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Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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History

From the powerful civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Indus Valley, to the fearsome yet sophisticated society of the Vikings, the ancient world was a surprising and challenging place. Here we feature some of the most seminal and influential events and people throughout history, that have helped shape the world we know today.

The extinct Patagonian fox was found far further north than its known habitat, and analysis of its diet suggests it was domesticated. Source: Mario Llorca / Adobe Stock.

Man’s Other Best Friend: Did Patagonian Hunters Domesticate an Extinct Fox?

Was Man’s Best Friend a fox? For hunter gatherers in Patagonia 1,500 years ago, that may well turn out to be true. A team of archaeologists excavating the intriguing Cañada Seca site in Argentina...
Witchcraft: a white-faced witch meeting a black-faced witch with a great beast. Woodcut, 1720.  Source: Public Domain

Why So Few Witches Were Executed in Wales in the Middle Ages

By Mari Ellis Dunning /The Conversation The fear of witchcraft led to centuries of persecution and executions across Europe. While there were an estimated 500 executions in England, and between 3,000...
AI image of the withered hand of a man with a deadly disease. Source: Alexander/Adobe Stock

All The Diseases You Might Have If You Lived in A Medieval City (Video)

Living in medieval cities exposed residents to a myriad of afflictions stemming from unsanitary conditions and limited medical knowledge. Leprosy , caused by the Mycobacterium leprae bacteria, was a...
(Left) Photo shows an Egyptian painted wood mummy portrait of a woman from the Roman period, circa 2nd or 3rd century AD. (Right) Cinnabar was widely used as a decorative pigment as well as a toxic cosmetic. A Chinese "cinnabar red" carved lacquer box from the Qing dynasty. Source: Public Domain, Andrew Lih / CC BY SA 2.0

Seven Unusual Beauty Treatments That Ancient Women Used (Video)

In the pursuit of beauty, ancient women employed unconventional methods, challenging modern notions of glamour. Foot binding , prevalent in 10th-century China, exemplifies the extremes sought for...
The tomb containing the three skeletons, two of which are thought to be victims of Neolithic ritual sacrifice was built in the style of a silo, or pit for storing grain, within a small wooden structure and surrounded by a trench.         Source: Ludes et al/ Science Advances

Investigation of Tomb Burial Reveals Sick Neolithic Ritual Sacrifices

Recent research has unearthed chilling evidence of ritual sacrifices in Neolithic Europe, a practice that involved the gruesome method of "incaprettamento" - tying victims' necks to their bent legs,...
Indigenous victims (likely smallpox), Florentine Codex (compiled 1540–1585) Source: Public Domain

The Mysterious Disease That Wiped Out the Aztecs (Video)

The Aztecs , a once-flourishing civilization in central Mexico, faced a devastating onslaught in the mid-16th century. While initially attributed to European diseases like smallpox, recent DNA...
Cropped image of the sculpture of Agrippina crowning her young son Nero.	Source: Carlos Delgado/CC BY-SA 3.0

Agrippina the Younger and Her Influence on Nero (Video)

Agrippina the Younger wielded significant influence over her son Nero's rise to power. Initially content with a life of artistry, Nero's path shifted under his mother's ambition. Agrippina's...
AI image of a king pirate. Source: Fotokvadrat / Abode Stock.

How Henry Every Stole $200M, Got Away and Became a Superstar (Video)

On April Fool's Day in 1696, amidst the turmoil of the England-France conflict, Governor Nicholas Trott of the Island of Providence faced a grave predicament. Abandoned by the navy and plagued by...
Van Fortress or Castle of Van, is a massive stone fortification built by the ancient kingdom of Urartu.	Source: seyfullah/Adobe Stock

The Forgotten Kingdom of Urartu: From Prosperity to Fall

The Kingdom of Urartu, a once significant ancient civilization nestled in the rugged terrain of the Armenian Highlands, flourished from the 9th to 6th centuries BC. Often overshadowed by its...
Representational image of the ancient Greek philosopher and biographer Plutarch. Source: Eduardo / Adobe Stock

The Legacy of Plutarch: One of the Greatest Minds of Ancient Greece

Plutarch is a historical figure whose name is a fundamental part of the world’s shared history, standing as one of antiquity's most revered biographers and philosophers. He was born around 46 AD in...
In 477 BC, the Battle of the Cremera was fought between the Roman Republic and Veii, leading to the loss of Roman control over the river Cremera. This allowed Veientes to penetrate deeper into Roman territory.	Source: Frans Vandewalle / CC BY-SA 2.0

Clash of Titans: The Roman-Etruscan Wars of Ancient Italy

The Roman-Etruscan Wars represent a significant chapter in the ancient history of ancient Italy, marking the clashes between the burgeoning power of Rome and the advanced civilization of the...
Representative image of the Roman cavalry. Source: furyon / Adobe Stock  By Aleksa Vučković

Roman Cavalry, the Backbone of Rome’s Great Expansion

In ancient times, no army was truly powerful without a cavalry . The equivalent of modern tanks and special forces, cavalrymen were the terror of the ancient battlefields. A force to be reckoned with...
Septimius Severus bust sculpture, former Roman emperor. Generative AI. Source: NorLife/Adobe Stock

Septimius Severus and the Severan Dynasty, In Brief (Video)

Septimius Severus , the African emperor, ascended to power in 193 AD, heralding the inception of the Severan dynasty , a transformative epoch in Roman history. His reign, characterized by relentless...
Pope Leo X and his cousins, by Raphael. Pope Leo X was a prominent member of the Medici Dynasty and Pope of the Catholic Church. 	Source: Public domain

The Medici Dynasty: Unraveling the Legacy of the Masters of Florence

The Medici family, prominent during the Italian Renaissance, wielded immense power in Florence and beyond. Rising from humble beginnings as bankers, they ascended to become one of Europe's most...
The Procession Picture, c. 1600, showing Elizabeth I borne along by her courtiers. Source: Public Domain

The Strange and Absurd Rules of Elizabethan Manners (Video)

In the late 16th century, during Queen Elizabeth I's reign , England rose as a global powerhouse. The era birthed a peculiar aristocratic code of conduct, diverging sharply from modern sensibilities...
University of Rochester illustration based on the miniature of Christine and Sybil from Christine de Pizan’s Collected works (‘The Book of the Queen’). British Library Harley MS 4431, fol 189v.	Source: Michael Osadciw/University of Rochester

Surprising Facts and Beliefs About Eclipses from the Medieval and Renaissance Eras

By Sandra Knispel/ University of Rochester In medieval and Renaissance society and culture, celestial events were not mere spectacles in the sky. Rather, they were omens, predictors of the future,...
AI image of Anglo-Saxon soldiers fighting in battle. Source: Sarah/Adobe Stock

How Violent Were the Anglo-Saxons Really? (Video)

The Anglo-Saxons , comprised of diverse tribes such as the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, arrived in Britain during the 5th century, following the decline of Roman influence. While historical narratives...
Aerial view of Circus Maximus, an ancient Roman chariot-racing stadium and mass entertainment venue in Rome, Italy. Now it's a public park but it was the first and largest stadium in ancient Rome. Source: Stefano Tammaro/Adobe Stock

What Happened in Rome’s Circus Maximus? (Video)

The Circus Maximus , a sprawling amphitheater nestled between the Palatine Palace and the Aventine Hill, epitomized the grandeur of ancient Roman entertainment . Originally a venue for celebratory...
Building materials piled up ready for installation at the Regio IX part of Pompeii.     Source: Pompeii Sites

Preserved Building Site at Pompeii Reveals Roman Construction Techniques

New information relating to Roman construction techniques is emerging from the ongoing excavations at the Archaeological Park of Pompeii. In the rooms of the ancient domus in Region IX, insula 10...
A colorized engraving from 1724 of Bartholomew Roberts (aka Black Bart Roberts), the notorious Welsh pirate. Source: Benjamin Cole/CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

The Difference between Pirates and Privateers (Video)

In the realm of maritime warfare , understanding the disparity between a Pirate and a Privateer was crucial. While both engaged in seizing ships at sea, their legal standing set them apart...
Drawing of the grave of the female individual with an artificially modified skull in grave 192 from Havor, Hablingbo parish, Gotland. Source: ©Mirosław Kuźma / Matthias Toplak 2019 / Current Swedish Archaeology

Ancient Trends in Viking Body Modification Revealed in Gotland Burials

The examination of skeletal remains from cemeteries on Sweden's Baltic Sea island of Gotland has revealed evidence of Viking body modification among the Norse people, shedding light on practices...
Depiction of Ramesses II slaying one enemy while trampling another, from a rock-cut relief at Abu Simbel	Source: Aoineko/CC BY-SA 3.0

Five Cruelest Pharaohs in Egyptian History (Video)

Egyptian history is replete with tales of pharaonic cruelty, and among the most notorious are the 5 cruelest pharaohs who left an indelible mark on the sands of time. In the First Dynasty, rulers...
Searching for the Knights of the Star and their giant pentagram. Source: Dada635 / Adobe Stock

The Knights of the Star and their Giant Sacred Pentagram in France

In June of 1344, Pope Clement VI moved to reorganize the Knights of France in a series of six letters sent to Jean, Duke of Normandy, the son of King Philip VI of France. The pope proposed that the...
AI generated abstract modern painting of a chieftain of ancient Britannia, possibly Catuvellauni. Source: Pana/Adobe Stock

The Catuvellauni, The Defiant British Tribe That Stood Against Rome

When we consider the history of Pre-Roman Britain, the Catuvellauni truly stand out as a formidable and enigmatic tribe whose legacy echoes through the ages. Nestled in the heart of Ancient Britannia...

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