59

The Chinese designed the wall to be an effective barrier; that was the goal. To answer your question, we need to ask: what land barrier stopped foreign troops the best? The answer in China, and everywhere else, is mountains. The Great Wall is nothing more than a fortification of existing natural barriers. Look closely at the pictures you've posted, and those ...


45

As noted, this type of castle was extremely common. Harburg (Horeburg/near Hamburg), the first castle at Danzig are perhaps the most famous of these. They were most often built along the Northern European plains on the South shore of the North sea and the Baltic Sea. But that is only indicating that a lot of wetlands can be found in those regions. They were ...


36

Basically three options: 1. Ramp or gangway: The easiest and most preferable way. Might require specialised or retrofitted ships: (extreme left, vertically centered, click to enlarge) (Ottomans conquering the Limassol Castle, between 1571 and 1581 Source Şehname-i Selim Han, Istanbul, ca. 1571–81, Topkapı Palace Museum Library, A. 3595, fol. 102b.) "...


28

The machine the tractor is pulling is a grain reaper-binder, possibly a McCormick-Deering. The reaper-binder, or binder, is a farm implement that improved upon the simple reaper. The binder was invented in 1872 by Charles Baxter Withington, a jeweler from Janesville, Wisconsin. In addition to cutting the small-grain crop, a binder also 'binds' the stems ...


23

Leather was probably the most common material. The most basic transportation technology of the medieval era was the foot ... Those who did not go barefoot ... wore simple shoes. These shoes were made from leather, including the flat sole. - Wigelsworth, Jeffrey R. Science and Technology in Medieval European Life. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006. ...


20

The Great Wall of China: It is the longest man-made construction in the world. In the old times, it was of great military importance of preventing the enemies' intrusion and was regarded as the 'Guardian Angel' of the central plain in the past. - Great Wall of China FAQs Why did they build the Great Wall of China? The Great Wall of China is the ...


17

One kind of shoe not mentioned in the other answers are those using bast soles. "Bast" is fiber from tree bark. Bast shoes or lapti, were once worn by poorer members of Northern European cultures. These were usually made from birch or linden. They are woven like a basket, and so are quite distinct from the wooden clog or hard wooden-soled shoes mentioned in ...


16

The "contraption" looks like a Reaper-binder A Massey-Harris reaper-binder pulled by a tractor (Rutland, England, 2008) The reaper-binder, or binder, is a farm implement that improved upon the simple reaper. The binder was invented in 1872 by Charles Baxter Withington, a jeweler from Janesville, Wisconsin.1 In addition to cutting the small-...


15

There is an emerging trans-disciplinary field called cliodynamics which studies these ideas. There's an open access journal, Cliodynamics: The Journal of Quantitative History and Cultural Evolution, a lab in England, and an institute in New Mexico. Cliometrics is somewhat related: it applies the ideas of economics to the study of history. It's been around ...


15

Adding to the previous answers regarding the use of the hand to assess body temperature, there have been several works which are quite suited to answer this question, which I hope to summarise here. In essence, the answer to this question is in knowing when were thermometers first used to measure body temperature. As it is with this information that we can ...


10

From my knowledge as a theatre historian and speech coach, I would say, it is probably a combination of: Projection and annunciation. Not only speaking loudly, but speaking clearly and probably a bit slower than we are used to. Actor training at the time fell more under the rubric of "elocution" than what we would consider "Acting." Acoustics: most ...


10

Julius Caesar is alleged to have completed a 25 mile double circumvallation (11 miles inner, 14 miles outer) of Alesia in 30 days, with approximately 50,000 men - though at all times, of course, some of those had to be on guard duty. This circumvallation would have been a 8 foot or so ditch in front of a similar mound, on which a 12-15 foot wooden wall was ...


10

As noted in a comment there's a section of the Bayeux tapestry that depicts a horse being transported and another being led out of the water. Digging a bit deeper though, it looks like there was a bit of handwaving involved by the tapestry's creators. Warfare in Medieval Europe 400–1453 by Bernard Bachrach and David Bachrach has a whole section on horse ...


9

In Europe, different demands were placed on shoes based on different climates. People around the Mediterranean tended to wear sandals with wooden soles and leather thongs due to the warmer climate. If complete coverage was required, the entire foot might be encased in leather. In some places or situations, a clog would be worn, particularly if one was ...


9

Avicenna (980–1037) said that fever was the increased temperature of the heart (Canon I, part 4), so he checked the temperature by touching the chest over the heart with the hand. This system was used during the Middle Ages and the Reinassance in Europe. It also helped to check the pulse. Avicenna based his works on Galen and Hippocrates, perhaps they ...


8

The footnotes on this (and other editions of Josephus) seem to be referring to pages in A Collection of Authentick Records Belonging to the Old and New Testament by William Whiston. In this case, another online version offers this particular footnote with the reference thus: (11) The number of Adam’s children, as says the old tradition, was thirty three ...


7

Calvörde Castle in Saxony-Anhalt is an example of a rather common (to my great surprise) phenomena - the Marsh Castle. It guarded transportation routes between Brandenburg, Brunswick, and Magdeburg.


6

The first issue, it almost goes without saying, is that in the 1400s it was still a fairly rare thing to know how to read and write, and in fact reading and writing were essentially two separate skills. There were many, many scribes during the medieval era whose job it was to copy down ancient texts and who often had no idea what, exactly, it was that they ...


6

My grandfather was a antiquarian book store owner in 1920s, in Kiev (Ukraine), and he bound books (I possess some books bound by him). With all ingredients ready he was able to bind 2-3 books per day, alone, with no helper. This is based on what my father told me (sometimes my father helped). But he was not binding them full time: he had to attend the store....


6

Historians agree that historiographic reading of the documentary record of the past, may produce sustainable historical accounts. They disagree on: what constitutes the documentary record of the past. what constitutes historiographic reading. what a historical account is. Historians do not agree that the past comprises facts. Nor do they agree that the ...


5

You may find the field of "big history" relevant to your interests. David Christian's book Maps of Time is an excellent introduction. This work isn't as quantitatively oriented as what you are looking for, but you may still find it useful. (As an aside, I can't resist echoing the warning tweeted by Neil DeGrass Tyson: "In science, when human behavior enters ...


5

Before electrical lighting, there was gas lighting. One type of gas operated light is the limelight, where a piece of quicklime is heated white hot in a flame of hydrogen burning with pure oxygen. Quoting wikipedia: Limelight was first used for indoor stage illumination in the Covent Garden Theatre in London in 1837 and enjoyed widespread use in theatres ...


5

First of all, swords are made from steel and casting steel is an advanced technology not available in the 17th century. Swords and all other steel tools are forged, which means that the steel ingot is hammered into shape. The rapier was original to Toledo and at one time that city exported swords to all parts of Europe. Later, of course, their work was ...


5

Since times immemorial, most all types of swords were made by forging rather than casting. Casting a sword is visually appealing, which is why you see that in the movies, but was not used in practice for multiple reasons, foremost of which were metallurgical concerns. Casting steel requires significantly higher temperatures than forging (~1400°C vs. ~800°C)...


5

Project with a full lung Filling your lungs forces the air out more effortlessly and with more volume The Amphitheater The Amphitheater was designed to create a natural amplification of voices on stage. The audience seating is a series of staggered parabolas with the stage as the focal point, and the material dampens the sound you don't want (audience ...


5

A) The earliest documentation I've found regarding the use of sharkskin as sandpaper goes back to the British Empire in the mid 18th century. Sharkskin was apparently only used to finish very fine work: Cabinet makers would use the more accurate honed edges of planes to get a smooth surface, and the finest work was finished by burnishing with a cow's ...


5

The standard way to check it is to touch one's forehead with your hand or better with your lips. You immediately detect whether the temperature of the patient is higher or lower than your own. This method is still practiced when termometer is not available. You can detect deviations of the patient's temperature from your own temperature within 0.2 of degree ...


5

As your typing speed increases, you require a typewriter that does not jam as you type. The IBM Selectric met this need, and thus was widely adopted by any business or government agency which could afford it. The IBM Selectric was introduced in 1961; also see here. For everything you ever wanted to know about the IBM Selectric typewriter, such as how it ...


5

As @jamesqf comments above, what appears to be the case is that manual type wheel and similar designs require more effort to operate, which translates into slower typing. When you think about it that makes sense, the wheel or ball head is much heavier than a single type bar, and it needs to both move forward and rotate by the press of a single finger. The ...


5

Roman concrete: The strength and longevity of Roman marine concrete is understood to benefit from a reaction of seawater with a mixture of volcanic ash and quicklime to create a rare crystal called tobermorite, which may resist fracturing. As seawater percolated within the tiny cracks in the Roman concrete, it reacted with phillipsite naturally found in the ...


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