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History

From the powerful civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and 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.

A Sámi family  in front of goahti and lavvu housing, early 1900s, Norway

A Window into the Traditional Sami Culture: Reindeer and a Worldview

The Sámi are an indigenous people with a rich cultural history. They have lived in northern Europe for thousands of years. The area they live in, Sápmi, includes the northern sectors of Norway,...
Representative image of a Viking King

Defeat Was Not an Option: Viking King Herlaug and His Men Choose to be Buried Alive Instead

BY THORNEWS The year is 871 AD, and King Herlaug of the Namdalen district in Central Norway fulfills his last wish: instead of surrendering to King Harald Fairhair, he and eleven of his men choose to...
Red flowers apparently left as an offering for the volcano goddess Pele at the edge of the Halema'uma'u Crater in the Kilauea caldera at Volcanoes National Park on the Island of Hawaii

Passions of Pele: The Hawaiian Goddess of Fire

Kilauea, one of earth’s most active volcanoes located on the island of Hawaii, is believed to be inhabited by a family of gods. One member of the family has become the most visible of all the old...
Saladin and Guy de Lusignan after battle of Hattin in 1187.

Understanding the Crusades from an Islamic Perspective

What if the Crusades’ history was told from an Arab perspective? In fact, in 2016 al-Jazeera TV did just that. It released a four-episode documentary on the Crusades, and the trailer introduced the...
The Thinker in The Gates of Hell at the Musée Rodin.

How Should You Lead Your Life? Greek Philosophers May Have the Answer

It is human nature to wonder how best to live our lives. No doubt you have lost sleep over this notion, perhaps staring at the ceiling contemplating the very nature of your existence and what is the...
Sirkap is the ancient remains that have been recovered after excavation in Taxila

Where Greek Meets Indian: Sirkap, an Ancient City in Pakistan

When Alexander the Great invaded the Far East, his armies were awed by the strange cultures, exotic animals and unknown religions of India. Alexander promoted a fusion of cultures and his successors...
The Mars lies at the bottom of the Baltic Sea, where it sank during a naval battle in 1564. Composite photograph by Tomasz Stachura, Ocean Discovery

New Finds at the Well-Preserved Wreck of the Formidable Warship Mars

Mars, which is also known as Makalös (a Swedish word that may be translated as ‘peerless’ or ‘matchless’), was a 16th century warship. Named after the Roman god of war, Mars was one of the largest...
Ancient Egyptian men undergoing circumcision.

The Cutting Truth about Circumcision: It Was All About Rites and Religion

When was circumcision first practiced? How did it evolve? Why was it practiced? The earliest literary evidence of the practice of circumcision goes back to ancient Egypt. There are many hypotheses...
The Golfers by Charles Lee

Ancient Pedigree of the Open Championship: Golf’s Long History and Hidden Beginnings

The Open Championship may be the oldest tournament in golf, but it is a very recent addition to the sport’s long and colorful history. Golf is a sport with ancient origins that has endured into our...
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...
Barter, Bills and Banknotes: The 5,000 Year History of Money

From Barter to Bitcoins: The 5,000 Year History of Money

Money has come a long way in 5,000 years. While people once bartered for the items they desired, today people are buying and trading in cryptocurrencies like the bitcoin. In ancient times, people did...
Silbury Hill on the left, is the largest prehistoric mound in Europe.

The Mythologized Legacy of the North American Mounds

Ancient landscapes the world over were once encrusted with earthen mounds, variously called cairns, tumulus, barrows, burial mounds and kurgans. In England, Silbury Hill near Avebury in the English...
Amiternum funerary procession relief.

Mimes, Paid Grievers, and Masks: The Insane Theatrics of Ancient Roman Funerals

Two thousand years ago, funerals weren’t the quiet, somber affairs we have today. They were loud, boisterous shows that started with a massive procession of people parading down the streets, pounding...
Scilly’s Northern Islands

The Ancient Trackways of Britain’s Ley-Lines Steered Bronze Age Tin Miners

The Great St Michael and St Mary Alignment (or ‘corridor of incidence’) is probably the most famous ley-line in Britain, if not the world. Running for 350-miles across the country in a north-east to...
‘The Meeting of Antony and Cleopatra’, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema.

Searching for the Lost Tomb of Antony and Cleopatra

Mark Antony and Cleopatra are among the most famous pairs of lovers from the ancient world. Following their defeat at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, their final refuge from the victorious Octavian...
The Ancient Roots of Doomsday Prophecies

How it Ends: The Ancient Roots of Doomsday Prophecies and End of the World Beliefs

Hollywood’s obsession with the End of Times is not over yet – Armageddon, Deep Impact, Doomsday, Legion, Thor: Ragnarok and 28 Days Later, are just a few of the blockbusters, out of hundreds, that...

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