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Complex of pyramids identified at Maya site using LiDAR technology. Source: Hansen et. al - Cambridge University Press / CC BY 4.0

LiDAR Reveals Massive Mobilization of Labor Needed to Build Maya Site

Scientists have uncovered a massive 2,000-year-old Maya site hidden under a Guatemalan rainforest, comprising of nearly 1,000 urban settlements interconnected by 160 km (100 miles) of causeways...
Haunting and beautiful Middle-Earth-like elves by artist

Icelanders Believed in Elves, But it is Probably Not What You Think

Icelanders believe in elves. They refuse to begin major construction projects unless they consult with elves first. They lobby their politicians on behalf of elf colonies. They run “elf schools” and...
HALF of the Men Found in Medieval Paupers’ Cemetery Had Broken Bones

HALF of the Men Found in Medieval Paupers’ Cemetery Had Broken Bones

Life in Europe during the Middle Ages was difficult and dangerous for the majority of the population. Poverty, disease, and warfare were common, and the poor and working classes bore the brunt of...
The history of childhood and education in Western civilization has evolved significantly over the last 2000 years, from no education to child labor to formal schools, how exactly did it all change?     Pictured: Top left: The School of Athens, a famous fresco by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael, with Plato and Aristotle as the central figures in the scene (Jorge Valenzuela A / CC BY-SA 3.0).         Bottom left: Group of child labor boys during the Industrial Revolution (Lewis Hine / Public domain).

“We Don't Need No Education!” – The History of Childhood

Over the last two millennia of Western civilization, the concept of ‘childhood’ has significantly evolved from one of a family-oriented perspective to that of the child-centered universe. Those of us...
Collection of Egyptian Busts and Shabtis, design by Anand Balaji

Nefertiti and the Perfect Serenity of Death: Mesmeric Shabtis of Akhenaten and Tutankhamun —Part II

Archeological records and a trove of recovered specimens inform us that shabtis (funerary figurines) produced from different materials were placed in the tombs of Eighteenth Dynasty Pharaoh...
Collection of Egyptian Shabtis, design by Anand Balaji

Deputies of the Dead from Amarna to Thebes: Mesmeric Shabtis of Akhenaten and Tutankhamun—Part I

Among the most important items that made it into the crypts of both kings and commoners alike were shabti figurines that served to ensure that the Afterlife was one long holiday for their masters...
Slaves working in a mine. The sustenance provided by slaves in Ancient Greece meant that citizens had free time to participate in politics.

Did He Create a Blissful Utopia or a Tyrannical Communist Nightmare? Plato’s Ancient Class System and Social Engineering Revealed

Perhaps surprisingly to some, classical Greek philosopher Plato was a social engineer; and he was the first of many “planners” to come. In essence, Plato, who laid the foundations of Western...
A Match Made in Greek Legend: What Happened When Heracles Met the Snake Woman?

A Match Made in Greek Legend: What Happened When Heracles Met the Snake Woman?

While completing his Twelve Labors, the Greek hero Heracles (a.k.a. Hercules) got up to tons of mischief—and that included bedding a lot of women. In the process, he fathered a whole host of...
Are Stone Circles Ancient Pregnancy Calendars?

Are Stone Circles Ancient Pregnancy Calendars?

Even today, giving birth can be one of the most dangerous moments in a woman's life. In ancient times it would have been even more so. Matriarchal societies would have tried to ensure the safest...
Hercules Fights the Hydra of Lerna, a painting by Francisco de Zurbarán

Like Father, like Son: Altar shows heroic son of Hercules slaying a many-headed Hydra

A second century AD altarpiece carved in marble and showing a strongman battling a monster has been found near a river by villagers in Turkey. Experts think the mythic scene may depict Bargasos, a...
An undisturbed skeleton of a man in the extended, supine posture typical at the cemetery; and the burial of a man with a common pattern of disturbance in which the upper torso has been jumbled by robbers and the skull removed.

Builders under Pharaoh Akhenaten worked so hard they broke their backs

When ancient Eygptian pharaoh Akhenaten ordered the construction of the new city of Amarna dedicated to the sun god Aten, more than 20,000 people moved there to do the back-breaking work. The work...