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History

From the powerful civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Indus Valley, to the fearsome yet sophisticated society of the Vikings, the ancient world was a surprising and challenging place. Here we feature some of the most seminal and influential events and people throughout history, that have helped shape the world we know today.

The Mapungubwe Gold Rhinoceros

South Africa’s National Gold Treasures Just Got Rarer

Gold has been prominent in human thought and history for over 6,000 years. Considered by some, to be one of earth’s rarest and most valued precious metals, it has gained a peculiar, and indeed, an...
The “Burney Relief,” which is believed to represent either Ishtar, the Mesopotamian goddess of love and war, or her older sister Ereshkigal, Queen of the underworld (c. 19th or 18th century BC).

In Ancient Mesopotamia, Sex among the Gods Shook Heaven and Earth

Sexuality was central to life in ancient Mesopotamia, an area of the Ancient Near East often described as the cradle of western civilisation roughly corresponding to modern-day Iraq, Kuwait, and...
Large trees in image are Yellowwood (Afrocarpus falcatus=Podocarpus falcatus) by Androstachys

The Ghosts of Knysna Forest: Footsteps of the Once Great Elephant Herds Gone with the Wind

Before man invaded, a vast stretch along the southern coast of Africa, was once a lush green forest. A seagull’s view coming in from the sea would have seen the whitewash breakers of the Indian ocean...
Two Sides to Every Story: The North American Martyrs Shrines and Indigenous/ Roman Catholic Relations – Part II

Two Sides to Every Story: The North American Martyrs Shrines and Indigenous/ Roman Catholic Relations – Part II

Read Part 1 Jerome Lalemant, the second Superior of the Huron mission, said there were so few converts because no Jesuit had been martyred yet. It is stated more than once that if the “glorious crown...
Head from a red granite statue of Amenhotep III wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt found at Karnak; side panel of one of the Colossi of Memnon shows a relief of Hapy, the Nile god, and a sculpture of Queen Tiye; design by Anand Balaji

Amenhotep III, The Man and his Monuments: Age of Empire and Architecture –Part II

With the empire witnessing an unprecedented era of peace and prosperity, Amenhotep III embarked on a grand building project that spanned the length and breadth of Egypt. The monuments he commissioned...
Scene from the movie, Troy, loosely based on Homer’s Iliad. (Troy)

Toxic Masculinity Fostered by Misreadings of the Classics

Homer’s Iliad has been used by some men to hail the virtues of traditional masculinity in the 21st century. Typically, the famous work of literature serves as a sort of manual of manliness . Scholars...
Detail from the outermost shrine of Tutankhamun showing a seated deity; design by Anand Balaji

KV62, Designed to Confound: Wealth of Mysteries in the Curious Tomb of Tutankhamun—Part II

Egyptological scholars are divided over whether a right-hand turn to the burial chamber in an Eighteenth Dynasty tomb signifies that it belonged to a female pharaoh. With this feature present in the...
Golden Hill of Mapungubwe (Copyright University of Pretoria)

Archaeozoology at Mapungubwe: Let the Bones Speak

Ever since Creation, mankind has had an interdependent relationship with the animal kingdom. Mapungubwe (circa 1220 to 1290 AD) on the northern border of South Africa, is an Iron Age settlement and...
The entrance to KV62, the tomb of Tutankhamun, in the Valley of the Kings; design by Anand Balaji

KV62, Designed to Confound: Was Tutankhamun’s Tomb built for a Female Pharaoh?—Part I

One of the greatest enigmas in all of Egyptology is the location of the final resting place of Queen Nefertiti, a powerful royal personage of the late Eighteenth Dynasty. Barring pieces of a votive...
 Matabele land and the Victoria Falls: a naturalist's wanderings in the interior of South Africa, from the letters and journals of the late Frank Oates / edited by C.G. Oates. 1881

The Masebe Mountains in Africa Speak Their Ancient Names

Africa is a continent where its people are in spiritual communication with the soul of the land, as typically illustrated in the Masebe Nature Reserve in the Limpopo province of South Africa...
Alexander the Great Refuses to Take Water by Giuseppe Cades (1792)

Alexander the Great: Veterans and Settlers – Part III

Watching the fast-evolving state of affairs following Alexander’s death, the Athenian demagogue Demades compared the Macedonian army to the: “Cyclops after his one eye had been burned out, seeing its...
Illustration of a Minoan ship

3,500-Year-Old Advanced Minoan Technology Was ‘Lost Art’ Not Seen Again Until 1950s

The Minoans employed advanced construction methods using natural materials to create seaworthy composite ship hulls which would not be out-of-place in a modern-day marina. The construction method...
Welsh love spoon.

Spooning in Early Modern Wales: The Sweet Symbolism of a Welsh Love Spoon

Roses are red Violets are blue, Presenting a spoon Means I love you While one often thinks of presenting his/her loved ones with flowers or candy as a gesture of romance, it was once more common to...
Alexander the Great trust to physician Phillip by Henryk Siemiradzky (1870)

Alexander the Great: Bleeding Asia Dry – Part II

A famous Roman aphorism was used well by Tacitus: “They plunder, they slaughter, and they steal; this they falsely name Empire, and when they create a desert, then they call it peace”. It is a...
The Great Sun Court of Amenhotep III at Luxor Temple; and detail of a calcite statue shows Amenhotep III with a solar form of the crocodile god Sobek, likely Sobek-Horus; design by Anand Balaji

Amenhotep III, the Man and his Monuments: Sparkling Glories of the Magnificent One – Part I

Few pharaohs in ancient Egyptian history could hold a candle to the stupendous achievements of Amenhotep III in various spheres. Everything that this daring king touched turned to gold. Be it...
Statue of lovers

How to Win Love and Ruin A Marriage in 5 Easy Steps: ‘Ars Amatoria’ by Ancient Love Guru, Ovid

Before Tinder and Plenty of Fish took over the dating world , men and women used to resort to meeting each other the old-fashioned way—in person, or not at all. Before the internet, dating advice...

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