ago, he'd seen a mention of it somewhere & when he finished he said he thought I'd like to read it. It's an overview of the first 18 months or so after the start of the Arab Spring in late 2010/early 2011, as told by Jeremy Bowen who is a journalist with the BBC. The book is a combination of overviews of the political situation before, after & during the various revolutions and also of more personal anecdotes from Bowen as he travelled through the countries to report on the revolutions & their aftermath.

She Wolves: England's Early Queens; Secrets of the Arabian Nights; The Secrets of Stonehenge: A Time Team Special

The second episode of Helen Castor's She Wolves: England's Early Queens was about Isabella of France & Margaret of Anjou. Neither of these women ruled England in their own right, but both ruled in the name of a man (son & husband respectively) and neither have been remembered kindly by history. Rather unfairly, I think (although Isabella brought it on herself to some degree).

A History of Syria with Dan Snow; Howard Goodall's Story of Music

Instead of starting TV night with our on-going series, we started with a documentary about Syria - watching it first because it was bound to be depressing viewing. A History of Syria with Dan Snow was a This World documentary that looked at the historical underpinnings of the current civil war, to put it into some sort of context.

Andrew Marr's History of the World; Wartime Farm

The fourth episode of Andrew Marr's History of the World was mostly about the European Renaissance - but not about what happened during it. Instead it was about what happened in the rest of the world that made it possible for Europe to go from being a cultural backwater to a vibrant civilisation with pretensions towards becoming one of the dominant cultures of the world. We did open with the Vikings, tho, who were a little shoehorned into the theme (but you can't really miss them out).

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