Articles on History

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Tabletop games have been around for more than a century. Early North American game makers often depicted Indigenous people as savage enemies.

The hidden history of Indigenous stereotypes in tabletop games

For more than a century, board games have provided children with some of their first exposure to Indigenous stereotypes — hidden behind ornate lithographs, painted cubes and punched cardboard.
Circe and Her Swine: Character sketches of romance, fiction and the drama, 1892 , New York, E. Hess. Ebenezer Cobham Brewer/University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries

#BalanceTonPorc: the story behind pigs and lust

France's answer to #MeToo was #BalanceTonPorc -- "denounce your pig". An analysis of the idioms linking to sex and pigs provides some insights into why the hashtag hit home.
The “Burney Relief,” which is believed to represent either Ishtar, the Mesopotamian goddess of love and war, or her older sister Ereshkigal, Queen of the underworld (c. 19th or 18th century BC) BabelStone

In ancient Mesopotamia, sex among the gods shook heaven and earth

Sex was central to life in ancient Mesopotamia. And the authors of Sumerian love poetry, depicting the exploits of divine couples, showed a wealth of practical knowledge about the stages of female sexual arousal.
Panama Canal construction in 1913 showing workers drilling holes for dynamite in bedrock, as they cut through the mountains of the Isthmus. Steam shovels in the background move the rubble to railroad cars. (Everett Historical/Shutterstock)

The Panama Canal’s forgotten casualties

The Panama Canal was a tremendous achievement by the U.S. and a display of their power and abilities. However, the health costs to the mostly Caribbean contract workers was enormous.
The familiar images of high-rise development, looking north here from Surfers Paradise, tell only one part of the story of the Gold Coast. Andrew Leach

Looking past the Gold Coast the world sees today

Behind the built-up glitz of Surfers Paradise lies a deep history that has been written and overwritten in successive layers that have become thinner and thinner as time goes on.
JCF Johnson’s, Euchre in the bush, circa 1867, depicts a card game in a hut on the Victorian goldfields in the 1860s. Oil on canvas mounted on board, 42.0 x 60.2 cm. Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Ballarat

How gold rushes helped make the modern world

The discovery of gold in California 170 years ago was a turning point in global history. The gold rushes are not mere historic footnotes – they continue to influence the world in which we live today.

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