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A 14th century depiction of a camel caravan on the Silk Road.

Treacherous Trading: Dangers of the Silk Road

The Silk Road is arguably the most famous long-distance trade route in the ancient world. This trade route connected Europe in the West with China in the East, and allowed the exchange of goods,...
Modern Mekong Delta floating market, Vietnam. Still an area of extensive trade.

Extensive Neolithic Trading Network Uncovered in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

A team of archaeologists from The Australian National University (ANU) has uncovered a vast trading network which operated in Vietnam from around 4,500 years ago up until around 3,000 years ago. A...
Han Dynasty granary between Dunhuang and the Jade Gate - an important supply center for the ancient Silk Routes.

3000-Year-Old Earthworks Confirmed as Sun Worship Altar on China’s Silk Road

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a 3,000-year-old altar to the sun in North West China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Experts say that the altar resembles the heaven-worshipping...
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...
The old packhorse bridge in Carrbridge, Scotland

Bridging the Living and the Dead: Scotland's 300-Year-Old Coffin Bridge

"At the beginning of the eighteenth century, to the inconvenience of both travellers and local people, there was no point at which the River Dulnain could be crossed when it was in spate, and burials...
A copper bowl burning frankincense.

Why Did Ancient People Travel Thousands of Kilometers for Incense?

In ancient times, people would travel thousands of kilometers across land and sea, along a network of trading routes, to acquire the precious commodities of myrrh and frankincense. The ancient...
Highland along Kjolur, Iceland

The Kjolur Route: Haunted Highway and Ancient Viking Shortcut in Iceland

Positioned on a desert upland in the highlands of Iceland, the Ancient Kjolur Trail gives a new meaning to the word “desolation.” This lengthy, winding thoroughfare, that leads visitors across an...
Did Nomads and their Herds Carve Out the Silk Road?

Did Nomads and their Herds Carve Out the Silk Road?

Nearly 5,000 years ago, long before Marco Polo traversed the vast east-west trade routes of the Great Silk Road, nomads were carving the foundations for these trans-Asian interaction networks. “Our...
Dozens of Large, Mysterious Rings and Rock Piles Identified in Peru

Dozens of Large, Mysterious Rings and Rock Piles Identified in Peru

Dozens of circular geoglyphs have been mapped by archaeologists in Peru, near the ancient town and archaeological site of Quilcapampa. The glyphs have been dated to between 1050 and 1400 AD, and are...
Clockwise from top left - Koh Ker, Cambodia (thomaswanhoff/CC BY SA 2.0), Pyramid of Khafre, Egypt (MusikAnimal/CC BY SA 3.0), El Castillo, Chichén Itzá, Mexico (Grand Velas Riviera Maya/CC BY SA 2.0), Pyramid of Cestius, Italy (Nicholas Laughlin/CC BY NC SA 2.0) Center: Replica of a wind rose from the chart of Jorge de Aguiar, 1492. (Alvesgaspar/CC BY SA 3.0)

The Pyramids Route: Was Knowledge of the Pyramids Spread by Ancient Castaways?

Jose Salvador Alvarenga was fishing off the coast of Mexico in late 2012 when a powerful storm sent his boat adrift. Marshall Islanders found the battered vessel nearly 16 months later, stuck on a...
Overland on the Ancient Silk Road.

Recent Textile Discovered in Nepal Sheds Light on How Far South the Silk Road Actually Extended

Thanks to a recent discovery in Nepal, it is now believed that the historic trade route known as the Silk Road extended further South than originally believed. The Silk Road extended from China to...
Qhapaq Nan - Inca Trail

Qhapaq Nan, the Grand Route of the Incas, wins World Heritage Status

An ancient Inca trail spanning six countries has just been awarded World Heritage Status, UNESCO announced on Saturday. Qhapaq Nan, as the trail is known, is a huge network of roads once used by the...
Qhapaq Nan - Incas

Qhapaq Nan, the Grand Route of the Incas, expected to get World Heritage Status

An ancient Inca trail is among the list of sites expected to get World Heritage status at a two-week UNESCO meeting currently being held in Doha. The listing of the Qhapaq Nan – a huge network of...
Britain’s A1 road - Ancient 10,000 years old

Archaeologists stunned to discover Britain’s A1 road is 10,000 years old

A team of archaeologists, who were working alongside the A1, the longest road in Britain, were shocked to discover evidence of a Mesolithic settlement which suggests the route may have been in use...