1- Who was Marco Polo?
He was a Venetian merchant traveler from the Venetian Republic whose travels are recorded in Il Milione, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China.
2- What historical period is the text from?
What do you know about this period? From century CIII. Marco Polo found a class of black stones in the province of Catai.
3- What region does the text discuss? What do we call it nowadays?
The text discuss in the province of Catai. Cathai is the Anglicized version of "Catai" and an alternative name for China in English.
4- Compare the technological development of the east with that of the west during this period.
The early Middle Ages coincided with the Islamic Golden Age. In this period there weren't many invents and at that time, Islamic philosophy, science, and technology were more advanced than in Western Europe. The period saw major technological advances, including the invention of the cannon, spectacles, and artesian wells, and the cross-cultural introduction of gunpowder, silk, the compass, and the astrolabe from the east; so in the Middle ages in the Eastern part of Europe had more technological development than the Western part.
In my opinion, this book ´´Libro de las maravillas´´, have this title because inside it there are many adventures and fantastic stories of the energies.
6-What stones do you think the text is talking about?
Is talking about coal because the book said ´´this stones there are black and flammable´´.
7-What properties and advantages do the stones in the text have?
The properties and advantages are:
-These stones are mined from the mountains, and which glow, making flames like firewood, they are consumed completely like charcoal.
-They maintain a fire and produce heat for cooking better than wood-If you make a fire at night and make sure that it catches well, it will stay alight for the whole night, right through to the morning.