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Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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Famous People

In this section, we shed light on some of the most famous and infamous people known throughout history, from powerful pharaohs, to emperors and empresses, acclaimed military leaders, or just regular civilians who’ve been thrown into the spotlight for great crimes or for heroic actions, leaving an indelible mark on the world.

Persian Queen Atossa was a prominent figure of the Achaemenid Empire. Source: kharchenkoirina/Adobe Stock

Queen Atossa, Daughter of one Emperor, and Wife to Another

The famed Achaemenid Empire was an ancient Iranian empire that was founded by the renowned Cyrus the Great in 550 BC. It quickly arose as one of the leading global powers of the time, and swept...
A Roman emperor with his wife or mistress. AI generated.

Roman Emperors and Their Scandalous Love Lives (Video)

Roman emperors, often celebrated for their military prowess and political achievements, also had fascinating love lives that add depth to their historical personas. Julius Caesar , the iconic figure...
Roland at the Battle of Roncevaux holding the legendary Durandal sword. Source: Archivist / Adobe Stock

Durandal: The Epic Saga of Roland's Legendary Sword

Throughout history, renowned figures and legendary heroes have been associated with mythical swords. Excalibur , linked to King Arthur of Camelot, and the Zulfiqar, believed to have been a divine...
Marcus Aurelius (Matthew / Adobe Stock).

Marcus Aurelius: The Stoic Emperor (Video)

Exploring the life of Marcus Aurelius , the philosopher emperor of Rome, takes us into the history of a remarkable figure. Born in 121 AD to a prestigious family, Marcus was groomed for greatness...
Facial reconstruction of Cleopatra. Source: YouTube Screenshot / Royalty Now Studios.

Remarkable Facial Reconstruction of Cleopatra (Video)

Cleopatra, the famed Egyptian queen of the Ptolemaic dynasty , is a historical figure who has captured the imagination for centuries. Born in 69 BC, she ascended to the throne at just 18 years old...
Reconstruction of Roman Emperor Augustus. Source: YouTube Screenshot / Royalty Now Studios.

Reconstruction of Roman Emperor Augustus Reveals Him as a Handsome Young Man

Born Gaius Octavius and ascending to become the inaugural Roman Emperor, Augustus left an indelible mark on history. Roman sculpture of his era, marked by its devotion to realism, conveyed not only...
Queen Mary I of England. Source: Yuri A/peopleimages.com / Adobe Stock.

The Ruthless Things Queen (Bloody) Mary Did (Video)

Queen Mary I of England, often known as " Bloody Mary ," ruled during a turbulent period in history. She is infamous for her brutal persecution of those who did not follow the Catholic faith. Mary's...
Archaeologists have discovered hundreds of ancient wine jars in Queen Merneith’s tomb. Source: Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

5,000-Year-Old Wine Jars Unearthed at Queen Merneith's Tomb

An important discovery at Umm Al-Qaab in Abydos, promises to add to the story of Queen Merneith, an Egyptian consort and regent, who could have also been the first or second queen of Egypt. A joint...
Zhou Dynasty Emperor’s tomb was uncovered in China, belonging to the Northern Zhou Dynasty. Source: CASS

Stacked 1,400-Year-Old Zhou Dynasty Emperor’s Tomb Uncovered in China

Archaeologists in Shaanxi Province, northwest China, have discovered the tomb of Emperor Xiaomin (birth name Yuwen Jue), the founding emperor of the Northern Zhou Dynasty (557-581). Emperor Xiaomin's...
Head of Tutankhamun. Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art / Public Domain.

Face of the Boy King: The Deeply Human Story Behind Tutankhamun's Head (Video)

This exquisite limestone sculpture, currently an exhibit at the New York Met, captures the youthful innocence of Tutankhamun , the boy king, at the tender age of six. Crafted with meticulous detail,...
Royal queen in her bedchamber. Source: Anneke / Adobe Stock.

What Giving Birth Was Like for Royal Mothers (Video)

Royal childbirths, a far cry from today's private affairs, were once grand spectacles, laden with political significance. Public scrutiny was the norm, with hundreds of onlookers present to confirm...
The Tower of London has a haunted history. Source: rpbmedia / Adobe Stock.

The Tower of London’s Haunted History (Video)

The Tower of London , a storied monument, holds a dark history that continues to haunt its walls. From its origins as a fortress by William the Conqueror to a prison and even a zoo, the Tower's past...
Medieval Queen. Source: aicandy / Adobe Stock.

History's 10 Most Ruthless Queens and Brutal Rulers (Video)

Throughout history, powerful women have wielded authority with determination. Countess Elizabeth Bathory had a dark obsession, enjoying the torture of the lower classes. Empress Wu Zetian , China's...
The execution of Margaret Pole. Source: Baxter’s History of England c 1789-90, published 1796.

Henry VIII's gruesome execution of Margaret Pole (Video)

Amid the tumultuous reign of Henry VIII , the tragic narrative of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, unfolds. Descendant of the Plantagenet lineage, her life interwove with the religious turmoil...
Votive stele of Gudea, ruler of Lagash, to the temple of Ningirsu. Ancient Orient Museum, Istanbul. Source: Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP (Glasg)/CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Rule of Ensi Gudea and the Golden Age of Lagash

Ancient Mesopotamia, called by many the “cradle of civilization”, is in many ways enigmatic and mysterious. There is plenty about it that we are still to uncover, as it reaches so far back in time...
The Taylor Prism was discovered in 1830 at Nineveh and is currently housed at the British Museum in London. It tells the story of King Sennacherib’s third campaign and his conquests in Judah. Source: Public domain

Sennacherib's Prisms Reveal the Glorious Reign of an Assyrian King

Imagine if all of the world’s ancient cultures and civilizations had had well-developed writing systems. Then envision the marvels we would know about today, the hidden secrets and remarkable tales...
Buddha’s finger became a sacred relic of healing and well-being in Buddhism faith.  Statue Source: Natthapong/Adobe Stock

A Digit of Devotion: Buddha's Finger Bone

Relics are important in Buddhism in that they provide tangible links to enlightened figures and their teachings. When the Buddha's finger bone was discovered in an ancient Chinese monastery,...
King Henry V arrow removal surgery recreation. Source: YouTube Screenshot / thehistorysquad.

Recreating Henry V’s Gruesome Arrow Removal Surgery (Video)

Revisiting history, we're drawn to a pivotal moment in Henry V's life. Amidst the chaos of the 1403 Battle of Shrewsbury, a fateful arrow struck the young royal. The arrowhead found its mark...
Renaissance styled French queen cavorting with French gentleman.  Source: LanaK/Adobe Stock

Seven Scandalous Love Affairs of French Queens

Behind the opulent facade of French queens' lives lie captivating tales of forbidden love and clandestine affairs that have echoed through the annals of history. From the alluring intrigue of Queen...
Detail of Rimush of Akkad’s Victory Stele, slaughtering of prisoners by Akkadian troops. Source: Louvre Museum/CC BY 3.0

Rimush of Akkad, Sargon’s Heir, and a Brutal Warlord

In the history of Ancient Mesopotamia, that renowned cradle of human civilization, there were many great kingdoms, city-states, and even empires. One of these was the famed Akkadian Empire, centered...
16th century depiction of the notorious pirate Hayreddin Barbarossa, known as Redbeard. Source: Public domain

Causing a Ruckus as the Ruthless Pirate Hayreddin Redbeard

Hayreddin Barbarossa, also known as Redbeard, was one of the most notorious pirates of his day. Together with his older brothers, Ishak and Aruj, they conquered the North African city of Algiers and...
Vlad the Impaler cried real tears of blood. Source: Lama9838/CC BY-SA 3.0

Sadistic Vlad the Impaler Cried Real Tears of Blood, Study Reveals

Vlad Dracul, the infamous medieval Romanian ruler known as Vlad the Impaler and the inspiration for the character of Count Dracula , is considered one of the most bloodthirsty rulers in human history...
Ancient frescoes often depict scenes from the daily life, religious rituals, or important events of an Egyptian Pharaoh. Source: EdNurg/Adobe Stock

A Day in the Life of an Egyptian Pharaoh

Ancient Egypt, one of the greatest civilizations to have ever existed, spanned a vast timeline, lasting for approximately 3,000 years. For much of that time, it was ruled over by god-kings known as...
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown game hero, Sargon. 	Source: Ubisoft

The New Prince of Persia Game is Announced. How Does the History Stack Up?

The popular, but almost archaic Prince of Persia video game franchise is back, with a new game, and a new hero on the scene. So what’s the new backstory, who is this new hero, and is there any basis...

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