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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; Moses and the Messengers from Canaan, Christopher Marlowe

Questioning the Moses Timeline: Clues revealed in work of murdered playwright Marlowe

On May 29th, 1593, a government informer, Richard Baines, formally charged the famous playwright, Christopher Marlowe, with blasphemy. The complaint sent to Queen Elizabeth I read: “Containing the...
The Miracle of Empel (2015) by Augusto Ferrer Dalmau.

The Miracle of Empel: An Astounding End to a Decisive Battle for the Spanish

The Battle of Empel was a decisive battle. The Spanish force was decimated and backed onto a mountain without food and their fate seemed to be left to the enemy’s whims. The die appeared to be cast...
Two varying depictions of the same figure, Jesus. (Deriv)

Reconstructing Jesus: Using Science to Flesh out the Face of Religion

For being one of the most widely recognized men in the last 2,000 years, the true appearance of Jesus of Nazareth remains a mystery. Traditionally portrayed in western art as a be-robed, light-...
16th Century depiction of execution of a prisoner by Ottoman soldiers.

Execution by Elephant: A Gory Method of Capital Punishment

Elephants have played a number of important roles in human history. In some cultures, the elephant is a revered creature. In Buddhism, for example, the vivid dream of Buddha’s mother which foretold...
Famous Seneca chief of the Iroquois league, Red Jacket, political negotiator and critic of European religion, speaking to crowd

Iroquois League: The Ancient and Powerful Union of Six Nations

The Iroquois, known also as the Haudenosaunee (which means People Building a Long House ), were a powerful and important Native American confederacy located in the northeastern part of North America...
‘Visione di sant' agostino’ (vision of Saint Augustine) (1502) by Vittore Carpaccio.

Saint Augustine of Hippo and His Detours on the Long and Winding Path to Christianity

Saint Augustine of Hippo is one of the most important Christian theologians, and his works have exerted a great influence not only on the development of Western Christianity, but also on Western...
‘Ayurvedic Medicine. Man of the Medical caste, masseuse.’

Ayurvedic Medicine: A Traditional Knowledge of Life from India that Has Endured the Passage of Time

Ayurveda, known also as Ayurvedic medicine, is an ancient medical system that has its roots in India, and has been considered by many as one of the oldest healthcare systems in the world. In today’s...
An Egyptian mummy wrapped in linen (representational image only)

Mystery wrapped in linen: Unraveling the story of Hatason, a 3,200-year-old Egyptian mummy

Sometimes ancient Egyptians changed the remains in coffins and removed an original mummy to replace it with another. Researchers are looking into the case of a somewhat mysterious mummy with CT scans...
“The Alchymist, in Search of the Philosopher's Stone” by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1771.

From Magic to Science: The Intriguing Ritual and Powerful Work of Alchemy

Throughout time, history has recorded numerous rituals and magic practices, some more bizarre than others. While alchemists were preoccupied with finding the Philosopher's Stone and the elixir of...
Bronze Age skeleton found at Stragglethorpe, during archaeological work on the Highways Agency scheme, England. Representational image only.  (CC BY 2.0)

Solved: the mystery of Britain’s Bronze Age mummies

Whenever mummies are mentioned, our imaginations stray to the dusty tombs and gilded relics of ancient Egyptian burial sites. With their eerily lifelike repose, the preserved bodies of ancient...
Portraits of Huáscar and Atahualpa from Peruvian stamps issued in 2004. Photo source: Stamps Peru

The War of the Two Brothers: The Division and Downfall of the Inca Empire

On the 26th of July 1533, the last ruler of the Inca Empire, Atahualpa, was executed by the Spanish with a garrotte (a device used to strangle someone). This marked the end of the once mighty Inca...
Unusual celestial or weather phenomena heralded supernatural disappearances in the classical world. What became of the Roman leader Romulus?  Deriv; Solar Eclipse (Flickr/CC BY 2.0), and Roman Statue (Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

Ancient Vanishings: The mysterious and supernatural disappearance of Romulus

In 753 BC, two twins, Romulus and Remus, founded the city of Rome, and Romulus became the ruler of the city and reigned for 39 years. The identity of the two brothers has both historical and...
Portrait of Queen Victoria, 1859

Moments from the Life and Reign of Queen Victoria of Great Britain

The famous Queen Victoria set the tone for Britain’s era of industrial expansion and empire. Though often recalled as wearing black mourning clothes and having a strict code of morality, she was said...
‘Still life with glass bowl of fruit and vases’ by a Pompeian painter in 70 AD, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples, Italy. Insert: Mosaic depicting a man labelled as the gourmand Marcus Gavius Apicius.

Marcus Gavius Apicius: Top Gourmand of the Roman World

Marcus Gavius Apicius is one of those Roman names that have (almost) been lost to the ravages of time. The characteristic that has allowed Apicius to stick out from the rest of the crowd of obscure...
Artwork depicting a Tibetan Mastiff from the Qing Dynasty.

A Loyal Companion and Much More: Dogs in Ancient China

It is generally accepted that the dog is one of the earliest animals that was domesticated by human beings. In today’s society, the dog is regarded by many as ‘man’s best friend’. This view has been...
Portrait of Caterina Sforza (1483) by Lorenzo di Credi.

Caterina Sforza: A Renaissance Warrior Woman That Knew How to Get What She Wanted

Caterina Sforza was a powerful force to be contended with in Renaissance Italy. She has been called a Renaissance virago (woman who fights like a man), a lioness, tigress, and a warrior woman. One of...
Ruin of a second-century public toilet in Roman Ostia.

Rats, Exploding Toilet Seats and Demons of the Deep: The Hazards of Roman Sewers

I have spent an awful lot of time in Roman sewers – enough to earn me the nickname Queen of Latrines from my friends. The Etruscans laid the first underground sewers in the city of Rome around 500 BC...
Painting of Orixas dancing.

Candomble: The African-Brazilian Dance in Honor of the Gods

Candomblé (meaning dance in honor of the gods ) is a religion found primarily in Brazil with a number of elements derived from African cultures. It not only incorporates some religious aspects of...
A painting of Bà Triệu on her elephant.

The Heroic Warrior Ba Trieu: A figure of Resistance Against Patriarchy and the Enemies of Vietnam

Warfare is a field that has long been dominated by men. Yet, in the history of war, there are a number of women who have emerged as great warriors or military leaders. One of the lesser known female...
18th Century painting by Pinacoteca di Brera of ‘The Meeting of Pope Leo and Attila.’

The Scourge of God: Did Attila the Hun Really Deserve the Nickname?

The Latin statement Ego sum Attila flagellum Dei , which means I am Attila, the scourge of God , is said to have been first expressed in 1387, and is obviously making a reference to Attila the Hun...
One of the panels from the Lachish Reliefs depicting the Assyrian assault on Lachish.

The Siege of Lachish: History from Both the Victors and Defeated

The siege of Lachish was an event that happened in 701 BC. During this incident, the Israelite settlement of Lachish was besieged and conquered by the Assyrians. It is often said that “History is...
A painting depicting the Battle of Kosovo (1870) by Adam Stefanović. Prince Lazar is seen dying with his horse at the left.

Serbia and the Ottoman Empire: The Loss and Recuperation of Independence

During the second half of the 14th century, the Ottoman Empire was extending its rule into the Balkans. One of the regional powers that the Ottomans encountered during their conquest of the Balkans...
Roman Fish Market. Arch of Octavius

Exotic Goods and Foreign Luxuries: The Ancient Roman Marketplace

The word forum is a Latin term denoting a ‘public open space’. In ancient Rome, forums would normally be found in the center of cities, and were often surrounded by a number of other buildings, such...
Close-up of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep from their joint mastaba (tomb) at Saqqara, Egypt.

The Importance of Evidence in the Heated Debate on Homosexuality in Ancient Egypt

Sexual matters and practices are quite difficult to discern in the archaeological record. Unlike diet or diseases, sexual practices do not to leave traces on human remains. Additionally, objects used...

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