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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.

Collage of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji; Deriv.

The Magic, Mystery and Madness of Tomb 55: Saga of a Botched Excavation–Part II

The entire Amarna epoch and those who strutted upon its stage have always presented a conundrum for Egyptologists. In early 1907, one of the most valuable finds – Tomb 55 – promised to finally lift...
Huns in battle with the Alans, 1870s engraving after a drawing by Johann Nepomuk Geiger (1805-1880)

Merciless Marauders or Fearsome Fighters? The Terror Tactics of the Huns

Ruthless and unpredictable, few armies have been as terrifying as the Huns. Descending on a town like a whirlwind from hell, the savage horsemen killed indiscriminately – combatants and civilians,...
The birthday party of Lazaro Salsita, born 15 years ago, in the body of Lazaro Medina Hernandez, 35, Sculptor. Havana (La Habana), Cuba.

A Unique Mixture of Afro-Cuban Religious Rituals or Witchcraft? The True Story Behind Santeria

Some religious practices can be very surprising because they link aspects from different beliefs which may appear incompatible at first glance. In the case of Santeria, the connection between native...
Collage designed by Anand Balaji (photo credits: Dave Rudin, Heidi Kontkanen,);Deriv.

The Magic, Mystery and Madness of Tomb 55: Seeking the Amarna Dead–Part I

When Pharaoh Akhenaten abandoned the traditional capital Thebes (Waset) and headed to his dream city Akhetaten – built to glorify the solar deity, the Aten – he swore never to return. But, such...
A Mother-Daughter Power Team: How Did Two Faustinas Transform Roman Society?

A Mother-Daughter Power Team: How Did Two Faustinas Transform Roman Society?

If you think that girl power is a modern idea from songs created in the 90s, you should read the story of a mother and daughter whose bright minds and dose of independence had a remarkable impact on...
Reconstitution of a prehistoric tomb containing the ‘Ladies of Teviec’, two women in their twenties or early thirties.

A Makeshift Casket of Sea Shells and Antlers: The 6500-Year-Old Grave of the Unfortunate Ladies of Téviec

Téviec would be a rather anonymous island located somewhere in Brittany, France, if it wasn’t for its great archaeological value thanks to the many finds – mainly from the Mesolithic Period – that...
Pagans in a Modern World: What is Neopaganism?

Pagans in a Modern World: What is Neopaganism?

Modern Paganism (known also as Neopaganism or Contemporary Paganism) is a movement / group of religions / spiritual traditions centered on the reverence of nature. Modern Paganism borrows and adapts...
Booker T. Washington dining with Teddy Roosevelt.

A Deadly Passion for Coffee: How Did this Addictive Drink Fuel the History of the World?

If you cannot imagine a day without a warm cup or mug of coffee, you are not alone. Many of the most famous stories of the world are related to people who loved coffee. Did you know that Benjamin...
Osterby Man Still Has a Great Hairdo Nearly 2,000 Years On!

Osterby Man Still Has a Great Hairdo Nearly 2,000 Years On!

Since at least the 18th century AD, there have been discoveries in northwestern continental Europe and Britain of “bog bodies” - human remains which have been preserved in the anoxic environment of...
The Man Who Wished to Own the World – Eannatum: The First Conqueror? Part II

The Man Who Wished to Own the World – Eannatum: The First Conqueror? Part II

Eannatum’s tour of Elam, Urua, and Umma paid off. He controlled provinces and regions rich with resources. He had metal to produce weapons and fertile fields to grow food—both of which were used to...
A 700-Year-Old Murder Mystery: Who Bludgeoned the Bocksten Man to Death and Why?

A 700-Year-Old Murder Mystery: Who Bludgeoned the Bocksten Man to Death and Why?

Around 700 years ago, a young man, who has come to be known as ‘Bocksten Man’, was struck three times on the head, then tossed into a peat bog and impaled with three wooden poles to prevent his body...
Phryne on the Poseidon's celebration in Eleusis by Nikolay Pavlenko, 1894

The Ancient Greek Symposium: Just an Excuse for Debauchery?

It’s no secret that the ancient Greeks loved to have parties, dance and drink for every occasion. It could be celebrating a birth, the arrival of a loved person or a marriage. Indeed, in many cases...
Statue of Gudea, prince of Lagash (long after King Eannatum) neo-Sumerian period, 2120 BC (Public Domain) and a fragment of the Stele of the Vultures (CC BY-SA 3.0);Deriv.

King Destroys Those on his Hit List, One by One – Eannatum: The First Conqueror? Part I

Between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, lies a land known as Mesopotamia. It was here that men found suitable land, which they pierced, ripped, and seeded. Once the seeds took root, civilization was...
High Fashion of Ancient Egypt: The Bead-Net Dress

High Fashion of Ancient Egypt: The Bead-Net Dress

Fashion trends are not just a modern construction. In ancient Egypt, looking fashionable was an important part of everyday life, especially for the elite members of society. One of the high class...
“But In Case Anything Should Happen”: Wills and Covenants in the Age of Alexander the Great

“But In Case Anything Should Happen”: Wills and Covenants in the Age of Alexander the Great

Would kings, dictators and statesmen have used Wills in the ancient Greek world to assure successions, pass down estates and document their last wishes? ‘All will be well but in case anything should...
A Roman Ring with Linked Hands – this was a popular design for Roman wedding rings.

Roman Engagement and Wedding Rings: Joining Hands and Hearts

The use of engagement rings and wedding rings are common in Western culture to indicate a person’s relationship status. This tradition may be traced back to ancient times, in particular, to the Roman...
Pocahontas, after 1616, Oil on canvas by Unidentified Artist.

Pocahontas Shrouded in Myth: A Princess Goes to England

As Ancient Origins reported in its article “ The True Story of Pocahontas as Not Told by Disney ,” the real life Pocahontas was different from her portrayal in the 1995 animated feature film. However...
Luminous red nova star - V838 Monocerotis, courtesy NASA, STScI, ESA  (Public Domain); Eye of Providence (Public Domain); Deriv.

Secret Societies and Hidden Knowledge: The Explosive Star that Inspired the Modern World

A few weeks ago, astronomers announced that in 2022 something truly spectacular is to occur: a new star will appear in the heavens. It will be the first such event visible with the naked eye for over...
Photo by Leo Von Klenze. A romantic idealized reconstruction of the Acropolis of Athens.

Cleisthenes, Father of Democracy, Invented a Form of Government that Has Endured for Over 2,500 Years

Ancient Athens is best remembered for giving birth to the first democracy in history, a course of action that took many years and several leaders to develop. One of the most prominent figures of that...
‘The Banquet Scene’ relief panel, 645BC-635BC.

Gazelle Stewed in Broth and Garlic: Would You Try These 3,700-Year-Old Recipes for the Babylonian Elite?

"A cuisine of striking richness, refinement, sophistication and artistry, which is surprising from such an early period,” is how French Assyriologist and gourmet chef Jean Bottero, who decoded three...
Detail of ‘Velleda’, as imagined in a 19th-century painting by Charles Voillemot.

The Legendary Prophetess Veleda: A Secret Weapon Against the Romans

Legends about beautiful women who drove armies of men to glory are very familiar in history. In the case of Veleda, her story didn't end with the loss of her people, but withstood the passage of time...
Trading Treasures and Curiosity: The Fascinating History of Manila Galleons

Trading Treasures and Curiosity: The Fascinating History of Manila Galleons

Every remarkable story starts with curiosity. That is the primary reason why people travel and want to discover new lands. It applies to every period in history, from antiquity to our times. The...
Thutmosis III statue and Ancient Egyptian military in battle

What Was in Store for the Citizens of the Besieged City? The Battle of Megiddo—Part II

Pharaoh Thutmose III pushed his 12,000-strong army towards the banks of the Orontes River. His scribe, Tjaneni, kept a daily journal in order to have the Pharaoh’s military exploits inscribed by his...
Eliminating the Competition: Selim I, A Grim Conqueror Who Vastly Extended the Ottoman Empire

Eliminating the Competition: Selim I, A Grim Conqueror Who Vastly Extended the Ottoman Empire

Selim I (known also by his epithet ‘Yavuz’, which, translated from Turkish, means ‘the Grim’) was the 9th sultan of the Ottoman Empire who lived during the second half of the 15th century and the...

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