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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.

Deriv; Silbury Hill, Avebury, UK. Inset, the humble earthworm

Was Neolithic Silbury Hill Designed as a Welcoming Home for Omnivorous, Upwardly-Mobile Earthworms?

Silbury Hill, said to be the largest prehistoric man-made mound in Europe, looms over the landscape. Yet so little is understood about this enigmatic British site. However, surprising as it may seem...
Talking with Ghosts? Eusapia Palladino, a Medium Who Drew in Scientists

Talking with Ghosts? Eusapia Palladino, a Medium Who Drew in Scientists

The world of scientists, writers, and other intellectuals was charmed by her and curiosity made them attend her séances - Eusapia Palladino was an enigma who could supposedly communicate with the...
13 year old Asholpan, Eagle Huntress.

The Eagle Huntress: New Generations of Eagle Huntresses in Kazakhstan and Mongolia – Part II

Nomad Women Have Hunted with Eagles since Antiquity The ancient practice of eagle hunting is carried on today by a few hundred nomadic Kazakhs in Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Xinjiang (...
Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao. Prince of Wales museum, Mumbai.

Bajirao I – Prime Minister of the Maratha Empire and a Man of the Battlefield

Bajirao I was born on August 18, 1700. From April 27, 1720 until April 28, 1740 he served as Peshwa (Prime Minister) to the Maratha king Chhatrapati Shahu. Bajirao I was also known as Thorale Bajirao...
FIG 1.2. Tuva monument, mounted nomad archeress and falconer

The Eagle Huntress: Ancient Traditions, and Evidence for Women as Eagle Hunters – Part I

Evidence that Nomad Women Hunted with Eagles since Antiquity "A fast horse and a soaring eagle are the wings of a nomad." --Kazakh proverb Falconry, training raptors to hunt for game, is particularly...
A portrait of Queen Christina by Jacob Ferdinand Voet.

Christina, The Minerva of the North Who Abdicated Her Throne to Live Life by Her Own Rules

Christina was a Queen of Sweden who lived during the 17th century. As Christina ruled in her own right, she may be called a ‘queen regnant’. Christina inherited the Swedish throne about a month...
Pinudjem II as Theban High Priest of Amun. From his Book of the Dead.

The Alternative Lifestyle and Loves of Pinudjem II

Pinudjem II was one of the most famous rulers of southern Egypt during the Third Intermediate Period. He gave the world an important pharaoh and also a scandalous love story. He was a High Priest of...
The Dreihasenfenster (Window of Three Hares), Paderborn Cathedral, Germany.

The Three Hares Motif: A Cross-Cultural Symbol with Numerous Interpretations

The Three Hares is an ancient motif found in various parts of the world. This design features three hares, which are shown chasing each other / running in a circle, and joined together at their ears...
A depiction of Charlemagne.

Charlemagne: One of the Most Important Figures of Early Medieval Europe

Charlemagne (known also as Charles the Great, as well as Charles I) was a King of the Franks , the first ruler of the Holy Roman Empire (though the term ‘Holy Roman Empire’ would only be coined after...
The Women of Darius's Family before Alexander the Great. (c. 1517) by Il Sodoma.

The Influential Women that Surrounded and Aided Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great was lucky to have very supportive women at his side throughout his life. Historical records show that he was well-protected by them and that they were his secret source of power...
Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin.

Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin, The Father of Modern Magic Who Stopped a Revolt with His Abilities

Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin was a French magician who lived during the 19th century. Amongst other things, Robert-Houdin is commonly regarded today as the originator of the modern style of conjuring (...
Plaster face of an older Amarna-era woman

The Unique Sculptures of Thutmose…and a Secret Love for One of His Muses?

When leaving his workshop in Amarna, the sculptor Thutmose may have wanted to forget something very painful. A story which may have been carved in his heart perhaps? He decided not to take some of...
A confused naval battle. Two battered ships drift in the foreground while smoke and flame.

The Almighty Hellburners of Antiquity

Hellburners were a type of fire ship best-known to have been used in Europe during the 16th century AD. Whilst hellburners were first used during the early modern period, fire ships were already in...
Unfolding the Golden Nuggets of Early Chinese Paper Folding and the Art of Origami

Unfolding the Golden Nuggets of Early Chinese Paper Folding and the Art of Origami

Paper folding is a form of art that most people today associate with Japan. Indeed, Japanese origami is arguably the most well-known type of paper folding today. What is perhaps less well-known is...
Charles Fort: Pioneer in the Search for Scientific Anomalies or Anti-dogmatist who Collected Bizarre Stories?

Charles Fort: Pioneer in the Search for Scientific Anomalies or Anti-dogmatist who Collected Bizarre Stories?

Charles Hoy Fort was an American “self-educated newspaperman, modestly-successful short story writer, unsuccessful novelist and inventor, and eccentric natural philosopher,” regarded by some,...
Ancient (probably Celtic) cult sculpture of a bear at the top of Mount Slęża.

The Forgotten Celtic History of Ancient Poland

The ancient history of Poland is more connected with Goths and other local tribes than with the Celts. However, during many excavations archaeologists have discovered links between the modern...
The Spanish Armada and English ships in August 1588, (unknown, 16th-century, English School)

Hungry for Domination: The Surprise Attack of the Spanish Armada on Cornwall

King Philip II of Spain was always hungry for new adventures and conquering new lands. His greatest competition were the English, who also dreamed of world domination. Thus, the King of Spain went...
A picture of an Egyptian woman applying kohl to her eyes.

Bygone Beauty and Body: The Origins of Cosmetics in the Ancient World

Cosmetics may be defined as “substances that you put on your face or body that are intended to improve your appearance”. The desire to improve one’s appearance is something that seems to be...
Deriv; A drowned land.

What Became of Atlantis: The Flood from Heaven

Skeptics and believers alike tend to overlook the fact that the story of Atlantis, as told by the Egyptian priests who related the story to Solon, is a complex narrative involving three civilizations...
Illustration of Godfrey of Bouillon (central figure) from William of Tyre's Histoire d'Outremer, in the care of the British Museum.

Godfrey of Bouillon: Leader in the First Crusades and Ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem

Godfrey of Bouillon was a medieval Frankish nobleman best known for his role as one of the main leaders during the First Crusade. As a consequence of this successful military expedition to the Holy...
The Nurturing Goddess Ninsun: Worshipped by Ancient Mesopotamians and the Mother of Gilgamesh

The Nurturing Goddess Ninsun: Worshipped by Ancient Mesopotamians and the Mother of Gilgamesh

Ninsun is a female figure found in Sumerian mythology. She is a goddess whose parents are the deities Anu (the sky god) and Uras (a goddess of the earth). As a goddess, Ninsun was worshipped by the...
The ruins of Tanis.

King Solomon’s Mines Discovered: Ancient Treasures - Part II

Have King Solomon's Mines really been discovered? Yes, indeed. In fact, they have been known about for centuries, and modern archaeological work on them started way back in the early 19th century...
The iconic Golden Mask of Pharaoh Tutankhamun

Enigma of the Heartless Pharaoh: Who Stole the Heart of King Tut, and Why?

The tomb of Tutankhamun revealed a wealth of anomalies, beginning with its discovery in 1922, right through the subsequent years of its excavation. The plethora of mysteries that surround the boy...
Statue of emperor Qin, China (reconstitution).

The Ruthless Chinese Emperor Qin Shi Huang: How He Unified and Tyrannized His Subjects

Qin Shi Huang Di (秦始皇帝, translated as ‘the First Emperor of the Qin’) (often shortened as Qin Shi Huang) is arguably one of China’s best known emperors. It is undeniable that Qin Shi Huang was an...

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