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Where did the Mayans go?

                                            Hello historians!Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 10.50.18 AMWe are from UGCNN News report.

For post 3, we created an Instagram page. If you go to our Instagram page, you'll see a video in the middle of 3 decks and pictures on the side. The order of Instagram posts are chronological so PLEASE READ FROM RIGHT --> LEFT, DOWN --> UP

Our Instagram Page:


Reference List:

  1. Charles Q. Choi, ‘Collapse of Mayan Civilization Traced to Dry Spells’, February 23, 2012.
  2. Dauna Coulter, The Fall of the Maya: ‘They Did it to Themselves’, October 6 2009.
  3. Guy Gugliotta, ‘Maya Rise and Fall’, August, 2007.
  4. Jessica Cecil, ‘The Fall of the Mayan Civilisation’, February 17, 2011.
  5. Joseph Stromberg, ‘Why did the Mayan Civilization Collapse? A New Study Points to Deforestation and Climate Change’, August 23, 2012.
  6. Wynne Parry, ‘What Was Behind Mysterious Collapse of the Mayan Empire?’, August 22, 2012.

Image Credits:

  1. Nordisk familjebok, G. Mülzel, [Public domain]
  2. Slash and burn agriculture in the Amazon, Matt Zimmerman, [CC BY 2.0 (]
  3. The Castillo ,Teoberto Maler, [Public Domain]
  4. Dry ground in the Sonoran Desert, Sonora,Mexico. Castelazo, [CC BY 3.0]
  5. Bonampak Painting, Elelicht, [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]
  6. Palenque, Mayan ruins , Eduardo Manchon, [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]
  7. Overlooking a large Shade Cacao plantation where the Ixcacao Mayan Belizean Chocolate company grows and produces chocolate using Mayan techniques, Mvfarrel, [CC BY-SA 4.0 (]
  8. Portion of a Building Called Las Monjas at Uxmal. Represents a part of the Nunnery Quadrangle fascade of Uxmal, Yucatán, Mexico, Frederick Catherwood, [Public Domain]
  9. Tikal Mayan ruins Guatemala 2009, Chensiyuan, [CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (]
  10. Illegal slash and burn practise in the region west of Manantenina, Diorit, [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (]

Image Credit for UGCNN Instagram Display Picture

  1. Aztec Calendar, Unnamed Pre-Colombian Mexica artists of the 15th century.  [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (]
  2. Stigmata of St Francis, Bartolomeo della Gatta, [Public domain]
  3. La morte di Cesare, Vincenzo Camuccini, [Public domain]
  4. Confucius, By Chinese Artists, [Public domain]
  5. Crooped of The "School of Athens", Raphael, [Public Domain]
  6. Cleopatra, Frederick Sandys, [Public Domain]


The First Triumvirate's Facebook Feud

The First Triumvirate had its fair share of infamy, one known to be more established than his counterparts. We had decided that satirizing the political tensions and threats they posed to one another would prove to be a thoroughly entertaining read. Moreover, there were positive/mutually beneficial times when they celebrated one another's achievements and attained elevated statuses through political unions, for instance via marriage. We did feel that highlighting their tumultuous relationships until the disintegration of this elite 'crew' of leaders and that being delivered through a casual and relatable manner would make learning their history with light-hearted pleasure possible. The following are facebook profiles of each member belonging to The First Triumvirate. They include interactions with one another with explicit attacks via social media(similar to what we are guilty of today) included. The feud is made funny and obvious through such means.

Gnaeus Pompey Magnus

Marcus Licinius Crassus

Gaius Julius Caesar



REFERENCES - Images, Facts, Intepretations

Battle of Pharsalus :

Battle of Pharsalus, Brittanica :

Battle of Pharsalus as an event in History :

Triumvirate, definition and function :

Crassus, Biography :

Goldsworthy, p. UNKNOWN; "Although Pompey and Crassus had combined to seek office and cooperated in the restoration of the tribunate, their mutual dislike and envy swiftly resurfaced.

Goldsworthy, p. 167; "A commission would oversee the purchase and distribution of the land to both Pompey's veteran soldiers and large numbers of the urban poor."

Boak, History of Rome to 565 A.D., pg. 169.

Cicero, Letters to his brother Quintus, see 2.3, accessed UNKNOWN.


Breads of History


History of Bread Bread is one of the most common staple around the world and it has since the age when humankind were still hunters and gatherers. It is typically made from cooked, grinned grain and water. The interesting thing about bread is that it is so easy to make that without deliberate trade of bread and with a lack of communication between major empires in history, every empire eventually managed to discover how to make leavened bread (bread fermented with yeast) , Egypt being the earliest. Another fascinating fact is that every country or empire has their own interpretation of this cooked dough and it varies according to environment and culture. In this post, we will bring you through the history of three powerful empires in the form of their individually unique bread.

Egypt (Baladi bread)

Egyptian bread resulted from the grinding of grains and mixing it with water to create a porridge like substance.  Over time, yeast that is present in the air would come into contact with the mixture, causing the liquid to rise. Leaving this mixture out in the sun essentially bakes it, causing it to develop bread like crust. This is the earliest form of leavened bread known to mankind. Ancient Egyptians would later try to isolate yeast and would purposefully introduce it to the batter as a more effective way to make it rise.

Egyptian breads are often placed on top of a fire, or stuck to the oven walls instead of being baked inside it. Sometimes the bread can also be cooked on top of hot sand. The dough is also often rolled flat instead of the round fluffy bread shape that we often see. The process of milling the grains and cooking bread are often left for the women to do and is considered an essential life skill. This skill would later be taught to the Romans, where they would develop their own techniques of baking bread.

Rome (Miche bread)

Mount Vesuvius, a volcano located on Italy’s west coast, is well-known for its eruption in 79 CE. That historical eruption covered the entire Pompeii in volcanic ash. Below this layer of ash lies an almost fully intact Pompeii, where later in history, archeologists discovered loaves of bread.

In the very beginning, bread was baked by the housewives of Siligo. By 172 BC, these housewives were relieved the responsibility of baking breads and skilled bakers took over in bakery shops where breads were sold. In 168 BC, the Roman Baker’s Guild, called Collegium Pistorum, was formed. The Greeks first adopted the technology of bread baking from the Egyptians. Eventually, the practices were spread across the rest of Europe. As discovered from the ruins of Pompeii, mills were the main technology used for the baking of bread in Rome. Bread was a form of staple food for both the rich and poor, and even more so for the soldiers who were in war. Additionally, bread held greater importance than meat in Rome and hence, bakers of the Guild were highly respected for their skilled craft of baking.

China (Mantou)

Lastly, The very popular Mantou is a staple in China and the most common form of bread among the Chinese. It was invented way even before the start of the Chinese dynasties. During the warring states period before Emperor Qin Shi Huang conquered the different states and formed the first Chinese dynasty, the Qin dynasty.

Another well-known story of the Mantou originated from the story of Romance of the Three Kingdoms period (220-280 CE) where Chancellor Zhuge Liang of the Shu Han state went to battle to defeat the Southern barbarians. In an attempt to capture one of the barbarian warlords, Meng Huo, he was told he needed to pray to the Gods for help so as to counter the witchcraft that the barbarians were practicing. In order to gain the favour of the Gods, Zhuge Liang had to make a sacrifice of human heads. However being a witty and great leader, he used meat such as mutton and pork as fillings in buns instead to substitute as human heads and sacrificed it to the River God.

The process of making Mantou is a simple one, after allowing the dough to rise with the yeast, the dough have to be knead back and forth so as to release the gas released by the yeast. The dough is then split into smaller balls and put into the steamer. Within a short 15 to 20 minutes, the Mantou will be ready. The Mantou is made to have a simple taste of the wheat flour. The more you chew, the more you will taste the sweet taste of the fermented dough. This gives a slightly alcoholic flavour which everyone loves and is like no other bread around the world. The Book of Han states that “the greatest flavour is a simple one” and the Mantou is the perfect illustration of this idea.

All in all, it is astonishing to us that in the absence of the global village phenomenon, countries and empires were still able to create a similar form of staple food. Started from just yeast, grain and water, countries adopted their very own methods of bread baking and eventually, bread made its way into stomachs all over the world. Today, bread is made from a myriad of ingredients and it has definitely made its name in the history, all thanks to the Egyptians. KUDOS EGYPTIANS!


Here's a short how-to video to show you how each of these delicious breads are made. Give it a try if you are daring enough!


Check out our Instagram page for more interactive material on the history of bread!


Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the greatest of them all?

Hello everyone! These days, many magazines publish articles on the top 10 richest people or the top 10 most influential people in the world. We're guessing that you must have read or seen at least one such article before. Hence, we decided that it would be fun and interesting to recreate this in the ancient world.

Throughout this semester, we’ve been learning about the various rulers and their adventures conquering different lands, but have you thought of who is the best one of them all? Or do they all have different unique qualities? Fret not, we’ve picked 5 of the most influential rulers of all time and analysed them based on their qualities.

Integrating modern times with ancient history, feel free to whip out your phones and scan the QR codes at the top of each article. Remember to scan close and make sure the QR code image is in focus. You’ll be led to engaging videos to learn more about these rulers. (Ps: In order to do so, simply download the QRReader app from the app store. It’s free!)  We hope you have an interesting read!

Check out the magazine below!

[google-drive-embed url="" title="Scribo Special Edition.pdf" icon="" width="100%" height="900" style="embed"]



Stephenie Allen, Who was Julius Caesar? 2000 years have passed and we're still not sure

Nate Barksdale, 8 surprising facts about Alexander the Great

Sarah Ann Mcgill, Julius Caesar

New World Encyclopedia, Cyrus the Great

Ancient History Encyclopedia, Cyrus II

History, Genghis Khan

Bio, Genghis Khan Biography

Cristian Violatti, Ashoka

Donald James Johnson, The challenge of Ashoka

Joshua J Mark, Alexander the Great

Video References

Julius Caesar


Cyrus the great


Genghis Khan




Alexander the great


QR code generator

Image reference


Alexander the Great DSC01860 By Sotiris Marinopoulos [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]


Portrait of Julius Caesar (colour) By Mark James Miller (Own work based on this sculpture:) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Julius Ceasar By J.Simmons, Flickr [CC BY 2.0]

Julius caesar By Jonte, Flickr [CC BY-NC 2.0]



Cyrus the Great By armin dara, Flickr [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]

 Mada By dynamosquito, Flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0]



Тимуджин. (По фильму Сергея Бодрова-старшего) By Sha-vakil (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

GenghisKhan By Srineet Sridharan, Flickr [CC BY 2.0]



Battle of Issus 333BC Mosaic By Ruthven (talk · contribs) (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Alexander cuts the Gordian Knot By Jean-Simon Berthélemy [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Alexander the Great, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen By Carole Raddato, Flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0]



Amar Chitra Katha’s Ashoka cover From photograph taken by Sathia, 2016

Ashoka Lions By Vincent Arthur Smith + Archaelogical Survey, Mysore [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Image taken from the video, "Asoka the Great: Positive Theocracies Part 1 (B) By The History Revolution (Rich F-G),


Misc Image

Victory of King Merovech By Fordmadoxfraud (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Blast from the Past!

Hi everyone! We recently made a trip down to the National Museum of Singapore to visit the Treasures of the World exhibition. Having been wanting to visit the exhibition, we thought that this final post would give us the perfect opportunity to explore the exhibition. We decided to use Instagram as a platform for us to give you guys a glimpse of what we saw! Our Instagram username is Here’s the link to our Instagram page: Do visit us and take a look at the pictures!

For the most part, we tried linking the pieces that we saw back to class, and also talking about the influences that each society or culture has on one another. For a few others, we decided to leave them there because they are really interesting on their own. We hope you will learn something from the pictures we posted on our Instagram page! We also hope to spark some interest in you!

If you guys are interested in visiting the exhibition and looking at all these interesting artifacts and more, do make your way down soon because the exhibition ends on 29 May 2016! Have fun exploring! :-) ☺


More than Just Another Pretty Pane

Hello to you, from us, through the looking (stained) glass! The glass windows that we’ll be introducing to you are not just any other pretty panes, but rather, they had extraordinary significance and historical presence, especially during the Medieval era (mainly the 12th and 13th centuries) in Europe. In addition to their awe-striking beauty (which not only is a feast for the eyes but for all the other senses as well), the development of stained glass windows also played a crucial role in promoting and enhancing the Christian religion, back in the days where numerous Gothic cathedrals were being built. In order to give you a clearer depiction of the history and significance of these medieval stained glass windows, we have created an online scrapbook which will take you back through the medieval ages, so that you too may get to experience the magical feelings that one gets while admiring these brilliant works of art (although we can only show you images of stained glass windows, and not the real deal). You’re more than welcome to use your own imagination to picture the vibrancy of the colored glass when light were to shine through, and of course do keep a lookout for amazing stained glass windows, both locally or when you travel overseas (Ask us! We can direct you to the nearest stained glass). By then, you’ll probably have a better sense of these fine works of art and hopefully be able to appreciate them more!


You can view the scrapbook by clicking on the link below:



Barral i Altet, X., & Gamboa, A. (2007). Stained glass. London: Thames & Hudson. Raguin, V., & Higgins, M. (2003). The history of stained glass. London: Thames & Hudson.

The Greatest Enemy Of Rome: Hannibal Of Carthage

For our third blog post, we decided to uncover the greatest enemy of Rome, Hannibal of Carthage! Do check out our BuzzFeed link on the top ten facts of this ruthless Carthaginian general, who despised Rome and yet why he is considered to be known throughout the world as one of the greatest military minds of the Classical Age.  

Greeks in the Making

Hello all, We've created an Instagram account for post 3 to highlight certain aspects of Ancient Greek culture. We hope that our post and captions contain engaging information for your casual reading, and that it'll inspire you to hop on the next plane to Greece. Enjoy!


NOVA, The Glorious Parthenon, 29th January 2008.

Evan Hadingham, Unlocking Mysteries of the Parthenon, February 2008.

Ancient Greek History, Herodion.

Maria Kosma, Herod Atticus Odeon.

Jeffery A. Becker, Introduction to Greek Architecture.

Carlsruhe Painter , The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Red-Figure Lekythos, 470 - 460 B.C.

Meleager Painter (Greek (Attic), active 420 - 380 B.C.), The J. Paul Getty Museum. Attic Red-Figure Dinoid Volute Krater and Stand, 390 - 380 B.C.

University of Oxford, Classical Art Research Centre and The Beazley Archiv, Volute-krater.

The Painter of the Wedding Procession, Signed by Nikodemos, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Panathenaic Prize Amphora with Lid, 363 - 362 B.C.

University of Oxford, Classical Art Research Centre and The Beazley Archive, Amphorae

The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Statuette of Apollo, 200 - 100 B.C.

Mark Cartwright, Kithara, Ancient History Encyclopedia, 24th June 2012.

Mark Cartwright, Panpies, Ancient History Encyclopedia, 17th June 2012.

Mark Cartwright, Aulos, Ancient History Encyclopedia, 12th June 2012.

Perseus Digital Library Project, The Ancient Olympics, 1996.

Three Beauties from the Past

nǐ hǎo everyone! For our last blog post, we will be covering on the three ancient beauties from China. We have created an Instagram page and you can view the images and description by clicking on the link below. Enjoy the read! 



BBC News, Inside China’s plastic surgery boom, January 10 2016. []

China Culture, Wang Zhaojun, 2003. []

China Culture, Xishi, 2003. [

Cultural China. Chinese Philosophy of Beauty Traditions, (n.d.) []

David Wu, Wang Zhaojun: Beauty of Peace, November 8 2014. []

Furio Fu, The art of seduction: the story of Xi Shi, beauty of China, March 1 2012. []

GBTIMES, Xi Shi, a Timeless Beauty with big feet, January 15 2013. []

Haiwang Yuan, Wang Zhaojun, 3 October 2003. []

Sacrifice, Yang GuiFei (杨玉环), (n.d.). []

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Tang Dynasty (618–906).October 2001 []

Wikia, Four Beauties, (n.d.). []


Xuelin Yeong, History and Herstory: Four Greatest Beauties of China: Lady Yang (楊貴妃),   September 11 2012. []


Eugene Perry Link, The Uses of Literature: Life in the Socialist Chinese Literary System, March 5 2005. []

George Qingzhi Zhao, Marriage as Political Strategy and Cultural Expression, June 30 2008. []

Liuxi Meng, Poetry as Power: Yuan Mei's Female Disciple Qu Bingyun (1767-1810), February 16 2007. []

The Perception of Female Beauty in Art: Ancient Chinese Women - 618-907 A.D, May 8 2011. []


Fireworks video footage background HD, January 19 2015. []

The Four Most Beautiful Chinese Women Ever, February 27 2014. []


A beauty-Wang Zhaojun, llee_wu [CC BY-ND 2.0]

Chinese 4 Beauties, a-thammasak [CC BY 3.0]

Foot Binding, Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0]

Four Beauties, Zantam03 [CC-BY-SA]

Four Greatest Beauties of China: Xi Shi, Xuelin Yeong [CC BY-SA]

Guifei Enjoys the Flowers, Liu Qian [Image courtesy of Oriental Outpost]

Portrait of Yang Guifei, 長澤蘆雪 [Public domain], [Wikimedia Commons]

Tomb of Wang Zhaojun, Hohhot, GothPhil [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

Xi Shi the First of Four Beauties, Fang Wei Li [Blogger]

Yang Gui Fei, Chariji [Blog, Image Rights]

Yang Gui-fei, Takaku Aigai(1796 - 1843)-高久靄厓 (SEIKADO BUNKO ART MUSEUM 静嘉堂文庫美術館) [Public domain],  [Wikimedia Commons]

"王昭君" Ms. Wang Zhaojun, Artist Peng Lian Xu [Pinterest]

Swa-hee-lee Culture

Jambo dear readers! For post 3, I have created a Pinterest board to showcase the Swahili culture in the East African region. The Pinterest board is aimed to demonstrate how foreign traders had an influence on Swahili culture. Images are used to illustrate the various elements and history of Swahili culture.

Swahili (swah-hee-lee) culture is the culture representing the people of East Africa from Kenya to southern Somalia to Mozambique and Tanzania. Swahili could also be referred to as the language is largely spoken and used by people of this region. Many see Swahili culture that has been immensely shaped by their fellow traders on the Swahili Coast from the Arabian Peninsula, India, and even Portugal. Foreign traders have great influence over architecture, clothing, music and religious beliefs.

Fun fact! Ibn Battuta, a Moroccan explorer, whom I talked about in post 2 had actually visited the town of Kilwa before exploring Sofala. These are the trading cities along the Swahili coast.

You can view the images and descriptions by clicking the link below:


Boston University Pardee School of Global Studies African Studies Center, The Indian Ocean Trade: A classroom simulation, 1993,

Esha Faki1, E. M. Kasiera and O. M. J. Nandi, The belief and practice of divination among the Swahili Muslims in Mombasa district, Kenya, November 2010,

Henry Louis Gates Jr,

Jacqueline M. Kiraithea and Nancy T. Badenb, Portugues influences in East African Languages,  19 January 2007,

James De Vere Allen, Swahili Origins: Swahili Culture and the Shungwaya Phenomenon, 1993,

Karen Tranberg Hansen and D. Soyini Madison, African Dress: Fashion, Agency, Performance, 29 August 2013,

Liam Matthew Brockey, Portuguese Colonial Cities in the Early Modern World, 2008,

Maina Kiarie, Swahili and Arab Peoples,

Mariah Nene, Taarab music: a coastal music with flair, 3 July 2015,

Mwenda Ntarangwi, A Socio-Historical and Contextual Analysis of Popular Musical Performance Among the Swahili of Mombasa, Kenya, 2001

Phyllis Ressler, The Kanga, A Cloth That Reveals- Co-production of Culture in Africa and the Indian Ocean Region, 9 January 2012,

Sangai Mohochi and Yusuf Hamad,

Taarab Music, 11 January 2012,

University of Iowa,

Proquest,”This is Traditional, this is Not Islamic": Perceiving Some Swahili Childbirth and Child-rearing Beliefs and Practices in Light of Mila (custom) and Dini (religion)., 2007,