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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.

Arabian Nights by Jean-Joseph Benjamin Constant (1845 – 1902) (Public Domain)

Romance of the Beautiful Slave and the Rebellious Ruler: Al-Khayzuran and Al-Mahdi

Arabian Nights conjure up images of romantic love stories of slave girls’ rags to riches journeys of the heart. We celebrate Valentine’s Day with the real love story of such a slave girl. It was not...
François Clouet - Dame au bain (Portrait of Diane de Poitiers)

A Mistress with the Midas Touch: Her Hunger for Gold Would Be the Death of Her

Diane de Poitiers was a French noblewoman and courtier who lived during the 16 th century. She is best remembered for being the mistress of Henry II, the King of France. This allowed Diane to wield...
Mosaic of the vault of the chapel of San Zeno (IX century).

Jesus’ Fashion Faux Pas: What Was He Wearing?

Joan Taylor / The Conversation Over the past few decades, the question of what Jesus looked like has cropped up again and again. Much has been made of a digital reconstruction of a Judaean man...
North Sea once formed a land-bridge between Europe and Britain.

St Michael’s Ley-line Leading to Legendary Doggerland

Does the St Michael ley-line reach far beyond the boundaries of our imagination to a destination lost in time and shrouded in myth? Doggerland was once a land-bridge connecting Britain to Europe...
Detail of the Berlin bust of Nefertiti; and the latest 3D sculpture of the queen based on the mummy of the Younger Lady; design by Anand Balaji

Bust of Contention: Nefertiti’s sculpture raises issues of Race and Color—Part II

The recent attempt at reconstructing the face of the iconic beauty, Nefertiti, by basing her looks on the mummy of the Younger Lady found in KV35 has caused an enormous uproar among Egyptophiles all...
‘The Last Judgment’ triptych (open) (1467-1471) by Hans Memling.

Prophecy of the Popes: Are We Reaching the End of Days?

For thousands of years, people all over the ancient world claimed to have the powers of foresight. In 1143, The Prophecy of the Popes was created - listing the future attributes of the 112 pontiffs...
Limestone trial piece showing the head of Nefertiti; and detail of the mummy of the Younger Lady; design by Anand Balaji (Photo credit: Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin and G. Elliot Smith); Deriv.

Bust of Contention: Controversy erupts as the Younger Lady is dubbed Nefertiti—Part I

Few ancient Egyptian royals are capable of garnering as much attention, generating frenzy, and stoking controversy globally as the legendary beauty Queen Nefertiti can. Despite having been a powerful...
A bottle of an elixir.

Seeking Life but Finding Death: Deadly Chinese Elixirs of Immortality

The elixir of immortality (known also as the ‘elixir of life’) is a legendary substance found in many ancient cultures. This elixir is expected to grant eternal life to the person who consumes it...
George Catlin, Tchung-kee, a Mandan Game Played with a Ring and Pole", 1832-3.

Ancient North Americans Played High-stakes Games

University of California, Santa Barbara From games of chance to tests of physical skill, ancient North America Indians took their sport and recreation seriously, research shows. “Games are ubiquitous...
A shepherd (Jesus? Tammuz? Other?) with his flock.

Tammuz and Jesus: More Than a Distant Connection?

Christianity has its origins in a Middle Eastern religion, Judaism, so it is little surprise that there are some residual similarities between Christian theological thought and ancient Middle Eastern...
Detail from one of the three surviving planks of Queen Tiye's wooden shrine from KV55; made of wood, gesso and gold leaf. Egyptian Museum, Cairo.

The Golden Shrine of Queen Tiye: Reburial of a Rebel Ruler and His Mother - Part II

When he came to the throne, Pharaoh Tutankhamun set about transporting the royal remains of his immediate ancestors from Amarna to Thebes. The inhabitants of the Sun City had also begun to slowly...
Scene from the decorated upper portion of the East wall in KV62 shows the mummified Tutankhamun lying supine within a tall, garland-bedecked shrine; design by Anand Balaji (Photo credit: Meretseger Books); Deriv.

Nefertiti and a Rush of Scans: Will the Beautiful One Arise in the King’s Valley? — Part II

After nearly a year of silence, the tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings is once again back in focus thanks to the Ministry of Antiquities granting permission to a team of Italian experts...
Superimposed photo of Nefertiti’s bust on Tutankhamun’s mask; and artist’s rendering of the proposed rooms behind the KV62 burial chamber; design by Anand Balaji (Photo credit: Roy Lester Pond and Anand Balaji/Deposit Photos); Deriv.

Nefertiti and a Rush of Scans: Race to find Double Burial Gathers Steam—Part I

The world famous tomb of Tutankhamun was thrust into the spotlight like never before, ever since Dr Nicholas Reeves published a paper titled The Burial of Nefertiti? in August 2015. Based on ultra-...
A relief originally from the tomb of Userhat (TT47) at Thebes depicts Queen Tiye. Brussels Royal Museum.

The Golden Shrine of Queen Tiye: When and How Did It Reach the Theban Necropolis? -Part I

Among the hundreds of ancient rock-cut royal sepulchers that have been discovered in Egypt one in particular, KV55, stands out for its infinite intrigue. At some point in time, this Eighteenth...
Wasteland Viking Ship

Christian Round Churches Hide Astronomical Secrets of the Viking Seafarers

Orkney is an archipelago in the northern isles of Scotland, annexed by Norwegian explorers in 875 AD and Christianized by King Olaf Tryggvason of Norway, (960s – 1000). It was from Orkney where many...
Poseidon, god of the Mediterranean Sea

Poseidon’s Wrath - The Scourge of the Sea Peoples

Perhaps 3 000 years from now archaeologists will be debating the reasons for the diaspora that occurred in the lands around the Mediterranean Sea during the early 21st century. What would have...

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