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The Oldest Tree in Europe has been Discovered in Italy

In Italy, researchers have found what they believe to be the oldest living tree in Europe, having calculated its age to be approximately 1230 years old, according to a report from Discovery. The tree...
Normal liver on the left, liver with cirrhosis on the right.

Study Reveals Hepatitis Virus has been Killing Humans Since the Stone Age

An international team of scientists led by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and the University of Kiel has successfully reconstructed genomes from Stone Age...
Reconstruction of a Beaker burial, (National Archaeological Museum of Spain, Madrid).

90% of the Neolithic British Gene Pool Was Replaced by Beaker Immigrants

Scientists once could reconstruct humanity's distant past only from the mute testimony of ancient settlements, bones, and artifacts. No longer. Now there's a powerful new approach for illuminating...
Pendant, Aurignacian culture, 31000-24000 BC

Did Prehistoric Middle Eastern Culture Visit Europe, Spawn Artistic Culture, and Leave?

A team of archaeologists investigating a cave in Israel, claims to have found evidence that prehistoric tools and artwork from Western Europe could possibly owe their existence to an earlier culture...
A Sheela na gig carving on a church in Kilpeck, England

Why Are There Carvings of Women Flashing Their Genitals on Churches Across Europe?

The last place one would expect to see an image of a woman flashing her genitals is a church wall, but across Europe, most notably Ireland and Britain, there are dozens of them. Most are old women...
16th or 17th century painting of the ‘Dance of Death.’ The living weren’t always scared of the dead.

Dance Macabre: How the Dead Danced with the Living in Medieval Society

Ashby Kinch / The Conversation In the Halloween season , American culture briefly participates in an ancient tradition of making the world of the dead visible to the living: Children dress as...
A reconstruction of ‘Lucy’ (public domain). Inset: One of the fossilized teeth discovered at Eppelsheim. Credit: The Museum of Natural History in Mainz

9.7 Million-Year-Old Teeth Found in Germany Belong to Hominin Only Known To Have Existed in Africa 4 Million Years Later

Archaeologists have made a discovery so sensational that they have waited 1 year to announce it as they had to be sure they had the dating correct. A set of teeth belonging to an early hominin...
Kukeri is a type of wild man in Bulgaria. Rituals with this ‘beast’ are believed to scare away evil spirits.

Beasts of the Pagan Wild Man Ritual Come in All Shapes and Sizes

The wild man is a creature found in various pagan traditions across Europe. Generally speaking, a wild man is a man dressed up in a beast-like costume for certain pagan rituals, which were normally...
The Battle of Rocroi, by Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau.

Social Consequences of the Thirty Years' War: Was it Worth it?

The Thirty Years’ War was a major European war that occurred during the 17 th century. Whilst the conflict took place mainly in the area of modern day Germany, it involved many of the great European...
Hendrick Avercamp’s ‘Ice Scene’ (c. 1610).

How Fashion Adapted to Climate Change – In the Little Ice Age

Lane Eagles / The Conversation One could say the consequences of the planet’s warming climate can be seen on fashion week runways and the shelves of Anthropologie and H&M. Silhouettes shrink as...
Vandalised site, showing fresh sand along the edges of the slab where it has been lifted and the holes left by the removal of two blocks in the centre. Babis Fassoulas, Author provided

Recently Discovered 6 Million-Year-Old Hominin Footprints Have Just Been Vandalized and Some Stolen

There has been a lot of interest in our discovery of nearly-6m-year-old footprints on Crete, first reported by the The Conversation – suggesting that human ancestors could have roamed Europe at the...
Sean's Bar is located on Main Street, Athlone, on the West Bank of the River Shannon, and was originally known as Luain's Inn.

Quaffing Here For 11 Centuries: Sean’s Bar Claims Title of Oldest Pub in Ireland, Europe and Possibly the World

Sean’s Bar is a pub (abbreviated from ‘public house’) located in Athlone, in Ireland’s County Westmeath. This bar holds the Guinness World Record for being the oldest public house in Ireland. In...
Elves and other fairy folk.

Divine, Demonic, or Something In-Between: How the Changing Face of Elves Reflects the Zeitgeist

Just as human culture has changed over the centuries, supernatural creatures also change with time. For example, elves were originally a type of nature spirit similar to Nymphs in Greek mythology...
‘A maid bringing medicine and soup to her master who has a cold.’ (1857)

Medicine Maidens: Why Did Women Become the Primary Medical Providers in Early Modern Households?

A primary female occupation in the early modern period (AD 1500-1800) was that of medicine. Though there were formal doctors—known by various titles and with various tasks detailed by their...
Sultan Mahmud II (Public Domain), and ornament from a Janissary's Cap, 17th century Turkey

Ultimatum from the Sultan to the Powerful Janissary Military - Change… Or Die! Guess what they Chose? The Auspicious Event—Part II

A force of disciplined, elite royal guards of the 15th and 16th century Ottoman Empire grew in size by seizing Christian children and raising them as civil servants and dangerous soldiers. The...
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk wearing the traditional Janissary uniform (Public Domain), and ornament from a Janissary's Cap, 17th century Turkey

The Powerful & Dangerous Janissaries and the Secret Plan to Destroy Them: The Auspicious Event—Part I

The Janissaries ( yeni-cheri , or “new troops”) were a small elite branch established by the Ottoman military sometime around the 14th century by Orhan Ghazi, second bey (chieftain), of the Ottoman...

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