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Content written by dhwty

dhwty's pictureI am a university student doing a BA degree in Archaeology. My interests range from ‘conventional’ to ‘radical’ interpretations of the archaeological/textual/pictorial data set. I believe that intellectual engagement by advocates from both ends of the spectrum would serve to enhance our understanding of the past. In addition, such discussions would serve to bring Archaeology to a wider audience as well as to stimulate their interest, curiosity, and critical thinking of such issues. Read More...

Vintage magic book. Abracadabra used to be written and used as a talisman.

Say the Magic Word: The Origins of Abracadabra

Magic words are often used by magicians whilst performing magic tricks on stage. One of the most common of these incantations is ‘Abracadabra’. Although this word is known to many, it is likely that...
Quedlinburg Castle and Monastery, Quedlinburg, Germany where the Annals of Quedlinburg were written.

The Annals of Quedlinburg: Rare Example of Female Scholarship in Medieval Europe

Mention medieval scholarship , and the first image that most people will have would probably be that of a monk with a quill in his hand and an open book before him. The most well-known scholars of...
Sargon the Great, founder of the Akkadian Empire. Source: Dave LaFontaine / CC BY-SA 2.0

Explaining the Fall of the Great Akkadian Empire

The Akkadian Empire was an ancient empire that existed towards the end of the 3 rd millennium BC. This was the first empire in Mesopotamia , and some consider it to be the first true empire in world...
The Burney Relief

The Famous Burney Relief: Who Was the Mysterious Mesopotamian Goddess?

The Burney Relief (known also as the Queen of the Night) is a terracotta plaque from ancient Mesopotamia . The relief is dominated by a nude female figure with wings and talons . She is usually...
Suspects in Ancient India Forced to Chew Rice to Determine Their Guilt.

Ordeal of Rice: Suspects in Ancient India Forced to Chew Rice to Determine Their Guilt

The ordeal of rice is a divine method of proof that was employed in ancient India. This ordeal involves suspects chewing on rice grains and then spitting them out. The condition of the grains is then...
Medieval Carcassonne town view, France. Source: Nejron Photo / Adobe

Carcassonne: Europe’s Largest Medieval Fortified City Was Defended by Straw Soldiers

Carcassonne is Europe’s largest fortified city that still stands today. It is located in Aude, a department in the southern French region of Occitanie . The city is divided into two parts by the Aude...
The civilization called Wagadou, better known as the Ghana Empire, was a Sonniki state.

The Prosperity and Power of the Ghana Empire Flourished on the Trans-Saharan Trade Route

The Ghana Empire was the first of the great West African empires that existed during the Middle Ages. The history of the Ghana Empire is obscure and much of what we know about it is derived from Arab...
Ninja warrior.

Hwarang, The ‘Flowering Knights’ of Korea: Deadly Warriors That Looked and Smelled Good!

The Hwarang were an extraordinary group of ancient knights from Silla – one of 3 kingdoms in the region of the Korean peninsula . They were an elite sect, chosen from high society families whilst...
Production of salt for the salt trade.

When Salt Was Traded for Gold: The Salt Trade of West Africa that Built Kingdoms and Spread Culture

In West Africa during the Medieval period, salt was traded for gold. This may seem astonishing as salt is a cheap commodity in today’s society. It may be added that salt is easily available today...
Askia the Great, ruler of the Songhai Empire 1493 to 1528, in the Game Civilization V.

Askia the Great: Revolt Leader to Powerful Songhai Emperor

Muhammad I Askia (also known as Askia the Great) was one of the most important emperors of the Songhai Empire. Askia came to power in 1493, when he overthrew the last ruler of the Sunni Dynasty,...
Sumerian warriors

The Sumerian Seven: The Top-Ranking Gods in the Sumerian Pantheon

The Sumerian religion was polytheistic in nature, and the Sumerians worshipped a great number of deities. These deities were anthropomorphic beings, and were meant to represent the natural forces of...
Sundiata Keita, the Lion King of Mali.

Sundiata Keita: The Lion King of Mali

Sundiata Keita was the founder of the Mali Empire and is popularly referred to as the Lion King. Prior to this, Sundiata was the king / chief of a small, obscure Mandinka tribe within the Ghana...
Cowrie shell money. Source: tradol / Adobe.

Paying With Shells: Cowrie Shell Money Is One of the Oldest Currencies Still Collected Today

Shell money is a form of currency that was used in various parts of the world, including Asia , Africa, and Oceania . This type of money makes use of a type of marine snail known as cowrie and...
Askia the Great, ruler of the Songhai Empire 1493 to 1528.

How Did the Songhai Empire Dominate West Africa?

The Songhai Empire dominated West Africa between the 15th and 16th centuries. This empire was a successor state of the powerful, centuries-long Mali Empire . The weakening of Mali rule allowed the...
Assyrian Cuneiform

Deciphering Cuneiform to Get a Handle on Life in Ancient Mesopotamia

Cuneiform is a system of writing that was invented by the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia. Believed to have been created sometime during the 4th millennium BC (between 3500 and 3000 BC), this script...
Viking Bjorn Ironside

Bjorn Ironside: Son of Famed Viking Ragnar Lodbrok Became Legendary King of Sweden

Bjorn Ironside was a famous Viking leader who legends say ruled Sweden as the first king from the House of Munsö. He lived during the 9th century AD and his father was the legendary Ragnar Lodbrok...

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