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Detail of Stela 1, Fragment 1, front. La Corona, Guatemala.

Maya Snake King Dynasty Used Local Gods to Gain Authority in Rural Guatemala

Taking political control is often a violent affair, but tactics, knowledge of local customs and beliefs, and trickery can also be used to get an ambitious leader’s foot in the door. New research on...
Artist’s representation of Ragnar Lothbrok.

Ragnar Lothbrok: Legendary Hero or Historical Figure?

According to legend, Ragnar Lothbrok was a king of Denmark who succeeded Sigurd Hring in 804 AD. Some historians identify him with Reginherus, a Norse chieftain who was responsible for the siege of...
Bjorn Ironside as depicted in the TV series ‘Vikings.’

Bjorn Ironside: Viking Trickster and Founder of a House of Swedish Royalty

Bjorn Ironside was a famous Viking leader who legends say ruled Sweden as the first king from the House of Munsö. He lived during the 9th century AD and his father was the legendary Ragnar Lodbrok...
Drawing of the Medieval Birdman of Stirling Castle.

The Birdman of Stirling Castle: An Alchemical Pilot Searches for The Fifth Element

History books are peppered with stories of medieval European Alchemists attempting to turn base metals into gold and to produce elixirs of immortality. However, there was one disastrous alchemical...
Head of the statue discovered at the site of Dangeil in Sudan.

2,600-Year-Old Statue Identified as Vengeful Kush Ruler

Almost a decade ago archaeologists exploring a ruined temple dedicated to the Egyptian god Amun, near the Nile River in modern day Sudan, found a 2,600-year-old statue, but his identity remained...
This 2,700-year-old seal impression contains the Hebrew name for "Isaiah" and may refer to the biblical prophet who lived at the same time.

The Mark of a Prophet? This May Be the Signature of Isaiah

Back in 2009, archaeologists working near Temple Mount came across a collection of clay seals. One was identified in 2015 as belonging to King Hezekiah, an 8th century BC biblical king. Now, another...
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...
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...
 The broken top and bottom sections of the Assyrian stele.

British Museum Decided Against Uniting a Cursed Assyrian Stele and Bad Luck Fell to the Police

“Whoever discards this image from the presence of Salmanu puts it into another place, whether he throws it into water or covers it with earth or brings and places it into a taboo house where it is...
 The clinker-built Gokstad ship dating back to the year 890 AD is currently on display at the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, Norway. (Image: Museum of Cultural History, Oslo, 1938)

Who Was the Exceptionally Powerfully Built Viking Buried in the Gokstad Ship?

By ThorNews Ever since the publication of a scientific article in 1883, “everyone” has known that the skeleton found in the magnificent Gokstad ship in Eastern Norway belonged to Olaf Geirstad-Alf,...
Face of the coffin in which the mummy of Ramesses II was found. (Credit: Petra Lether, designed by Anand Balaji)

Living God in a Wooden Box: In Whose Coffin was Ramesses II Buried?

Usermaatre Setepenre Ramesses II, the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty, was one of ancient Egypt’s longest-reigning monarchs. In an astonishing sixty-seven regnal years – the glory days of...
Joshua’s armies depart a burning and looted Ai.

Military Blunder and the Death of a King: Joshua’s Debacle at Ai – Part II

The battle of Ai is probably one of history’s most overlooked battles in which military trainees or cadets can learn valuable lessons. Joshua—new leader of the tribes of Israel, great military leader...
‘The Divorce of the Empress Josephine’ (1843) by Henri Frédéric Schopin

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Divorce Laws Have Evolved, But One Country Is Holding Back

Divorce can be traced all the way back to ancient Greek and Roman societies. But the idea of marriage in these cultures was different from what is found in modern Western society, so it makes sense...
Ramesses III smites his enemies. Design by Anand Balaji.

Ramesses III, The Final Warrior Pharaoh: Devastating Sea Peoples and Egypt’s Finest Hour—Part II

The vile and vicious juggernaut of the Sea Peoples had laid waste to several cultures and had dispersed vast populations in their wake. When they were done pillaging and ravaging Levantine empires,...
A painted relief shows Ramesses III making offerings to the gods in the sanctuary of the temple of Khonsu at Karnak. Design by Anand Balaji.

Ramesses III, The Final Warrior Pharaoh: Savior of Egypt in Her Darkest Hour—Part I

The reign of Ramesses III proved to be unprecedented in more ways than one. While most of his predecessors often had to thwart the designs of Egypt’s enemies one at a time, he had to quell invasion...
Some Saxon Queens had killer reputations. (Public Domain);Deriv.

Killer Queen: Meet Queen Elfrida – The Original Wicked Stepmother

History has seen some incredible, cut-throat politics and lurid scandals, including the reign of Queen Elgiva: a teenage Saxon princess who was caught enjoying a threesome (along with her mother!),...

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