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Marco Polo

AI representation of female Mongolian generals and warriors on the steppe.  Source: Hui/Adobe Stock

Khutulun: The Mongol Warrior Princess (Video)

In the 13th century, Marco Polo claimed to have encountered the remarkable Khutulun , the great-great-granddaughter of Genghis Khan. Amidst the fragmented Mongol Empire, Khutulun emerged as a...
The Silk Road offered opportunities to explore, not only new lands, but new sexual adventures.	Source: Demian / Adobe Stock

Sexual Exploits and Exploitation along the Silk Road

The Silk Road created a convergence of cultures like no other. The route is deemed influential by historians because of the contributions it made to trade and the economy, as well as society in...
Vintage postcard showing European tourism destinations. Source: Freesurf/Adobe Stock

Tourism Through the Ages: The Human Desire to Explore

Although taking a summer vacation is now a standard aspect of modern-day civilization for many, it wasn’t always that way. Tourism was far less common in ancient times than it is today, but that...

The World Only Knows About Marco Polo Because of His Ghostwriter Prison Cell Mate

Marco Polo may be a household name, but few know that his famous literary masterpiece, The Travels of Marco Polo , was not only written while he was in prison, but was penned by somebody else. Marco...
Christopher Columbus, map of the New World and Dante Alighieri (Deriv)

Discovering The New World: The Papacy’s Backing Of Dante And Columbus

A concerning trend has broken out in the world: that of rewriting history to one's liking by acclaiming or tarnishing historical figures of whom very little is actually known. For more than 30 years...
Ancient City of Qalhat in Oman 	Source: derusu / Adobe Stock

1,000-Year-Old Ruins of Qalhat, Oman’s Ancient City

Qalhat, an ancient city located in a northeastern region of the country of Oman, has an interesting history behind it. Located just north of Sur, the capital of the Ash Sharqiyah South Governorate,...
The famous mosaic of Marco Polo displayed in the Palazzo Doria-Tursi, Italy, a man we now know more about with the latest evidence of a likely-earlier daughter by him in Venice.		Source: Salviati / Public domain

Unknown Estranged Daughter of Marco Polo Revealed In Venetian Will

The Venetian merchant, explorer, and traveler, Marco Polo, is one of history’s most revered names, and his travels through Asia along the Silk Road at the end of the 13th century are documented in...
Was Marco Polo just another fiction from Rustichiano? Source: Ulia Koltyrina / Adobe Stock.

The Ghost Of Marco Polo Haunting The Fictional Realm

In 2016, Ancient Origins published an article entitled Is Marco Polo a Fictional Characte r? and it led to hate-mail and overall outrage among some readers. It was blown so out-of-proportion that the...
An Exceptional Medieval Irish Book Returns to Ireland

An Exceptional Medieval Irish Book Returns to Ireland

An incredibly significant medieval book of manuscripts has been returned to Ireland . The Book of Lismore is a collection of hand-written texts that was donated by an aristocratic English family to...
Take an Eye-Opening Journey into the Past: Top 10 Historical TV Series

Take an Eye-Opening Journey into the Past: Top 10 Historical TV Series

Ancient history and some of its famous faces have inspired countless TV series over recent years, ranging from drama and action, to fantasy and sci-fi. We all know that “based on actual events” or “...
Archaeologists have found hoards of objects including ceramic figurines and jade clothing in an exciting discovery of Han period tombs. Source: Xi'an Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology / RT

Han Period Tombs Full of Jade Discovered at the Origin of the Silk Road

In a stunning find, hundreds of artifacts dating back to the golden age of China have been discovered in ancient Han period tombs located at the origin of the Silk Road . Xi ’ an (Sian) city is the...
Warrior Khutulun in the series Marco Polo

Khutulun: The Undefeated Bad-Ass Mongolian Warrior Princess

Khutulun was a Mongolian noblewoman who lived during the time of the Mongol Empire. She is recorded to have been a great warrior and was especially noted for her prowess in the sport of wrestling...
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...
Controversial New Theory Suggests Ancient Greeks Helped Build Terracotta Army in China

Controversial New Theory Suggests Ancient Greeks Helped Build Terracotta Army in China

New research suggests that Western explorers reached China more than 1,500 years before Marco Polo’s historic trip to the East, making it the first documented contact between Western and Chinese...
A painting depicting a scene from the Chinese classic, Journey to the West. The painting shows the four heros of the story, left to right: Sun Wukong, Xuanzang, Zhu Wuneng, and Sha Wujing.

The Monk and the Poet: Meet the Rebels behind the Legendary “Journey to the West”

Hsi-yu chi , or Journey to the West, is a Chinese novel published in the 16th century, during the Ming Dynasty. The novel adds elements from a bewildering array of Asian cultural lore, as well as...
Personal ‘hygiene sticks’ used in toilets on the Silk Road. Hui-Yuan Yeh. Reproduced from the Journal of Archaeological Science

2,000-Year-Old Feces from the Silk Road Reveal Spread of Infectious Diseases

Once travelled by famous historical figures such as Marco Polo and Genghis Khan, the Silk Road was a hugely important network of transport routes connecting eastern China with Central Asia, the...
The Yale world map of "Henricus Martellus Germanus" (Heinrich Hammer). It is the most detailed "Dragon Tail" map by Martellus. It is the only one with a coordinate grid.

Hidden secrets revealed in 1491 world map that may have guided Columbus

A map of the world produced in 1491 by Henricus Martellus has been subjected to multispectral imaging, which has revealed hidden details on the map not previously visible, including numerous Latin...
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...