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Category: History: Ancient History

A brief history of goths – Dan Adams

The Goths were a Germanic people who were referred to as “barbarians” by the Romans, famous for sacking the city of Rome in A.D. 410, but who were they, really? And what do fans of atmospheric post-punk music have in common with the ancient barbarians? Not much … so why are both known as “goths”? …

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Ancient Horse DNA Shows Scythians Were Adept Domesticators

Nomad Scythian herders roamed vast areas spanning the Central Asian steppes during the Iron Age, approximately from the 9th to the 1st century BCE (Before Common Era). These livestock pastoralists, who lived on wagons covered by tents, left their mark on the history of warfare for their exceptional equestrian skills. They were among the first …

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Beasts in the Night Sky: The Constellation Myths of Greece and Rome

In this lecture, Dr. Patrick Glauthier talk about monsters, Aries the Ram, Taurus the Bull, Cetus the Sea-monster – there are no shortage of mythical animals among the constellations of ancient Greece and Rome. Why do such creatures populate the heavens in the first place? And what did they mean to the societies that first …

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The World of Phrygian Gordion, Royal City of Midas

Speakers: Julian Siggers, Brian C. Rose, Charles Williams and Nicolo Marchetti. International scholars and archaeological excavation directors exploring Phrygian culture found at Gordion and other sites around Turkey come together for a scholarly conference funded by the Office of the Provost University of Pennsylvania Research Council, the Penn Museum. Gordion was the capital city of …

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KnowledgeHub: Why the Vikings Disappeared

KnowledgeHub investigates why the infamous warriors of the Middle Ages disappeared. Raiding the coasts of Europe, the age of Vikings lasted about 300 years. What caused the end of the Vikings age?  

Viking Ship at Sea 360 Video Tour with Dan Snow

Watch this 360 tour of a Viking ship at sea! The video quality isn’t excellent, but it doesn’t matter when brilliant British historian Dan Snow gives us unprecedented insight into the ancient technology of the Vikings.  

National Geographic: 3,000-Year-Old Donkey Dung: A Clue to King Solomon’s Mines?

Archaeologists made an amazing discovery at an ancient mining camp in Israel: 3,000-year-old donkey dung! Preserved by the arid climate, the dung is solid evidence that the site dates to the 10th century B.C., which, according to the Bible, was the time of King Solomon’s reign. Was this mining camp one of the sources of …

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Penn Museum: Megan Kassabaum | Underwater Panthers and Their Place in the Native American Cosmos

Dr. Megan Kassabaum describes the ‘Underwater Panthers’ of ancient the American mythology in this Pennsylvania Museum lecture, part of the ongoing series ‘Great Beasts of Legend’. Archaeologists generally agree that certain beliefs about the cosmos are broadly shared among indigenous peoples of the Americas. Though the details vary wildly, the world is generally seen as …

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Penn Museum: Great Beasts of Legend: Centaurs, Sirens and Chimaera: The Greeks and their Monsters

Dr. Jeremy McInerney, Davidson Kennedy Professor Department of Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania The Greek imagination was populated with all sorts of hybrids and monsters, from the half-horse, half man centaur to the chimaera, a blend of lion, snake and goat. What function did these creatures play in Greek culture? In this lecture we’ll look …

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TED-Ed: Plato’s best (and worst) ideas

Few individuals have influenced the world and many of today’s thinkers like Plato. He created the first Western university and was teacher to Ancient Greece’s greatest minds, including Aristotle. But even he wasn’t perfect. Along with his great ideas, Plato had a few that haven’t exactly stood the test of time. Wisecrack gives a brief …

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Gresham College: Professor Paul Cartledge | Ten Things You Really Should Know About Ancient Greek Democracy

Professor Paul Cartledge explores the democracy in ancient Greece and the origins of the word, and how that distinguishes from todays notion of democracy. Myths abound about ancient Greek democracy actually, there was no such thing. That is, there was no such one thing. Even Athens, which invented both the thing and the name, had …

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Penn Museum: Great Beasts of Legend: Anzu the Lion Headed Eagle

Dr. Steve Tinney, Associate Curator, Babylonian Section, Penn Museum The Penn Museum’s popular monthly evening lecture series kicks off with a fresh theme: Great Beasts of Legends. Throughout history, great beasts and monsters fabled or not have terrorized, enchanted, and eluded humans. Join leading Penn scholars on an exploration of some of the best stories …

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Israel Antiquities Authority: Fascinating evidence of Romans breaking through Jerusalem’s Third Wall

Fascinating evidence of the battlefield and the breaching of the Third Wall that surrounded Jerusalem at the end of the Second Temple period was uncovered last winter in the Russian Compound in the city center. The finds were discovered in an archaeological excavation the Israel Antiquities Authority conducted in the location where the new campus …

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Nature video: Skeleton uncovered at ancient Antikythera shipwreck

The famous shipwreck that brought us the mysterious Antikythera mechanism has revealed a new secret: a two thousand year old human skeleton. The team hopes to extract DNA from the skull – a feat never attempted before on bones this old that have been underwater. More on the remarkable ancient computer, the Antikythera mechanism at …

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Yale University: The Roman Empire from Hobbes to Rostovtzeff | Professor John Matthews

The 5th annual Michael I Rostovtzeff lecture, followed by an all-day symposium, and incorporating a visit to the new Dura Europus Galleries at the YUAG. John Matthews, John M. Schiff Professor of Classics and History, came to Yale in 1996, having spent his earlier career at the University of Oxford, where he was University Professor …

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University of Melbourne: The face of an Egyptian woman who died 2,000 years ago

Researchers at The University of Melbourne has reconstructed the face of an Egyptian woman who died 2,000 years ago. Now we can see how she might have looked at a young age. The face has been created with the help of forensics , a 3D scanner , Egyptology , artists and medical research.

Science Magazine: Ancient earthquake and flood may have led to China’s earliest empire

One of the largest floods in human history might have started a civilization. It begins with an earthquake 4,000 years ago in what is now China.  

VOX: Ancient Romans had disgusting condiments. Here’s a recipe.

We recently wrote this article on how some ancient roman kids were trying to escape the destruction of Pompeii carrying quite a lot of fish sauce, called ‘garum’. Now VOX have put together this video clip describing the process of making this popular ancient sauce, ‘the roman ketchup’. Garum was an ancient Roman fish sauce …

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Cambridge University: Must Farm Bronze Age settlement

The exceptional site of Must Farm offers, in exquisite detail, a vivid picture of everyday life in the Bronze Age. Ten months of excavation have yielded Britain’s largest collections of Bronze Age textiles, beads and domestic artefacts. Together with timbers of several roundhouses, the finds provide a stunning snapshot of a community thriving 3,000 years …

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Penn Museum: Great Myths and Legends: Warrior Women: Amazons and the Greek Imagination

Dr. Jeremy McInerney, Professor of Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania This lecture considers the Amazons in Greek legend and art. Who were these warrior women and why did they remain a source of curiosity, wonder and fear in the Greek imagination?

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