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Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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Representational image of the Muslim explorer Ibn Hawqal. Source: nsit0108 / Adobe Stock

The Uncharted Horizons of Ibn Hawqal, the World’s First Travel Writer

At a time when the outlines of the known world were a mystery to many, and even the most powerful empires had no idea about the realms beyond their distant borders, the scholars of the Muslim world...
Ancient voyages set off to discover new realities. Source: XaMaps/Adobe Stock

8 Ancient Voyages That Changed the World

Throughout human history, the call of the unknown has driven explorers to embark on daring voyages into uncharted waters. These intrepid explorers have braved treacherous seas, and unknown dangers,...
Isabel Gramesón survived alone in the Amazon jungle during her quest to be reunited with her husband. Source: Chernyakov Aleksandr / Adobe Stock

Isabel Gramesón Walked 3,000 Miles Across The Amazon For Love

Back in the 1730s, a group of daring Frenchmen embarked on a mission to calculate the true size and shape of the Earth. Led by Charles Marie de la Condamine as part of the famed French Geodesic...

The World Only Knows About Marco Polo Because of His Ghostwriter Prison Cell Mate

Marco Polo may be a household name, but few know that his famous literary masterpiece, The Travels of Marco Polo , was not only written while he was in prison, but was penned by somebody else. Marco...
The Australian National Maritime Museum say the Endeavour shipwreck discovery, pictured here underwater in Newport Harbor, USA, is the real thing but Rhode Island maritime authorities say it’s too early to be sure.					Source: Australian National Maritime Museum

Has Captain Cook’s Endeavour Shipwreck Finally Been Confirmed off Rhode Island?

The HMS Endeavour is the famous ship that Captain James Cook used on the first expedition to Australia in 1768 AD. The wreck of the ship that enabled this voyage is now believed to have been found...
New evidence proves that Norse explorers discovered the Azores 700 years before the Portuguese. Source: Catmando / Adobe Stock

Norse Explorers Reached Azores 700 Years Before Portuguese

Until now it was believed that the Azores island group was discovered by Portuguese sailors in the 15th century. However, a new study shows Norse explorers had brought animals to the islands 700...
Found amongst almost 1,500 artifacts conserved from a group of buildings at Cape Adare, this Antarctic fruitcake made by Huntley & Palmers was discovered wrapped in paper within the rusted remains of its original tin. It was probably left behind by Scott’s Terra Nova expedition. Source: Antarctic Heritage Trust

This Fruitcake Is Still Good After a Century in the Antarctic!

A traditional English fruitcake is not what researchers in the Antarctic expected to find inside an explorer’s camp. Having survived over a century of snow, ice and wind on what is regarded as one of...
Voyage Compass

Who Reached America First? Hint: NOT Columbus!

Even today, many people still believe that Christopher Columbus was the person who “discovered” America when he landed there in 1492. That belief overlooks the fact that indigenous people had already...
Many think of modern globalization as a corporate phenomenon, linking it to the spread of coronavirus. But in fact, archaeology evidences it began in antiquity up to 5,000 years ago. Pictured: Ptolemy’s Global map. 	Source: British Library

Elephants to Electronics: The Ancient Phenomenon of Modern Globalization

Many think of globalization as a modern and corporate phenomenon , and it has been readily linked to the spread of coronavirus. But modern globalization isn’t new. Archaeological research shows it...
Portuguese caravel of the 15th century. Credit: Michael Rosskothen / Adobe Stock

Epic Voyage of Vasco da Gama Connected Europe to the East

Vasco da Gama was a Portuguese sailor and explorer who lived between the 15th and 16th centuries. Not only is da Gama a significant figure in the history of Portugal and Europe, but he is also an...
Native Americans see the arrival of an explorer’s ship. Credit: ginettigino / Adobe Stock

Amerigo Vespucci: The Forgotten Explorer Who Named America

The age of discovery is certainly one of the most dramatic periods of European history - a period of revolutionary voyages and contacts with the fascinating and mysterious New World . Many prominent...
Embarkation of the Pilgrims’ (1857) by Robert Walter Weir. Source: Public Domain

Why the Pilgrims were Actually Able to Survive

By Peter C. Mancall / The Conversation Sometime in the autumn of 1621, a group of English Pilgrims who had crossed the Atlantic Ocean and created a colony called New Plymouth celebrated their first...
Portrait of Juan Ponce de León.

The Fake Story of Juan Ponce de León and the Fountain of Youth

Juan Ponce de León was one of the first Europeans known to have set foot on what is today the United States of America. This was due to his expedition to the area now known as Florida (the first one...
The residents of San Miguel De Gualdape were overcome with sickness in the swampy environment. (NPS / Public Domain)

To the Shores of Distant Death: The Failed Colony of San Miguel De Gualdape

The year is 1526. Onto the wild and wooded lands of what is today Georgia in the United States, European feet had never permanently walked. These forests and river valleys, the wild rolling hills of...
Strange Island in Fog

Hy-Brasil: The Legendary Phantom Island of Ireland

Hy-Brasil is a mysterious island appearing on maps from 1325 to the 1800s. In Irish myth, it was said to be clouded in mist except for one day every seven years, when it became visible but still...
Detail of the breastplate from Captain Matthew Flinders' grave. (HS2) Insert: Watercolour miniature portrait of British navigator Matthew Flinders, dated about 1800.

Archaeologists Find the Lost Grave of Captain Flinders – The First to Circumnavigate Australia

Archaeologists working at a famous burial site in London have identified the remains of a very important British explorer and navigator. They have found the coffin and remains of Captain Matthew...
The mummified body of Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses the Great.

Mysterious Cocaine Mummies: Do They Prove Ancient Voyages Between Egypt and Americas?

Evidence which shows that ancient Egyptians had already crossed the Atlantic 3,000 years ago, long before Columbus in 1492, comes not only from the mimicking of cultural traditions as seen in Peru...
Ruins of Talietumu fort on ʻUvea.

Talietumu Fort, Wallis and Futuna: The Fortress for a King Whose Feet Could Never Touch the Ground

The islands of the South Pacific are best known as tropical paradises and many of them also have long histories and fascinating cultures. Talietumu is an archaeological site in the Polynesian islands...
Rolled up parchment with information of payment to William Weston from Henry VII

A Timeworn Scroll Reveals King Henry VII’s Interests in New World Colonization

In AD 1499 England launched its very first English-led expedition to "Terra Nova” (New World) and now researchers studying a 16th century scroll have found King Henry VII awarded William Weston, one...
HMS Endeavour Replica

Have Experts Finally Located the Wreck of Cook’s Ship HMS Endeavour?

Marine archaeologists are about to announce that they have solved one of the greatest maritime mysteries of all time. They believe that they have finally discovered the wreck of HMS Endeavour, the...
Statue of Queen Ankhnes-meryre II and Her Son, Pepy II. (Brooklyn Museum) Background: Papyrus with ancient Egyptian writing.

Explorer Rushes Back to Collect Pygmy Prize After Child Pharaoh’s Golden Letter

Harkhuf the Explorer, while traveling through Nubia, received an urgent message from the Pharaoh himself. “Come to the Palace at once!” the king’s letter read. “Drop everything!” This was unusual...
Discovery of Brazil. Pedro Alvares Cabral sees the land that would later be known as Brazil for the first time

Pedro Alvares Cabral: The Lucky Lost Navigator Who Made Brazil Portuguese

Pedro Alvares Cabral was a Portuguese explorer and navigator who lived between the 15th and 16th centuries. He is generally given credit for being the first person from Europe to have ‘discovered’...
A full-size model of a "middle-sized treasure boat" (63.25 m long) of the Zheng He fleet at the Treasure Boat Shipyard site in Nanjing built ca. 2005.

Could Clues From the Ocean Floor Finally Lead to Zheng He’s Lost Treasure Ship?

A recent investigation off the coast of Sri Lanka is offering hope that the lost treasure ship of Zheng He, one of the most famous admirals in Chinese history, may finally be found. This ship sank...
Illustration representing an ancient explorer.

Did This Ancient Explorer Make It to The Arctic In 325 BC?

The first arctic explorer isn’t who you think. More than 2,300 years ago, Pytheas of Massalia traveled to the Arctic Circle and back – and, when he came home, nobody believed him. In a time when most...

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