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Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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Alexandria

Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC, Alexandria was one of the most important and influential cities of the ancient  world. Located on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt, Alexandria served as a major center of trade, culture, and scholarship.

Under the Ptolemaic dynasty, which ruled Egypt after Alexander's death, Alexandria became a hub of learning and  innovation. The city was home to the famous Library of Alexandria, one of the  largest and most important libraries in the ancient world, which housed  thousands of scrolls and texts on a wide range of subjects, from science and  philosophy to literature and history.

The city was home to some of the most  renowned scholars, scientists, and philosophers of the ancient world, including  Euclid, Eratosthenes, and Hypatia.

1700, Cellarius Map of Asia, Europe and Africa according to Strabo. (Right) Drawing of Strabo. Source: PicturePast/Adobe Stock, Public Domain

Strabo's Geographica: A Grand Tour of the Ancient World

Strabo, a prominent Greek geographer, historian, and philosopher born around 64 BC, left an undeniable mark on ancient geography with his magnum opus, " Geographica ." This monumental work,...
Incredible orange sunrise at the temple of Philae, a Graeco-Roman construction seen from the Nile river, a temple dedicated to Isis, goddess of love. (unai/Adobe Stock)

The Golden Age of Ptolemaic Egypt (332-14 BC)

Alexander the Great conquered Egypt in 332 BC and after his death, his empire was divided. In 305 BC Egypt fell to his general Ptolemy I Soter . The Ptolemaic Dynasty was a powerful Hellenistic state...
The Elusive Quest: The Search for Antony and Cleopatra's Lost Tomb

The Elusive Quest: The Search for Antony and Cleopatra's Lost Tomb

When it comes to ancient love stories, few couples have captured the imagination quite like Mark Antony and Cleopatra. Their passionate romance, set against the backdrop of the Roman Empire’s...
A depiction of the Great Library of Alexandria, a symbol of the intellectual epicenter of the ancient city of Alexandria. Right: Detail of Raphael's (1509–1511) impression of Euclid, teaching students 	Source: Microgen / Adobe Stock

What Made Alexandria the Intellectual Capital of the Ancient World?

The ancient city of Alexandria, nestled on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt, held a unique and enduring status as the intellectual capital of its time. Its remarkable legacy as a hub for knowledge...
Inside the Catacomb of Kom El Shoqafa. The catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa `Mound of Shards` is a historical archaeological site located in Alexandria, Egypt, and is considered one of the Seven Wonders.  Source: mekarim/Adobe Stock

The Subterranean Artistry of Kom El Shoqafa: A Blend of Cultures Beneath the Earth

For centuries, Alexandria was one of the most important cities of the ancient world. Founded in 331 BC by Alexander the Great on the northernmost coasts of Ancient Egypt, this city rapidly grew as a...
Libraries of ancient wisdom that helped shape our understanding of the world. Source:  tilialucida/Adobe Stock

Halls of Ancient Wisdom: 7 Remarkable Ancient Libraries

Throughout history, some of the world’s most powerful rulers have acknowledged one simple fact, knowledge is power. This fact led them to build monumental testaments to the pursuit of knowledge and...
Deriv: Ptolemy as Pharaoh in the British Museum (Stella / CC BY-SA 4.0) and Ptolemy I, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Ptolemy Soter’s Strategy: Becoming Pharaoh And A God Of Egypt

Ptolemy I, one of the surviving generals of Alexander the Great, became satrap and eventually pharaoh of Egypt, but he had to employ spin doctors to recreate an impressive ancestry related to...
Cleopatra testing poisons on condemned prisoners.

Finding the Lost Mother of Cleopatra VII - Cleopatra V Tryphaena of Egypt

There is no inscription or papyrus to confirm who the mother of Cleopatra VII was, but the information that exists about her and the world of the Ptolemaic period suggest that it was Queen Cleopatra...
Temple of Bel, an ancient temple in Palmyra, Syria. The temple was destroyed by ISIS in 2015. Source: Janos/Adobe Stock

History Erased: The 6 Most Heartbreaking Archaeological Destructions

Have you ever wondered how the destruction of our past affects our future? World history is full of incredible stories of innovation, achievement, and triumph, but it is also full of tales of...
The underground tunnel found beneath Taposiris Magna. Credit: Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

Underground Tunnel Found Beneath Egyptian Temple May Lead to Cleopatra

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities have announced the incredible discovery of a rock-cut tunnel deep below ground in the area of the Taposiris Magna Temple, west of Alexandria in Egypt...
Hero’s trumpet automaton was a type of early doorbell, announcing the arrival of guests and dignitaries	Source: Vibe Images / Adobe Stock

Hero’s Clever Trumpet Automaton: A 2,000-Year-Old Doorbell

Much of the technology we have today is inspired by some of the most fascinating ancient inventions in history. One of these inventions was Hero’s trumpet automaton, which is considered to be one of...
Karnak temple in the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes. Source: Calin Stan / Adobe Stock

The Ten Essential Ancient Egyptian Cities: Relics of Egypt’s Storied Past

The various civilizations which developed within ancient Egypt were some of the most technologically advanced and beautiful of their time, giving birth to some of the greatest cities the world has...
Cleopatra. Source: Lumixera / Adobe Stock

Not Just a Pretty Face: Cleopatra Was a Genius Who Spoke 9 Languages

Cleopatra VII (69 – 30 BC) was Queen of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt and its last active ruler. Most famous for her love affairs with Mark Antony and Julius Caesar, Roman propaganda was quick to...
Compilation of the overall appearance of the statue based on Greek and Roman statuettes of the Sun-God and corresponding reconstruction of the 120m (393 ft) tall tower, designed by ©Andrew Michael Chugg

The Pharos Lighthouse Of Alexandria – Second Sun And Seventh Wonder Of The Ancient World

The Pharos lighthouse in Alexandria was constructed in the first two decades of the third century BC and it may have been nominated as one of the world’s Seven Wonders as early as the middle of the...
The Alexander the Great statue and many other artifacts were unearthed at the al-Shatby district of Alexandria shown in the image.               Source: Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

New Alexander the Great Statue Reveals Ancient History of Alexandria

The largest city on the Mediterranean coast and one of the world’s most historical places, Egypt’s Alexandria has a rich and storied history. The great city was founded by the ancient Greek king,...
Greek ceramics recently discovered in the Nile Delta at the legendary Thonis-Heracleion site, just off the coast from Alexandria, Egypt. Source: Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

Underwater Military Ship and Burials Found at Thonis-Heracleion, Egypt

The island-city of Thonis-Heracleion and its famous Temple of Amun was located in Egypt’s Abu Qir Bay, just north of Alexandria, Egypt. Greeks later settled in Thonis-Heracleion during the late...
How did the Greeks Measure the Earth’s Circumference?

How did the Greeks Measure the Earth’s Circumference?

It is considered obvious today that Earth is roughly a sphere and that it can be measured like any spherical object. Scientists technically call it an oblate spheroid, but it is still sphere-like in...
Thonis-Heracleion Sunken City

Finding the Lost City of Heracleion: Encountering Myth Under the Waves

The city of Heracleion was swallowed by the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Egypt nearly 1,200 years ago. It was one of the most important trade centers in the Mediterranean before it sank more...
Archaeologists Uncover Mix of Greek, Roman, And Coptic Ruins In Egypt

Archaeologists Uncover Mix of Greek, Roman, And Coptic Ruins In Egypt

Archaeologists exploring a site in southern Egypt unearthed a mixture of ruins and artifacts that chronicle human activity during three separate eras in Egyptian history. During excavations at the...
Mummy With Golden Tongue Found At Possible Site Of Cleopatra’s Tomb

Why Was This Mummy Found With A Golden Tongue?

During explorations at an ancient Egyptian temple near Alexandria in 2021, archaeologists found something startling and unique. While searching inside a burial shaft, they found a 2,000-year-old...
Is Cleopatra's tomb at Taposiris Magna's temple?

‘Sensational’ Find is NOT Cleopatra’s Tomb, But May Be a Clue

Taposiris Magna was just another archaeological site in Egypt until a rumor arose that the tomb of the famous Queen Cleopatra and her lover Mark Antony may be there. This location rises and fades...
Cleopatra’s Needle: The Story Behind the Obelisks

Cleopatra’s Needle: The Story Behind Three Awe-Inspiring Obelisks

Cleopatra’s Needle is the name shared by three ancient Egyptian obelisks – one in New York City, one in London, and one in Paris. However, each comes from a different Egyptian site and none may have...
Ancient Greek astronomy has baffled experts for centuries – how did they know what they knew so long ago? These four discoveries epitomize this. Pictured: view of the Earth, Moon and Sun from the space elements (original image from NASA). Source: vovan / Adobe stock

Four Discoveries of Ancient Greek Astronomy That Still Baffle Experts

The Histories by Herodotus (484BC to 425BC) offers a remarkable window into the world as it was known by ancient Greek astronomy in the mid fifth century BC. Almost as interesting as what they knew,...
Ptolemaic era temple Kon-Ombo            Source: xfargas / Adobe Stock

Last of the Kings of Egypt: The Ptolemaic Dynasty

Ptolemaic Egypt is distinctive in being both the last independent Egyptian dynasty and the last Hellenistic kingdom to fall to Rome . The Ptolemies were not native Egyptians, but Greek and Macedonian...

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