dynasty

The rear wall of the coffin chamber in née Wu's tomb. Image: Chinese Cultural Relics

Inscriptions on Song Dynasty Tombs Narrate the Captivating Tale of an Ancient Chinese Couple

Archaeologists have announced the discovery of two 800-year-old tombs that narrate the story of an ancient Chinese couple. The tombs were found in a construction site in Qingyuan County, in China's...
The imposing mortuary temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu. Design by Anand Balaji.

Butehamun, Opener of the Gates to the Underworld: Dismantling Sacred Places of the Dead

At the very end of the Twentieth Dynasty and through to the beginning of the early Twenty-First Dynasty, one after another, the many royal dead in the Valley of the Kings were divested of their...
A full-size model of a "middle-sized treasure boat" (63.25 m long) of the Zheng He fleet at the Treasure Boat Shipyard site in Nanjing built ca. 2005.

Could Clues From the Ocean Floor Finally Lead to Zheng He’s Lost Treasure Ship?

A recent investigation off the coast of Sri Lanka is offering hope that the lost treasure ship of Zheng He, one of the most famous admirals in Chinese history, may finally be found. This ship sank...
Some of the Song Dynasty coins found under a house in Fuliang county of Jingdezhen city in East China's Jiangxi province.

A Staggering 5.6 Tons of Coins Are Unearthed in China and Archaeologists Struggle to Fathom Who Hid Them

When a villager living in the Jiangxi province of China started to work on the foundation of his home, he couldn’t have imagined what he would find. The discovery of a hoard of coins soon led...
The hull of the ship was cracked, suggesting it was hit and took on water, leading to it being wrecked some 700 years ago

700-Year-Old Shipwreck Loaded with Artifacts Discovered in China

A team of archaeologists have discovered a shipwreck in China, which had been hiding under silt and mud for more than seven centuries. Experts suggest that the new find dates back to a chronological...
Liao Dynasty (907-1125) tomb mural by unknown painter in Inner Mongolia. Scene of everyday life. Men and boys have distinctive Khitan hairstyle. (Public Domain) Insert: A famous Liao Dynasty Sancai Luohan, Circa 1000

An Intriguing Empire: The Lasting Impression of the Nomadic Liao Dynasty on Chinese Culture

Well-represented in artifacts found in museums and private collections, the Liao Dynasty rose and expanded as the Tang Dynasty dwindled in power. This was the first state to control all of Manchuria...
The Forbidden city of China

The Forgotten History of Beijing’s First Forbidden City

Jonathan Dugdale / The Conversation An ancient site rooted in the heart of modern Beijing, the Forbidden City is one of China’s most famous attractions. Completed in 1420, the city served as the...
King Herihor and Queen Nodjmet adoring the god Osiris in the afterlife. (Photo credits: Trustees of the British Museum (Wikimedia Commons)); Deriv.

The Hunt for Herihor: Waning Pharaonic Power and Advent of Priest-kings–Part I

Early in the Twenty-First Dynasty, a High Priest of Amun-Re, Herihor, declared himself ruler. The custodians of the cult of the state god finally got what they had always yearned for—overtly and...
The tomb of Tang Xianzu was discovered in the city of Fuzhou. (CFP) Insert: Tang Xianzu (1550-1616), Ming poet and dramatist, author of Peony Pavilion.

A Dramatic Ending: Tomb of the Tang Xianzu, ‘Shakespeare of the Orient’, Has Finally Been Found

Tang Xianzu was a notable playwright in China during the Ming Dynasty. Sometimes called the “Shakespeare of the East,” he is best known for four plays, often called the “Four Dreams” and “ The Peony...
A photo of the Warangal Fort’s Kakatiya Kala Thoranam.

Warangal Fort: More Spiritual Haven than Safe Haven

When you think of a fort you probably picture a pretty solid and intimidating structure. A practical, no frills affair. The Warangal Fort was somewhat different. A huge and opulent construction built...
Grinding stone, Dendera Temple, Egypt.

The Evidence is Cut in Stone: A Compelling Argument for Lost High Technology in Ancient Egypt

Most people know of the great construction achievements of the dynastic Egyptians such as the pyramids and temples of the Giza Plateau area as well as the Sphinx. Many books and videos show...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

In the Shadow of Nakhtmin: The Unfortunate Crown Prince of Egypt

No other period in ancient Egyptian history had its share—almost a surfeit—of enigmatic and poorly understood characters as the Amarna era. Mysterious kings and queens apart, Nakhtmin, a...
 A painted relief of Ankhesenamun; design by Anand Balaji

The Hunt for Ankhesenamun: How Did a Young Woman Stop an Ancient Dynasty from Imploding? Part I

The names of Akhenaten, Nefertiti, and Tutankhamun—prominent players from the Eighteenth Dynasty of the New Kingdom period in ancient Egypt—have been in the spotlight for well over a century...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

Lasting Puzzle of the Unidentified KV35 Mummy: Is it Really Prince Webensenu Or Another?—Part I

A host of pharaohs who were removed to safety from their burial places in ancient times rested peacefully for millennia within the bowels of the magnificent tomb of Amenhotep II. Among the great...
A reconstruction of a burial site from prehistoric China. In Yinxu, about 2,500 pits filled with remains of sacrificial victims have been found in addition to other cemeteries were elites and other locals were buried.

Thousands of War Captives Enslaved for Years Before Being Slain as Sacrifice in Prehistoric China

Some archaeologists in China have analyzed the makeup of elements in the bones in a prehistoric cemetery and say the people buried there were probably war captives who were forced into slavery before...
Artist’s representation of Wei Zhongxian.

Wei Zhongxian: When China Yielded to the Terrifying Power of a Notorious Eunuch

Wei Zhongxian is often considered to be the most powerful and notorious eunuch in Chinese history. He had powers almost equivalent to that of the emperor’s and those who opposed him were ruthlessly...

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Top New Stories

Sealings from the archive of Doliche.
Classical scholars from the Cluster of Excellence "Religion and Politics" of the University of Münster discovered a large number of sealings in south-east Turkey. "This unique group of artifacts comprising more than 1,000 pieces from the municipal archive of the ancient city of Doliche gives many insights into the local Graeco-Roman pantheon -- from Zeus to Hera to Iuppiter Dolichenus

Myths & Legends

Detail, Chicomoztoc — the place of the seven caves.
Is Aztlan the ancient homeland of the great Aztec civilization, or is it just a mythical land described in legends? The Aztec people of Mexico created one of the greatest empires of the ancient...

Human Origins

Sumerian creation myth
Sumer , or the ‘land of civilized kings’, flourished in Mesopotamia, now modern-day Iraq, around 4500 BC. Sumerians created an advanced civilization with its own system of elaborate language and...

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View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
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