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Wu Mingren

Wu Mingren (‘Dhwty’) has a Bachelor of Arts in Ancient History and Archaeology. Although his primary interest is in the ancient civilizations of the Near East, he is also interested in other geographical regions, as well as other time periods. He has been an active participant in archaeological fieldwork, and has been on excavations around the world, including the UK, Egypt, and Italy.

His interests range from ‘conventional’ to ‘radical’ interpretations of the archaeological/textual/pictorial data set. He believes 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.

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The deceased nuns were left in seated positions to decompose. Source: Yellow.Cat from Roma, Italy/ CC BY 2.0

Daily Prayers with Decomposing Corpses: Death Chairs at Aragonese Castle

The Aragonese Castle is a castle built on top of a rocky islet next to Ischia, a small Italian island on the northern end of the Gulf of Naples. Whilst a stronghold is said to have already been built...
Colorized engraving depicting Sawney Bean. Source: Public Domain

Cannibalism in Scotland: The Dark Legend of Sawney Bean

Sawney Bean is a legendary figure from Scotland, who is said to have been a prolific cannibal. Together with his equally cannibalistic family, Sawney Bean murdered and robbed unfortunate victims from...
The Cyrus Cylinder. Source: Prioryman/CC BY-SA 3.0

The Cyrus Cylinder and the Ancient Proclamation of Human Rights

More than 2 millennia before the French Revolution introduced the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizens , an ancient Near Eastern monarch issued a charter that is considered to be the...
Side view of the colossal head of Decebalus. Source: Cazanele Dunării/CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Colossal Head of Decebalus, King of the Dacians

In the heart of Rome stands a 38-meter tall (124.67ft) tall column built in the 2nd century AD. Carved in low relief spiralling around the monument are over 2600 figures, representing the combatants...
Images of the Ancient water clock, the Egyptian Clepsydra. Source: Left; Archivist/Adobe Stock, Right; Egypt Museum

As Old As Time: Ancient Invention of the Water Clock

Today, the ability to keep track of time seems to be taken for granted. One just simply needs to glance at a watch, clock, or mobile phone to know the exact time, even down to the nearest second...
Photo showing a portion of the ‘Treasure of Priam’. Source: Public Domain, I, Sailko/CC BY-SA 3.0, I, Sailko/CC BY-SA 3.0, I, Sailko/CC BY-SA 3.0

The Treasures of Priam: Golden Riches from the Legendary City of Troy

Homer’s Iliad is often considered as one of the greatest works of Western literature. For many centuries, Homer’s Troy, the city besieged by the Greeks, was considered to be a myth by scholars...
Representational image of a prehistoric Titanoboa. Source: anis rohayati / Adobe Stock

Titanoboa: The Monster Snake that Ruled Prehistoric Colombia

You may not want to read about this frightening creature if you suffer from ophidiophobia, or even if you are about to embark on a camping trip. Once the largest snake in the world, Titanoboa fossils...
Representative image of Egyptian blue pigment. Source: Pattadis / Adobe Stock

Tracing the Legacy of Egyptian Blue: From Ancient Artifacts to Modern Insights

Egyptian blue, known in the scientific community as calcium copper silicate, has come to be recognized as a pioneering feat of human creativity. With origins speculated to precede 3000 BC, Egyptian...
Reconstructed wall of Ain Dara Temple with cherubim relief in lower panel. Right, Giant or godly footprints at the gate. 	Source: Odilia/CC BY-SA 3.0, Right; homocosmicos/Adobe Stock

The Enigmatic Ain Dara Temple and the Giant Footsteps of the Gods

Ain Dara is a small village in the northwest of Aleppo, Syria, which, until 2018, boasted a remarkable structure – the Ain Dara Temple, located just west of the village. The temple was discovered in...
The Search for Cibola, the Seven Cities of Gold

The Search for Cibola, the Seven Cities of Gold

In the 15th century, the Age of Discovery began in Europe. The maritime empires of Spain and Portugal led the way by financing naval expeditions across the world’s oceans. Their rediscovery of the...
Artist's impression of Teuta, Queen of the Illyrian Ardiaei tribe, leads a pirate expedition against Rome. According to Illyrian laws, piracy was a legitimate trade, which led to war against the Roman Republic, who did not approve. Source: © The Creative Assembly / SEGA from Total War.

Piracy in the Ancient Mediterranean and the Notorious Cilicians

Piracy (in its maritime context) is thought to have existed ever since the seas were used by merchants as trade routes. The Mediterranean Sea was no exception, and piracy has been notorious in this...
The reconstructed Amber Room. 	Source: Public Domain

The Majestic Amber Room that Went Missing From Charlottenburg Palace

The gleaming yellow gold hue of amber is one of nature’s wonders and one which has been sought after and admired for centuries. It is perhaps for this reason that the precious fossilized tree resin...
Painting by Paul Barbotti (1821-1867), depicting the scene of Cicero as he discovers the tomb of Archimedes forgotten by the Syracusans. Source: Public Domain

Cicero and the Forgotten Tomb of Archimedes

The Romans were great admirers of the Greeks and their civilization. The emperor Nero, for instance, was a Philhellene who travelled extensively around Greece and even gave a huge tax-exemption to...
Some of the figures at Adamkayalar. Source: Oleg Znamenskiy/Adobe Stock

Treasure Hunters Damage Ancient Rock Carvings After Non-existent ‘Hidden Treasures’

The Adamkayalar reliefs, located in Mersin Province’s southern region, near the southern coast of Turkey, have recently suffered damage from treasure hunters and need urgent protection to avoid...
The Elusive Quest: The Search for Antony and Cleopatra's Lost Tomb

The Elusive Quest: The Search for Antony and Cleopatra's Lost Tomb

When it comes to ancient love stories, few couples have captured the imagination quite like Mark Antony and Cleopatra. Their passionate romance, set against the backdrop of the Roman Empire’s...
A shrunken head of Jivaro on display.  Source: Tylwyth Eldar / CC BY-SA 4.0

Jivaro's Macabre Mastery: The Enigmatic Shrunken Heads of Jivaro

Headhunting is a practice that has been carried out by numerous cultures throughout the world. For instance, during the Qin Dynasty in ancient China, it is claimed that soldiers collected the heads...

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