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A carving of an extinct deer in the Asphendou Cave on Crete.

Greek Art Goes Palaeolithic: Cretan Cave Art Includes an Animal Extinct for 11,000 Years

More than 11,000 years ago, an Ice Age artist carefully carved the images of deer into the floor of a cave on Crete. Others would follow this person’s lead and soon the engravings became a jumble of...
Detail of two dancers from the Tomb of the Triclinium in the Necropolis of Monterozzi.

Do not Underestimate the Etruscans: Art and Culture of their Own

Many folks see the Etruscan civilization as merely a segue, a follow up to the Greeks and a foreshadowing to the Romans. But casting this ancient society as a sideline character might not do them...
Ancient Greek Vase Celebrates the Exaltation of Our Ancestors as Gods

Ancient Greek Vase Celebrates the Exaltation of Our Ancestors as Gods

In 2016, Christie’s sold the Greek vase depicted above—a red-figure bell krater used for mixing wine with water—to a buyer in London for $220,000. It dates from 410 BC. For a mythology buff, what a...
The Oval Forum and Cardo Maximus in ancient Jerash

Garshu, Gerasa, Jerash: the Everchanging City of the Ancient World

Today, Jerash is a relatively unimposing town in the modern-day country of Jordan but its expansive and majestic ancient ruins reveal its glorious past. Even beneath its existing ruins lies a history...
A fragment of a wall painting showing two lovers in bed from the House of L Caecilius Jucundus in Pompeii, now at Naples National Archaeological Museum.

The Erotic Art of Ancient Greece and Rome

Craig Barker / The Conversation Rarely does L.P. Hartley’s dictum that “the past is a foreign country” hold more firmly than in the area of sexuality in classical art. Erotic images and depictions of...
A curse tablet wrapped around a chicken bone.

Ancient Sex Curse Revealed: May Your Penis Hurt When You Make Love!

Curse tablets in the ancient world are like Facebook posts today—they were everywhere, created by almost everyone, and can still be found in the strangest of places. They could be broadly vague or...
King Leonidas by David Baldo

After 300: The Posthumous Vengeance of King Leonidas of Sparta

Mythologically descended from the hero Herakles, the Agiad dynasty of ancient Sparta reigned alongside the Eurypontids almost since the beginning of the city-state. When war was on the borders of...
Illustrations to Dante's Divine Comedy: The Inscription over Hell-Gate

Toxicity at Gateway to Hell Explains ‘Miracle’ in Ancient City of Hierapolis

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here,” said William Shakespeare, and now, new scientific findings tells us how the devils got here! And it was through a “gateway to the underworld” located in...
A glass of beer.

Beer Over Wine? New Find Indicates Bronze Age Greeks Imbibed Both Beverages!

Wine wasn’t the only drink popular with ancient Greeks, according to a new report. The discovery of two Bronze Age breweries suggests that beer was a popular choice for alcohol too. Researcher Tania...
Camille Flammarion engraving, 188

Religion Isn’t The Enemy of Science: It’s Been Inspiring Scientists for Centuries

Take notice of any debate in the media and you’ll see that science and religion are, and always were, at loggerheads. Science is about evidence-based fact, religion is about faith-based belief. But...
‘Ariadne in Naxos’ (1877) by Evelyn De Morgan.

The Descent of Ariadne: Minoan Queen of the Dead to Mistress of the Labyrinth?

"Mistress of the Labyrinth", "the Great Goddess", "The Potnia ." These three terms have long been used, somewhat interchangeably, to describe the original forms of Ariadne, a Cretan princess who has...
Some of the ancient artifacts seized from the home of Michael H. Steinhardt.

Billionaire Accused of Illegally Owning Stolen Antique Artworks

New York’s Authorities that go after illegally obtained antique artworks have searched the Manhattan residence and office of notable billionaire Michael Steinhardt, who is suspected of illegally...
Illustrations to Dante's "Divine Comedy" - "Minos" by William Blake.

In Search of the Mythical King Minos, Did the Legendary Ruler Really Exist?

When we think of Minos, two images immediately come to mind: (1) the legendary and cruel tyrant of Crete who demanded the tribute of Athenian youths to feed to the Minotaur in the Labyrinth and (2) a...
The area where the ancient underground city was discovered in Turkey's Trabzon province represented here.

Ancient Underground City Found Hidden in Turkey's Trabzon Province

Archaeologists from Turkey have announced the discovery of an underground city dating back 4,000 years and ostensibly belonging to a Byzantine dynasty. The lost city was unearthed during urban...
Bust of Aeschylus, Zappeion, Athens. (Tilemachos Efthimiadis/CC BY SA 2.0) Illustration of the death of Aeschylus.

Eagle Mistakes Bald Head for a Rock: The Bizarre Circumstances Surrounding the Death of Aeschylus

Aeschylus, widely regarded as the “Father of Tragedy,” was one of the first of classical Athens’ great dramatists. He raised the emerging art of tragedy to new heights of poetry and theatrical power...
‘The Slave Market’ (1886) by Gustave Boulanger.

Skin Color Didn’t Matter to the Ancient Greeks and Romans

The term “racism” refers to a phenomenon of group hatred or bigotry based on ethnic and cultural prejudice. In the United States, the term is most often heard in conjunction with the descriptors “...

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