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The Borneo elephants are about 70% smaller than the Asian elephant, with a long tail hanging down to the ground and a relative short trunk. Their faces are baby-like with a cute appearance. (Image © Willem Daffue)

The Enigma of the Origins of the Borneo Elephants

Through history, at least 32 elephant species have existed on planet earth, some became extinct as early as the Miocene epoch (23.03 to 5.333 million years ago), but most species were exterminated by...
Golden Celestial Nymph of Majapahit (CC BY-SA 3.0), and carved relief of a bulging-eyed figure on a temple in Trowulan, suggested site of the capital city of the Majapahit Empire (CC BY-SA 3.0), Deriv.

The Hidden Mastermind and Warrior Queen Behind an Empire’s Golden Age

The Majapahit Empire was a vast empire on the island of Java from 1293 to 1527 CE, which later became part of modern Indonesia. It was an empire of 98 tributaries, stretching from the island of...
Rare Ming Dynasty Banknote Found Hidden Inside a Chinese Sculpture

Rare Ming Dynasty Banknote Found Hidden Inside a Chinese Sculpture

A team of specialists working at the Australian auction house Mossgreen have discovered a rare Ming Dynasty banknote hidden within a Chinese wooden sculpture. The discovery happened unexpectedly as...
Deriv; Marco Polo travels by camel caravan and a modern re-imagining of Marco Polo

Is Marco Polo a Fictional Character? Challenging the Historical Tale of the Merchant Traveler

Based upon historical analyses, it is unlikely that a person named Marco Polo who visited China in the 1200’s existed. Before presenting this argument, here is an analogy: if people do not know that...
Chinese Archaeologists May Have Solved the Mystery of the Lost Palace of Kublai Khan

Chinese Archaeologists May Have Solved the Mystery of the Lost Palace of Kublai Khan

Last month, archaeologists found a hint of an amazing discovery while excavating in the Forbidden City in China. While the researchers were somewhat hesitant then to confirm the finding of Kublai...
A painting of Kublai Khan, as he would have appeared in the 1260s. This is actually a posthumous that was made shortly after his death in February 1294, by a Nepalese artist and astronomer

An Ancient Rice Field and a Lost Palace: Archaeologists Get a Double Dose of Luck in China

Archaeologists working in China have been pretty lucky recently. One of the discoveries they have made may be the oldest wet rice field in the world. Another is the possible location of the imperial...
This dragon head, unearthed at Xanadu, was attached to the end of a beam.

Stunning dragon heads found at ancient summer palace of Xanadu

Archaeologists have found some stunning artifacts during excavations of the famed palace at Xanadu in Inner Mongolia, including three ceramic dragon heads. Xanadu became the summer palace of Kublai...
Marco Polo travelling, Miniature from the Book "The Travels of Marco Polo"

The Life and Adventures of Marco Polo

"In Xanadu did Kubla Khan, a stately pleasure-dome decree…" Thus begins one of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s three great poems, the unfinished “ Kubla Khan” . According to the poet, this poem was...
Mongol Invasion of Japan

Kamikaze – The Divine Winds that Saved Japan

During the 13th century, the Mongols, led by Kublai Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan, attempted two major invasions of Japan in 1274 and 1281 AD. However, on both occasions, a massive typhoon (tropical...