Killer Queens: 5 of Ancient History’s Most Outstanding Female Rulers

Killer Queens: 5 of Ancient History’s Most Outstanding Female Rulers

True leadership knows no gender and despite societal condemnation or restrictions of the gods, powerful women have risen to the challenge and stepped up to take the reins of governance firmly in their delicate hands.

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Customized Bronze Corinthian Helmet Found In Israeli Waters

Customized Bronze Corinthian Helmet Found In Israeli Waters

The Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) recently announced they were in possession of an ancient Corinthian helmet that had been worn by a Greek warrior in either the sixth or fifth century BC.

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Buccaneers’ Brimstone, Booty, Brotherhood and Betel Nut

The goal of a pirate of the West Indies was to capture his prey, with as little damage as possible, so that he could resell the vessel, including its cargo and crew. 

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Ready for the Afterlife: The Mummification Process in Ancient Egypt

Ready for the Afterlife: The Mummification Process in Ancient Egypt

When it comes to ancient Egypt and its long lasting and influential civilization, plenty of its unique characteristics can seem peculiar and otherworldly. Sure, it is no secret that ancient Egypt was home to some odd beliefs and quirky traditions. But to them, all of it held deep meaning and religious significance. One of the oldest and strangest of these traditions is certainly the mummification process. Embalming the dead in order to provide artificial mummification is not a novelty in human history, but the mummification process was certainly perfected in ancient Egypt where this practice survived for thousands of years. But how did they do it? And most importantly, why?

The Origins and Nature of the Mummification Process

Over the years, the classic depiction of a linen-wrapped mummy became an iconic symbol of the ancient Egyptians. But the actual word “mummy” has nothing to do with it! There is quite a rocky history to that simple word. The English version was borrowed from the Latin word mumia. This in turn was borrowed from Arabic in the middle ages, from the word mūmiya (مومياء), which stems from the Persian word mūm, meaning “wax.” 

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Myanmar Violence Spreads to Ancient Temples of Bagan

Myanmar Violence Spreads to Ancient Temples of Bagan

Police in Myanmar have opened fire on protesters in Bagan, the former ancient capital and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, bringing even more destruction to one of the world’s oldest religious centers.

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Learning Ancient Greek Helps Dyslexia, Research Suggests

Learning Ancient Greek Helps Dyslexia, Research Suggests

Dyslexia is a disorder that can cause immense challenges for young people trying to learn how to read and write. In some instances, it can even affect the learning of mathematics or cause short-term memory problems.  If left unaddressed, dyslexia can continue to cause complications in later life.

Current consensus suggests that dyslexia can be successfully managed, but not completely cured. Fascinatingly, some studies have found that learning the written language and alphabet of the Ancient Greeks can spur changes in brain development that help stave off the onset of dyslexia. And if the symptoms of dyslexia are already being experienced, learning the Ancient Greek alphabet can actually reduce their intensity or eliminate them altogether.

How Scholars Linked Dyslexia Treatment With Ancient Greek

Much of the knowledge about this area of dyslexia research comes from the work of two University of Toronto professors: Charles Lumsden, a biologist and associate of the university’s Department of Medicine and Medical Science, and the now-retired Derrick De Kerckhove, who was a professor of French and the one-time director of the university’s Marshall McLuhan Center of Communication Theory.

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Subterranean Discovery: Medieval Welsh Abbey Tunnel from Norman Invasion Period

Subterranean Discovery: Medieval Welsh Abbey Tunnel from Norman Invasion Period

Archaeologists announced the discovery of a 12th-century tunnel network, this time, beneath an abbey in Wales. And this Welsh abbey tunnel is so long that that archaeologists project that it will take many years for them to get to the end of this now emerging medieval subterranean find. 

The Norman invasion of Wales opened the church in Wales to new monastic orders. Thirteen Cistercian monasteries were founded in Wales between 1131 and 1226 AD and the first was situated near Tintern, Monmouthshire, close to the border with England. Tintern Abbey, a vast gothic structure, which fell into ruin in the 17th century, attracts around 70,000 visitors a year.

A team of water engineers working for Western Power Distribution recently unearthed the tunnel network while moving an electricity pole. A spokesperson for Western Power Distribution told the Daily Mail that “the four-foot [1.2 meter] high tunnels” weren’t marked on any previous ordnance survey maps and their discovery was completely unexpected. Now, works at the site have been put on hold so that archaeologists can assess the condition of the tunnels.

A section of the 4-foot (1.2 meter) high Welsh abbey tunnel recently discovered beneath Tintern Abbey, Wales. (Western Power Distribution)

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Historic Figures Brought to Life with Movement and Emotion!

Historic Figures Brought to Life with Movement and Emotion!

A graphic artist in Ireland has utilized advanced motional tracking technology to create highly realistic video footage of famous historic figures, showing what they would have looked like in real life.

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Mummy Cold Case: Tracing the Identity of the Mystery ‘Persian Princess’

Persian princess. Credit: odnolko / Adobe Stock

This story details a cold case like no other. It occurred after the discovery of a mummy that was alleged to be an ancient Persian Princess. It ultimately led archaeological investigators on a wild journey of intrigue, deceit, and controversy. It all started in the year 2000 in Pakistan when police learned of a Karachi man attempting to sell an ancient mummy in its sarcophagus on the black market for the equivalent of $11 million. 

After tracking down, arresting and questioning the alleged criminal, the man confessed to the police that he had been given the mummy from an Iranian man who claimed he had discovered it in the aftermath of an earthquake, and that he and his accomplice had agreed on a 50-50 split on the $11 million. The Pakistani police authorities eventually coaxed the man into revealing the whereabouts of the mummy and he took them to a location near the Iran - Afghanistan border where the body was recovered and taken to the National Museum in Karachi for inspection.  

After cursory inspection, the museum staff determined that the mummy had been wrapped in a classically Egyptian style and wore a face mask, a golden crown, and a breastplate inscribed with the words “I am the daughter of the great King Xerxes. Mazereka protect me. I am Rhodugune, I am.”  The wooden sarcophagus was decorated with what appeared to be cuneiform inscriptions from ancient Persia, including carved images of “Ahura Mazda,” the creator god of Zoroastrianism.

All evidence pointed to the fact that these were the 2,600-year-old remains of a mummified Persian princess!

It is not every day that archaeologists unearth ancient mummies in Iran, and especially not those of a Persian Princess. In fact, this was the first time a member of ancient Persian royalty had ever surfaced. 

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Ancient Red Sea Port May Have World’s Oldest Pet Cemetery

Ancient Red Sea Port May Have World’s Oldest Pet Cemetery

Archaeologists unearthed an extensive animal burial ground at the 2,000-year-old port of Berenice on the Red Sea coast of Egypt a decade ago. Now they say that the evidence found in almost 600 animal graves suggests this could be the world’s oldest pet cemetery.

The site was first discovered by archaeozoologist Marta Osypinska and her colleagues at the Polish Academy of Sciences in 2011. It’s located just outside the city walls of Berenice (also spelled Berenike.) It was under a Roman trash dump and the researchers write in their new paper published in World Archaeology that “The ‘pet cemetery’ at the port functioned from the mid-1st to mid-2nd century AD.”

Manner of placement of the body of a dog, cat and monkey in the ‘pet cemetery’ at Berenice. (Osypinska, M., Skibniewski, M., & P. Osypinski/World Archaeology 2021)

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Ancient Board Games Simulating War Strategies And Predicting Afterlife

Men Playing Board Games in Alegria (1890 – 1900) (Public Domain)

Board games provide humanity with entertainment, distraction and exercise for the mind whether they are played on the ground, on the floor or on wooden boards. 

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Pre-Columbian Explorers Settled the Bahamas Earlier Than Thought

Pre-Columbian Explorers Settled the Bahamas Earlier Than Thought

New evidence suggests that the Bahamas were settled earlier than previously thought. But that’s not all. It appears that the first explorers to arrive on the islands transformed the entire landscape, rapidly.

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The Final Insanity of Al Capone: Was Notorious Gangster Haunted by a Hapless Victim?

The prison cell of Al Capone at Eastern State Penitentiary

Al Capone was a notorious American gangster whose multi-million dollar Chicago operation in bootlegging, prostitution, and gambling dominated the organized crime scene for nearly a decade. At the height of his power, he employed over 1,000 gunmen in his service and had up to half of the city’s police force on his payroll. Yet in his final years, he had descended into a frightened, quivering mess, who would scream out at night for ‘Jimmy’ to leave him alone. Did Al Capone suffer mental illness in his final years, or was he haunted by one his hapless victims?

Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone (1899 – 1947) was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of recent Italian immigrants. His entrance into a life of crime began when he moved to Chicago and became a friend and bodyguard to Johnny Torrio, head of a criminal syndicate that illegally supplied alcohol during America’s Prohibition era.

Al Capone is shown here in 1930 at the Chicago Detective bureau following his arrest on a vagrancy charge

Al Capone is shown here in 1930 at the Chicago Detective bureau following his arrest on a vagrancy charge. (Public Domain)

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First Humans in New England May Have Met and Hunted Woolly Mammoths

The discovery of a long-forgotten woolly mammoth bone may prove that humans and woolly mammoths coexisted in the northeastern United States.

Did humans and woolly mammoths share the same territory near the end of the last Ice Age in what is now the Northeastern United States? A new study from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, has given scientists reason to believe they might have, at least for a short time. 

Dusting Off Woolly Mammoth Bone After 100 Years

A pair of Dartmouth anthropologists, Postdoctoral Fellow Nathaniel Kitchel and associate professor Jeremy De Silva, ordered radiocarbon dating tests on a sample of fossilized woolly mammoth bone that had been retrieved from a bog in Vermont and kept in storage for more than 100 years. 

The tests showed the woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) had lived and died approximately 12,800 years ago. This is very close to the time when the first humans were believed to have arrived in the area now known as New England, during a late post-glacial cooling period known as the Younger Dryas.

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Peisistratus And The Peisistratids: Tyrants Of Athens Before Democracy

Though the followers of Peisistratus, including his sons, managed to rule Athens for a long time as “tyrants,” in the end they fell to the Spartans and democracy was born!	 Source: Massimo Todaro / Adobe Stock

Peisistratus was a ruler of Athens during the 6th century BC. Peisistratus was an absolute ruler, and seized power in Athens through trickery and force. Therefore, he is considered to be a “tyrant,” though this does not necessarily have the negative connotations that is attached to this title today. 

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Little Human Subspecies: Where’s the Evidence?

Little Human Subspecies: Where’s the Evidence?

From the lush oases of Africa’s Ethiopia, across the planet to the sweltering jungles of Mexico, beyond the horizon to the primordial coasts of Hawaii, and back again to the gardens, olive groves, and marble columns of ancient Greece, an obscure common thread of small human subspecies endures.

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Invisible Blue: The Color That Ancient People Could Not See

Ancient people seemed to have problems seeing or recognizing the color blue.

The story of “blue being invisible in history” begins in 1858 when William Gladstone who was mystified as to why the color blue was never refered to in ancient Greek writing. Further explorations have revealed an absence of the mention of the color blue in writing from many other ancient cultures. It was as if the color did not exist.

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Severed Head of Stone Age Woman Found Lodged in Rocks of Italian Cave

Severed Head of Stone Age Women Found Lodged in Rocks of Italian Cave

Archaeologists arrived at Marcel Loubans cave near Bologna, Italy, in 2017 to embark on a unique rescue mission. Their goal was to extract a solitary human skull that had somehow become marooned on a rocky ledge deep inside the cave, at the top of a 40-foot (12 m) vertical shaft that could only be reached with specialized climbing equipment.

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Medieval Tunnel Found Under Poland’s Famous Ducal Castle In Szczecin

Medieval Tunnel Found Under Poland’s Famous Ducal Castle In Szczecin

According to The First News, researchers have discovered a secret tunnel underneath the Ducal Castle in Szczecin, Poland. The researchers made this discovery after exploring Nazi-era passages built during WWII.

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Rare Bronze Age Spearhead has Remained Intact for Thousands of Years!

Rare Bronze Age Spearhead has Remained Intact for Thousands of Years!

A metal detectorist has made a great discovery on the island of Jersey – a rare and complete metal spearhead that is thousands of years old. Researchers have called the Bronze Age spearhead “unique to the Channel Islands and a rare find in Great Britain.”

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Princess Zeb-un-Nisa: Rebel Sufi Poetess and her Gilded Garden Prison

Zeb-un-Nisa: Mughal Princess and Rebel Poetess

Sitting alone in her quiet gardens, reciting verses of poetry and waiting for the end to come. This is how Princess Zeb-un-Nisa spent the final years of her life. Zeb-un-Nisa means “jewel among women,” and she truly deserved that title.

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Major Megalithic Cemetery Discovered with Dozens of Tombs

Excavations at the megalithic cemetery found in south-central Poland. Source: J.Bulas

Archaeologists have discovered a large and unique megalithic cemetery in south-central Poland. It has been dated to 5,500 years old, contains dozens of tombs, and researchers say, “a similar establishment is unknown in Poland.”

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More Than A Game: The True History Of Ouija Boards

An antique Ouija board

Ouija boards—also called spirit boards or talking boards—have been part of various cultures long before the introduction of the "game" in the 19th century.  "Ouija", in fact, is the name of the game invented by Elijah Bond. Authentic Ouija boards are known to practitioners as the aforementioned spirit or talking boards.

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Ancient Guanche Solar Worship And Fertility Rites In The Canary Islands

Reconstruction of a Guanche settlement of Tenerife. (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Canarian laurel forest is a prehistoric forest about 20 million years old, present in many enclaves on the north coast of Tenerife. This wonderful and ancient forest formation treasures great botanical and archaeological jewels from the Canarian ancestors, the Guanches.

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Micro-Laser Study Reveals Hardships In Little Foot’s Life

The biggest breakthrough in the Little Foot study was the scientific power of Diamond Light Source's advanced synchrotron technology.

Using the latest in advanced imaging technology, a team of scientists from the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Spain performed a series of detailed examinations of the fossilized remains of Little Foot

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Pavlopetri: 5,000-Year-Old Town Discovered Underwater in Greece

Pavlopetri ruins and reconstruction

Nothing sparks the imagination of history enthusiasts quite like underwater discoveries, ranging from sunken cities to the millions of shipwrecks still unexplored on the seabed. The bottom of the seas and oceans of the world have been described as the biggest museum of the world, with less than 1% of the ocean floor having been surveyed to date. The remains of the Bronze Age port of Pavlopetri were discovered as recently as the 1960s and some argue that they may have been the basis for the legendary story of Atlantis.

The ruins of Pavlopetri are located a short distance from the coastline, just a few meters underwater in Vatika Bay in southern Greece. (World Monuments Fund)

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Changes in Human Hunting Practices May Explain Human Brain Development

Changes in Human Hunting Practices May Explain Human Brain Development

Two researchers from the archaeological department at Israel’s Tel Aviv University have come up with an all-inclusive theory to explain the physiological and historical development of human brain development

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Sealed Letter Virtually Unfolded to Reveal Forgotten Renaissance Story

Sealed Letter Virtually Unfolded to Reveal Forgotten Renaissance Story

For the first time ever, researchers have virtually unfolded a sealed letter from Renaissance Europe. It has remained unopened for 300 years, and thanks to their innovative computational approach

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Crimes And Conspiracies Continue At Ancient Caral Site In Central Peru

Crimes And Conspiracies Continue At Ancient Caral Site In Central Peru

Along the rust colored, arid, and rocky costal valleys of North Central Peru, within the Supe Valley resides an extensive archaeological site known as Caral. This is one of the most important archaeological sites on Earth and currently, crimes are in progress in Caral that are endangering the lives of archaeologists and may very well erase essential archaeological secrets from the pages of history.

Discovered in 1948 AD by American archaeologist Paul Kosok, Caral is a 150 hectare (370 acre) ancient complex containing hundreds of individual sites that date back as far as 2600 BC. This incredibly ancient and vast complex includes temples, pyramids, urban homes, plazas, and even so-called amphitheaters.

Kosok eventually received great acclaim for his discovery of a complex prehistoric water channeling system in Peru, and his later monumental discovery of the Nazca Lines. In the mid 90’s AD, Professor Ruth Shady expanded upon Kosok’s initial work and began to unravel the secrets of the site which she determined to be the oldest in the Andes.

In 2009 AD, it was announced that the ruined city was to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And now, this incredibly important archaeological site has resurfaced in the news due to what the mainstream media portrays as tensions between “squatters\land developers” and Professor Shady’s team.

But this is no untapped oil field or instance of deforestation. There is something much deeper and darker occurring in Caral than some interesting ruins being threatened by crooked developers. This is an attempt to prevent the upending of human history by the revelations this site will yield.   

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Footprints, Fairies and even a Foreskin: 10 Bizarre Relics from History

Footprints, Fairies and even a Foreskin: 10 Bizarre Relics from History

From time immemorial, people had the need to venerate objects of great significance: religious relics, mythical symbols, or depictions of holy figures. And as if answering this need, the religious establishment has provided. 

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