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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.

AI image of the three ships of Christopher Columbus: Santa Maria, Niña, and Pinta. Source: Charles/Adobe Stock

The History of Shipbuilding As We Know It

From the humble vessels of ancient civilizations navigating coastal waters to the majestic seafaring giants of the modern era exploring the farthest reaches of the oceans, shipbuilding has been an...
AI image of Knights Templar marching to concord enemy. Source: vukkostic/Adobe Stock

The Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar (Video)

In November 1095, Pope Urban issues a call to arms for Christians to reclaim the Holy Land from Muslim control, igniting the First Crusade . Over 100,000 individuals, including nobility and even...
Close up of the statue of Carcalla at The Casa del Labrador in Aranjuez, Spain. Source: Manel/ CC BY-ND 2.0

Emperor Caracalla: Was He as Bad as Everyone Says?

History remembers Caracalla, who reigned over Rome from 198 to 217 AD as one of the empire’s most despotic rulers. He started his reign by killing his brother and massacring his followers before...
Habsburg family portrait by Martin van Meytens, 1764.        Source: Public Domain

The Rise and Fall of the Habsburg Empire (Video)

The Habsburg Empire , a dynasty spanning nearly 600 years, wielded vast influence over central and Eastern Europe. Unlike other monarchies, the Habsburgs were a family lineage rather than a single...
The three musketeers in Condom, France. Source: Migeli Barrios/Adobe Stock

Who Were the Three Musketeers Based On? (Video)

The Three Musketeers, immortalized in Alexandre Dumas' classic, are deeply rooted in the tumultuous political landscape of 17th-century France. Musketeers, originally armed with muskets but often...
Corn Husk Dolls. Source: Betty Sederquist/Adobe Stock

More Than Toys: The Five Oldest Dolls in History (Video)

Dolls are more than just toys, they can be artifacts of ancient civilizations, offering profound insights into the lives and beliefs of bygone eras. Among the oldest are Roman dolls , meticulously...
Worst Roman emperors of the Roman Empire. Source: Public Domain, Public Domain, Egisto Sani/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, Public Domain

The 8 Worst Roman Emperors and Their Dastardly Deeds

The history of the Roman Empire is filled with tales of grandeur, conquests, and the rise and fall of mighty rulers. From a small city-state, it rose in power, became a kingdom, a republic, and...
impression of Bar Kokhba by Polish-Jewish artist Arthur Szyk Source: Arthur Szyk/CC BY-SA 4.0

Judaic Devastation: The Bar Kokhba Revolt’s Tragic Legacy (Video)

The Bar Kokhba Revolt of 132 AD had profound and enduring effects on Jews and Judaism. Firstly, it led to the shattering of Judaic society, with devastating consequences for Jewish communities. The...
AI image of Scythian Nimrod the King of kings on a white warhorse, shooting an arrow. Source: John/Adobe Stock

Horse Lords: A Brief History of the Scythians (Video)

The Scythians , a confederation of nomadic tribes , flourished across the Eurasian steppe from around 900 BC to 200 BC. Initially discovered by Russian explorers venturing into the remote landscapes...
Ancient Botanical medicine involved smell and taste. Source: Thomas Mucha/Adobe Stock

Ancient Botanical Medicine Was Driven By Taste and Smell, Study Finds

With the advent of modern medicine, it’s hard to imagine the role taste had in the preparation of ancient botanical remedies. In layman terms, taste and flavor had a huge role to play in their...
An illustration of William Captain Kidd relaxing on the deck. Source: Public Domain

Bizarre Pirate Traditions Most People Don't Know About (Video)

Pirate culture , often portrayed as a romanticized tale of swashbuckling adventure, actually harbored numerous peculiar traditions. These customs, largely overlooked in popular depictions, reveal a...
Artist's impression of Teuta, Queen of the Illyrian Ardiaei tribe, leads a pirate expedition against Rome. According to Illyrian laws, piracy was a legitimate trade, which led to war against the Roman Republic, who did not approve. Source: © The Creative Assembly / SEGA from Total War.

Piracy in the Ancient Mediterranean and the Notorious Cilicians

Piracy (in its maritime context) is thought to have existed ever since the seas were used by merchants as trade routes. The Mediterranean Sea was no exception, and piracy has been notorious in this...
Boleslaw the Brave Entering Kiev, by Piotr Michalowski. Boleslaw was crowned the first king of Poland in 1025 AD. Source: Piotr Michałowski / CC BY-SA 4.0

The History of the Piast Dynasty, the First Rulers of Poland

Throughout history, Poland—in its various forms and sizes—was always a powerful and dominant Slavic nation. However, it needed strong and competent rulers in order to really thrive and emerge as the...
An artist’s imaginary depiction of a pharaoh burning herbs in a ritual. Source: Fair use

Dealing in the Past: How Did Ancient Egyptians Get Nicotine and Cocaine?

The discovery of traces of nicotine and cocaine within 3,000-year-old human remains, which came to be known as Egypt’s cocaine mummies, raised curious questions amongst historians. Challenging...
Athelstan presenting a book to St Cuthbert, an illustration in a manuscript of Bede's Life of Saint Cuthbert, probably presented to the saint's shrine in Chester-le-Street by Athelstan when he visited the shrine on his journey to Scotland in 934. It is the oldest surviving portrait of an English king and the manuscript is the oldest surviving made for an English king, circa 930 AD. Source: Public Domain

Æthelstan: The First King of the English (Video)

Æthelstan , grandson of Alfred the Great, emerged as the inaugural English king in 925, marking the pinnacle of Anglo-Saxon consolidation. Following Alfred's reign of turmoil, Æthelstan embarked on a...
Sculpture details of classic male form in Venice, Italy. Source: Andrew Deer/Adobe Stock

A Brief History of Homosexuality in Rome (Video)

Homosexuality in ancient Rome was a multifaceted aspect of society, often overshadowed in historical narratives. From prominent figures like Julius Caesar to Emperor Nero, instances of same-sex...
Statue of Robin Hood.  Source: Lucian Milasan/Adobe Stock

Secrets of Sherwood: Was Robin Hood a Real Person? (Video)

The quest to ascertain the historical authenticity of Robin Hood, the legendary outlaw of English folklore, is akin to untangling a web of historical fragments and oral traditions. The historical...
Monument of Prince Yaroslav the Wise holding the cathedral of St. Sophia, at the entrance to the Golden Gate of Kiev, Ukraine. Source: lesniewski/Adobe Stock

Yaroslav the Wise, One of the Noblest Rurikid Monarchs

The early medieval nation of Kievan Rus’ emerged from the early Viking forays into the lands of the Eastern Slavic tribes. It quickly rose as a powerful state that was home to many Finnic, Slavic,...
Painting by Kobayashi Eitaku depicting Sugawara no Michizane reborn as the Tenjin.             Source: Public Domain

Tenjin: How to Become a God in Classical Japan (Video)

In classical Japan, Sugawara no Michizane, later known as Tenjin, rose from humble beginnings to become a revered figure. Born in 845 AD during the Heian Era into a scholarly family, he excelled in...
William Wallace statue stands proudly. The National Wallace Monument is a tower standing on a hilltop in Stirling in Scotland. Source: Jacek/Adobe Stock

Braveheart - Great Movie But How True Was the Story? (Video)

The film "Braveheart," lauded for its cinematic achievements, takes considerable liberties with historical accuracy. Released in 1995, it garnered acclaim, earning 31 out of 61 award nominations,...
Cupid and Psyche (Amore e Psiche) - symbol of eternal love, by sculptor Giovanni Maria Benzoni. Source: Paolo Gallo/Adobe Stock

Love May Be Timeless, But the Way We Talk About It Isn’t

By David Albertson /The Conversation Every year as Valentine’s Day approaches, people remind themselves that not all expressions of love fit the stereotypes of modern romance. V-Day cynics might plan...
Sigismunda Mourning Over the Heart of Guiscardo by William Hogarth (1759).  Source: Tate/ CC BY NC-ND 3.0

Forget Flowers, 18th Century Romantics Gave Their Actual Hearts

Jolene Zigarovich /The Conversation Every Valentine’s Day, we’re inundated with hearts. We purchase cards with hearts and heart-shaped balloons. We wear clothing with hearts and adorn ourselves with...
AI image of ancient emperor Genghis Khan. Source: Andrea Raffin/Adobe Stock

How Many People Are Actually Related to Genghis Khan? (Video)

The genetic legacy of Genghis Khan , the famed Mongol conqueror, extends far beyond his vast empire. Due to his prolific procreation habits and the polygamous customs of his time, approximately 1 in...
Ancient Greek temple in Magna Graecia, modern day Segesta, Sicily.	Source: Ludvig14/CC BY-SA 4.0

Magna Graecia's Legacy: The Stories of Italy’s Ancient Greek Colonies

Long before the Roman Empire came along, the Ancient Greeks controlled much of southern Italy. From the 8th to the 5th centuries BC, intrepid Greek settlers transformed this region into a mosaic of...

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