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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.

The Court Jester by John Watson Nicol.  Source: Public Domain

What Life Was Really Like as a Medieval Jester (Video)

Life as a medieval jester encompassed more than whimsical performances; it was a complex role integral to the fabric of courtly life. Despite common misconceptions, jesters were often well-educated...
AI image of a Celtic warrior (Durotriges) with a shield emblazoned with a boar’s head and a sword at his side, standing tall and proud ready to defend his tribe. Source: Justlight/Adobe Stock

Durotriges, the Celtic Fort Dwellers in Iron Age Britain

The Durotriges, an ancient Celtic tribe inhabiting what is now modern-day Dorset, Somerset, and Devon in southwestern Britain, were a very important ancient tribe of British history. Their legacy...
Not quite like the painting: the reconstructed face of Chinese Emperor Wu using DNA extracted from his remains, and the portrait of Emperor Wudi in the Thirteen Emperors Scroll. Source: Pianpian Wei / Current Biology.

DNA Data Reveals Face of a Chinese Emperor after 1,500 Years

Taking advantage of extraordinary advances in the study of ancient DNA, researchers from Fudan and Xiamen Universities in China completed a detailed facial reconstruction of a Chinese emperor who...
Bas-relief at Angkor Wat, Cambodia, c. 1150, depicting a demon inducing an abortion by pounding the abdomen of a pregnant woman with a pestle. Source: Malcolm Potts/CC BY-SA 3.0

Family Planning in the Ancient World (Video)

In ancient times, family planning methods such as abortion and contraception were integral parts of medical practices and societal norms, particularly in the ancient Mediterranean and Near East...
Representation of the English samurai, William Adams.         Source: adrenalinapura/ Adobe stock

The English Samurai - The Story of William Adams (Video)

William Adams , also known as Miura Anjin in Japan, transcended cultural boundaries to become one of the first Western Samurai in Japanese history. Born in 1564 during the Elizabethan era , Adams'...
Large pre-Hispanic Olmec basalt carved head in the La Venta archeological park in Villahermosa Mexico.	Source: Barna Tanko

What Are the Contributions of the Olmecs to the World? (Video)

The Olmecs , an ancient Mesoamerican civilization predating the Aztecs and Mayas , left a profound mark on history despite the mysteries surrounding their origins and disappearance. Scholars agree...
View overlooking Göbeklitepe Building B.	Source: Dosseman/CC BY-SA 4.0

Anatolia: A Cradle of History and Rich Culture (Video)

Anatolia , nestled between the continents of Europe and Asia, is a veritable treasure trove of ancient civilizations and cultural heritage. Despite Herodotus's misconceptions, the region's historical...
Representational image of jousting horses. Source: Public domain

Jousting Horses Ridden by English Knights Came from Mainland Europe

Jousting was a popular sport among elites in medieval England, as anyone who has ever read a book or watched a movie about English knights in the Middle Ages is well aware. Jousters wore thick armor...
Oracle bone from the Bīn group of diviners from period I, corresponding to the reign of King Wu Ding (Shang dynasty). Source: Public Domain

How Did the Chinese Develop Their Writing System? (Video)

The Chinese writing system , originating during the Shang Dynasty around 1600 BC, is a testament to China's rich cultural heritage. Unlike alphabetic systems found in many Western languages, Chinese...
Engraving of Cornelius Tacitus from a drawing by Brooke. Source: Public domain

Tacitus: The Master Chronicler of Ancient Rome

Publius Cornelius Tacitus, better known as just Tacitus, is arguably one of the most illustrious figures in Roman historiography. His writings cast a profound light on the intricacies and nuances of...
The Garamantes carved out a thriving civilization in one of the most inhospitable environments on Earth. Source: Superhero Woozie / Adobe Stock.

The Garamantes, Ancient Masters of the Hostile Sahara

In the heart of the Sahara desert, an arid wasteland the size of the US, it seems nothing can survive. But there were some who mastered this most inhospitable of landscapes, and turned an empty land...
Left, Painting of Euclid. Right, A page first printed edition of Euclid's Elements.           Source: Fondazione Cariplo/CC BY-SA 3.0; Erhard Ratdolt /CC BY-SA 4.0

Euclid and the Birth of Geometry

It’s no secret that many of us are not too fond of mathematics and geometry, and that it is often too complex. But even so, it can be pretty mind-blowing to look back in history and discover the...
The foodstuffs found on the obsidian blades at Anakena in Rapa Nui suggest the islanders made the voyage to South America and returned. Source: F.C.G. / Adobe Stock.

Rapa Nui Obsidian Discovery: Did the Islanders sail to America?

It has long been thought that the people of Rapa Nui (popularly called Easter Island) lived a largely isolated existence, cut off from other lands by the vast and treacherous ocean. However a new...
Left; part of one of the murals, Right; Entrance to the mastaba. Source: Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities

Mastaba With Stunning Murals Unearthed in Dahshur Necropolis

In the shadow of the ancient pyramids of Dahshur, a remarkable discovery has once again highlighted Egypt's enduring legacy as a cradle of human civilization. Thanks to the diligent efforts of a...
Triumph of Titus and Vespasian. Source: Public Domain

The Roman Empire’s First Civil War: The Year of the 4 Emperors (Video)

In the wake of Emperor Nero's demise , Rome plunged into the tumultuous Year of the Four Emperors , marked by intrigue, betrayal, and bloodshed. Galba, the Senate's nominee, faced immediate...
Representational image of Boudica, the warrior queen of the Iceni, one of the many Iron Age tribes of Britain. Source: NorLife / Adobe Stock

Forging a Nation: The Iron Age Tribes of Britain

The Iron Age tribes of Britain were dynamic societies that flourished between roughly 800 BC and 43 AD. This pivotal period marked a significant transition in British history, characterized by the...
Utu-Khegal, Prince of the Summerian city of Erech, imploring victory against the Gutian king, Tirikan. Source: Public Domain

The Gutians - Babylon's Brutal Barbarians (Video)

The Gutians , believed to have dwelled in the rugged terrain surrounding the Zagros Mountains, emerge as intriguing yet mysterious figures in ancient Mesopotamian annals. Dependent solely on accounts...
The infant Heracles strangling the snakes sent by the goddess Hera (a woman protects Iphiclyse on the right).	Source: Public Domain

Surprising Mythological Stories From Around the World (Video)

Exploring mythological stories from diverse cultures unveils a rich tapestry of beliefs and narratives deeply embedded in human history. For instance, the Hawaiian tradition embodied in the kumulipo...
Black-figured runners with the torch. AI Illustration in the ancient Greek style.  Source: sebos / Adobe Stock

The Olympics Saga: How the Olympics Came to Be (Video)

The ancient Olympics, originating in 776 BC in Olympia , Greece, were deeply ingrained in the fabric of Greek society. Held every four years in honor of Zeus, the games featured a range of events...
Samurai gold armor statue. Source: Public Domain

The Amazing Story of Yasuke, The Forgotten African Samurai

Samurai are among the most enduring symbols of Japanese cultural heritage, thus unsurprisingly, most samurai were Japanese. There are, however, examples of non-Japanese who became samurai as well...
Part of a tomb dating to the Jin Dynasty found in Changzhi city, Shanxi Province, China. Source: Shanxi Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology/ China Daily

Three Jin Dynasty Tombs Discovered in Chinese Village Reveal History

Three brick-chamber tombs from the Great Jin Dynasty (1115 – 1234 AD) that were uncovered in China have been found to feature beautiful and intricate wall murals. Though subject to looting and damage...
The Triumph of Cleopatra or The Arrival of Cleopatra in Cilicia (1821).                                    Source: Public Domain

What Happened to Cleopatra’s Children? (Video)

Cleopatra , a pivotal figure in ancient history, bore four children, marking a significant chapter in her legacy. Amidst the intricate web of alliances and power struggles that defined the era,...
A mural from and ancient Egyptians tomb. Source: Svetlaili/Adobe Stock

Here’s How We Know Life in Ancient Egypt was Ravaged by Disease

Thomas Jeffries /The Conversation The mention of ancient Egypt usually conjures images of colossal pyramids and precious, golden tombs. But as with most civilizations, the invisible world of...
Representational image of Maya healing by a medicine man. Source: HaiderShah / Adobe Stock

Unlocking the Secrets of Maya Healing

At a time when human beings are suffering from a host of illnesses caused by stress and modern-day living, the need for ancient wisdom has never been more important. In fact, many people have become...

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