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Ancient art in the Altai Mountains, Russia. While the world’s best-known cave art exists in France and Spain, examples of it abound throughout the world.

Did Humans Speak Through Cave Art? Ancient Drawings and Language's Origins

When and where did humans develop language? To find out, look deep inside caves, suggests an MIT professor. More precisely, some specific features of cave art may provide clues about how our symbolic...
Tablet hypothesized to be the oldest writing ever discovered.

An 8,000-year-old Slab Holds the “Oldest Writing” Ever Discovered! Or Does It?

A tiny ceramic slab dated to around 6000 BC with “written signs” has been discovered by archaeologists at a prehistoric settlement near the town of Nova Zagora in Southeast Bulgaria. And, they...
The comb was discovered in Ribe, West Denmark.

Objects with Viking Rune Inscriptions Unearthed in Denmark’s Oldest Town

Ancient objects with rare Viking rune inscriptions have been discovered in Denmark. Experts suggest that the runic inscriptions could possibly shed new light on a very important period of the early...
The notes in the Book of Deer are the first written examples of Scottish Gaelic and they hint at the location of the monastery where it was written

Search for Long-Lost Monastery Linked with the Medieval ‘Book of Deer’ May Be Over

The monastery where the significant Scottish text called the ‘Book of Deer’ was created disappeared from the pages of history about 1,000 years ago. After a decade of excavations looking for the site...
Egyptian mummy mask

Secret Text in Ancient Mummy Cases to Be Revealed With New Tech

The hieroglyphics that adorn the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs are pure propaganda, designed to present the pharaoh or noble person in the best light possible. But scraps of papyrus paper used with...
A cylinder seal impression, ca. 2100 BC, sometimes interpreted as Ur-Nammu (seated) bestowing governorship on Ḫašḫamer, ensi of Iškun-Sin.

The Code of Ur-Nammu: When Ancient Sumerians Laid Down the Law, Everyone Obeyed

The Code of Ur-Nammu is the oldest surviving law code. This text was written on clay tablets in the Sumerian language and is reckoned to have been produced towards the end of the 3rd millennium BC...
Aristotle's School, a painting from the 1880s by Gustav Adolph Spangenberg.

The Nicomachean Ethics: How to Approach the Ethical Musings of Aristotle

Aristotle spoke thoughtfully as he strolled along the natural pathways of the Lyceum and his companions were entranced by their teacher’s words. His philosophical musings seemed to intertwine...
2nd century AD copy of a 4th cent. BC sculpture of Aristotle, which Alexander the Great commissioned from the sculptor Lysippus.

Aristotle: The Man Who Needs No Introduction

Before embarking on our journey to character and (self) leadership, we should briefly discuss the life and work of Aristotle, the man and the philosopher - he who needs no introduction. Aristotle’s...
Bust of Euripides. Marble, Roman copy after a Greek original from ca. 330 BC. Codex Hierosolymitanus Sancti Sepulcri 36, p. 539.

Overwriting Euripides: Hidden Classical Texts Were Washed Over in Medieval Times

The idea to reduce, re-use, and recycle is not a modern phenomenon. Over the last few years, there have been several instances in which scientists and historians have found ancient texts being...
Maiestas Domini page from Codex Amiatinus (fol. 796v), Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana and folio 5r from the Codex Amiatinus (Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, MS Amiatinus 1), Ezra the scribe. "When the sacred books had been consumed in the fires of war, Ezra repaired the damage."

The Codex Amiatinus: The Skins of 500 Calves Were Used to Create this Monumental Manuscript

The Codex Amiatinus dates to the end of the 7th century AD; making it the oldest known surviving complete Catholic Bible written in the Latin Vulgate. It has been estimated that over 1500 calves were...
The engraved whetstone found in Oslo, Norway. Credit: Karen Langsholt Holmqvist/NIKU

Puzzling Medieval Runes Found on Stone in Norway

A rare find of a stone bearing engravings of runes that date back to the Middle Ages has been unearthed recently at an excavation near Oslo. The relic is a whetstone which was a tool used for...
Papyrus (P. BM EA 10591 recto column IX, beginning of lines 13-17).

Ancient Advanced Technology Reveals Itself in Egyptian Papyrus Ink

A new study shows ink on 2,000-year-old Egyptian papyri fragments contains copper. This means the assumption that carbon was the only basis for ink to write on ancient papyri is now a thing of the...
Detail of a relief of Herodotus by Jean-Guillaume Moitte, 1806. Cour Carrée in the Louvre Palace, Paris, France.

Picking Apart the Words of Herodotus: Was He a Father of Histories or Lies?

“I owe it to tell what is being told, but I by no means owe it to believe it”. Herodotus, [Book 7.153-2] Herodotus was an ancient Greek writer who lived during the 5th century BC. He was born in what...
Julius Caesar by Peter Paul Rubens.

“Veni, Vidi, Scripsi”: The Literary Conquests of Gaius Julius Caesar

A man who needs no introduction, Gaius Julius Caesar is more than well known for the stories he spearheads—namely, his numerous military victories. (Although, even his defeats somehow sound rather...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

Ostraca: Voices from the Place of Truth—An intimate glimpse into New Kingdom Egypt

Athenians meted out harsh punishments to those who fell afoul of prevalent laws or societal norms. If citizens had done something terrible, they ran the risk of being exiled from the city for up to...
relief at the ancient Persian city of Persepolis (now in modern Iran), including inscriptions in cuneiform, the world’s oldest form of writing.

The Controversial Road to the Recovery of Cuneiform Texts

It is a little-known piece of history that Saddam Hussein was a great fan of ancient Mesopotamian literature. His enthusiasm for epics written in cuneiform – the world’s oldest known form of writing...

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