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Important Events

Here we feature some of the most seminal, historical, and influential events throughout history – both celebrated and unheralded – from the emergence of powerful civilizations and empires, to famous battles, great achievements, and events that have helped shape the world we currently know.

Ancient statue of Ramesses II.

Oldest Recorded Solar Eclipse Helps Date the Egyptian Pharaohs

Researchers have pinpointed the date of what could be the oldest solar eclipse yet recorded. The event, which occurred on 30 October 1207 BC, is mentioned in the Bible, and could have consequences...
Detail of a man depicted on an Uruk vase, Pergamon Museum. The Uruk civilization arose as it expertly adapted to the new climate.

Rising to the Challenge: Innovative Civilizations Advanced Through Climate Change

Beginning around 90,000 years ago, during an interglacial period, Anatomically Modern Humans were able to take advantage of the favorable climatic conditions and migrate throughout Africa and into...
Cao Cao cites a poem before the Battle of Red Cliffs, portrait at the Long Corridor of the Summer Palace, Beijing

Devastating Defeat for Chinese Warlord in Largest Naval Battle in History

The largest naval battle in history occurred in the winter of 208/9 AD as part of the war for control of China. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers fought - some estimates suggest that the exact number...
The Purusha or ‘cosmic man’, which has a thousand heads and permeates the earth and universe in all directions.

The Real Reason Ancient Indo-Europeans Carried Out Human Sacrifice

The ultimate aim of the original Indo-European sacrifices, modelled after the cosmic sacrifice of the Purusha [a cosmic man whose sacrifice by the gods created all life] … must have been the...
The Battle of Rocroi, by Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau.

Social Consequences of the Thirty Years' War: Was it Worth it?

The Thirty Years’ War was a major European war that occurred during the 17 th century. Whilst the conflict took place mainly in the area of modern day Germany, it involved many of the great European...
Hendrick Avercamp’s ‘Ice Scene’ (c. 1610).

How Fashion Adapted to Climate Change – In the Little Ice Age

Lane Eagles / The Conversation One could say the consequences of the planet’s warming climate can be seen on fashion week runways and the shelves of Anthropologie and H&M. Silhouettes shrink as...
Main: Temple of Aton in Amarna (CC by SA 3.0). Inset eclipse (public domain)

Eclipse over Amarna: Beginning of the End for Akhenaten in his City of Light?

The ancient Egyptian civilization was wedded to the Sun, and yet, extant records only ever mention the solar aspect as the giver and sustainer of life that shines brightly for all eternity. Sterling...
It’s Driving Them Out of Their Minds: The First Big Poisoning in Ancient Rome

It’s Driving Them Out of Their Minds: The First Big Poisoning in Ancient Rome

There were quite a few methods of offing rivals available to criminals in ancient Rome, but poisoning became a popular one by the early imperial period. Perhaps the first widespread ring wreaking...
Old Chinese coins.

When – and Why – Did People First Start Using Money?

Chapurukha Kusimba / The Conversation Sometimes you run across a grimy, tattered dollar bill that seems like it’s been around since the beginning of time. Assuredly it hasn’t, but the history of...
Detail of ‘The Battle of Pavia’ (1528-1531) by Bernard van Orley and William Dermoyen.

The Battle of Pavia: Paving the Political Roads of Rival Rulers with Blood

February 24, 1525. A day that is not marked in infamy but in the blood of France. On this date, the Battle of Pavia occurred – the decisive event in a longstanding war and rivalry, and the crushing...
Raft in the Stone Age.

Did Ancient Humans Acquire Nautical Knowledge by Sailing the Prehistoric Megalakes of Africa?

There is increasing evidence that anatomically modern humans (AMH) left Africa 100,000 years ago. Archaeological evidence indicates that AMH were in Arabia, China, Crete, and Brazil over 100,000...
Left (Wally Gobetz/CC BY NC ND 2.0) and right (Wally Gobetz/CC BY NC ND 2.0): Brooklyn Museum - Reliefs of King Ashur-nasir-pal II - Standard Inscription. Detail of cuneiform script. Center: British Museum, Assyrian collections (Room 10) cuneiform inscription.

Deciphering Cuneiform: Helping Scholars to Get a Handle on Life in Ancient Mesopotamia

Cuneiform is a system of writing that was invented by the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia. Believed to have been created sometime during the 4th millennium BC (between 3500 and 3000 BC), this script...
A painting entitled ‘White Lotus Society’

The White Lotus Society and the Demise of Mongol Rule in China

The White Lotus Society / Sect (written in Chinese as 白莲教, and Romanised as ‘Bai Lian Jiao’) was a millenarian movement that existed in imperial China. As a religious movement, the teachings of the...
Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans

The Sicarii: The Jewish Daggermen With a Thirst for Roman Blood

The Sicarii - which may be translated as ‘daggermen’ from the Latin - were a group of Jewish zealots who lived during the 1 st century AD. The Sicarii intended to expel the Romans and their...
Total eclipse of the sun, Chita, Russia, 1997.

A War Ending Phenomenon: Total Solar Eclipse Occurring on August 21 in the US

When a total solar eclipse occurred just over 2,600 years ago, on May 28, 585 BC, the sight of it is believed to have been the main reason for the end of the battle between the Medes and the Lydians...
Representational image of the Out-of-Africa event.

Did Mankind First Exit Africa 100,000 Years Ago?

Recent archaeological evidence indicates that between 130,000 to 100,000 years ago there was an exit of anatomically modern humans out of Africa into the Americas and Eastern Eurasia. This view is...

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