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Honduras Mayan city ruins in Copan. The picture presents detail of decorating walls of the temple.

The Maya’s Mystifying Collapse – Has the Truth Finally Been Uncovered?

Did the longstanding mystery of what caused the downfall of the Maya - of one of the ancient world's great civilizations – just get solved? Nothing is mightier than an empire at its peak. Great...
Detail of ‘God creating the Sun, the Moon and the Stars’ by Jan Brueghel the Younger.

Is the Universe Only 6,000 years old? Young Earth Creationists Say Yes!

Although most mainstream scientists and most of the developed world now accept the theory of evolution and the scientifically established age of Earth and the universe, there is still a group of...
Vedic King Yudhisthira performs the Rajasuya Sacrifice.

The Janapadas: Tribal Footholds in Bronze and Iron Age India

Changes were underway in India during the period of the Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age. The Vedas were written, and ancient Indian culture, society, and religion were all being transformed. One of...
A ceramic female polo player, from northern China, Tang Dynasty, first half of the 8th century, made with white slip and polychrome. From the Musée Guimet (Guimet Museum), Paris. (Public Domain) Background: ‘Xuanzong's Journey to Shu’, in the manner of the mid-8th century Tang artist Li Zhaodao, an 11th-century Song dynasty remake.

The Tang Dynasty: The Arts Flourished, Family Ties Broke, and a Concubine Became Empress

While Europe was masked in the Dark Ages, China was flourishing in the Tang Dynasty. Woodblock printing gave them books, testing made government jobs available to common citizens, paper spread...
Was Wang Mang a visionary, or a murderous villain – or both? (Wang Mang art italkcafe.com, The Analects of Confucius; Deriv)

The Emperor is Dead, Let Confucianism and Chaos Reign! The Rise and Fall of Wang Mang and the Xin Dynasty

Some saw Wang Mang as an evil usurper – others a selfless visionary. Either way, an emperor lay dead, and a learned Confucian scholar sought to bring peace and harmony, but the dynasty would descend...
Detail of Stela 1, Fragment 1, front. La Corona, Guatemala.

Maya Snake King Dynasty Used Local Gods to Gain Authority in Rural Guatemala

Taking political control is often a violent affair, but tactics, knowledge of local customs and beliefs, and trickery can also be used to get an ambitious leader’s foot in the door. New research on...
Aztec Avenue of the Dead stretches out before pyramids and shops of Mexico.

Did Spanish Spin Doctors Change the Name of Teotihuacan to Sabotage the City?

The famous archaeological site of Teotihuacan may have served a different purpose for the Aztecs to what Spanish chroniclers claimed. A possibly deliberate change of the city’s name suggests that it...
Mycanae lions

The Fall of a Civilization: The Mysterious Collapse of the Mycenaean Bronze Age

"In most cases, collapse results from multiple, 'cascading' stress factors—politico-economic, demographic, and sociocultural as well as environmental…relational aspects, arguing that factors such as...
Recreated Viking helmet and weapon

Burning, Pillaging, and Carving up the Lands: Viking Raids into England - Part II

Vikings in history and popular culture are known as strong and dangerous, bloodthirsty killers, raiders, pillagers – pirates of land and sea. But who were the Vikings, and what were the causes of...
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...
Collage of Egyptian art, design by Anand Balaji.

Amarna in 3 Acts: Defining Vignettes from an Incomparable Era

Three important aspects, in many ways, defined and shaped the Akhetaten years and the post-Amarna period. His detractors in the new disposition erased Pharaoh Akhenaten’s memory in great haste—an...
Dark forces conspired in Ancient Egypt. Egyptian relief, design by Anand Balaji.

Dark Forces Conspire to Destroy the Radiant One: The Assassination of Akhenaten—Part II

Akhenaten’s religious experiment, which was launched in the imperial capital Thebes and later nurtured in the new city Akhetaten, resulted in dramatic changes. Not only did the king oust the panoply...
Was there a sinister plot to eliminate the Sun King? Egyptian relief, design by Anand Balaji.

A Sinister Plot to Eliminate the Sun King: The Assassination of Akhenaten—Part I

The Pharaoh clearly had enough of life at Thebes (Waset). His determined attempts to introduce Atenism—a syncretism of the Memphis-Heliopolis solar philosophy, with a deification of kingship dating...
Remains of the house of scribe Butehamun at Medinet Habu, design by Anand Balaji.

The Hunt for Herihor: Butehamun and the Death of the Royal Necropolis–Part II

Sometime around Regnal Year 17 or 19 of Pharaoh Ramesses XI matters took a turn for the worse, due in no small measure to civil unrest and a failing economy. The northern and southern parts of the...
King Herihor and Queen Nodjmet adoring the god Osiris in the afterlife. (Photo credits: Trustees of the British Museum (Wikimedia Commons)); Deriv.

The Hunt for Herihor: Waning Pharaonic Power and Advent of Priest-kings–Part I

Early in the Twenty-First Dynasty, a High Priest of Amun-Re, Herihor, declared himself ruler. The custodians of the cult of the state god finally got what they had always yearned for—overtly and...
The School of Athens: Plato and Aristotle

Aristotle is Dead, but his Ideas are Alive: Manipulating Money, and Plato’s Communism– Part II

Aristotle died. But then he returned from the grave, in a manner of speaking. The ancient Greek philosopher and scientist’s ideas remained mostly dead until the middle ages. With his rediscovered...

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