How did military conflict fit into the end of a mighty civilization?
AP Photo/Moises Castillo
Grisly war trophies made from the heads of vanquished enemies certainly grab attention. But archaeologists are more interested in what they may tell about a tumultuous time of shifting political power.
King Naram-Sin of Akkad, grandson of Sargon, leading his army to victory.
Rama / Louvre
Scientists have discovered new evidence of a drought that finished off the Akkadian Empire 4,000 years ago.
A monument to urban frailty?
Javier Gil/Wikimedia Commons
A new study reveals that the demise of the ancient city of Angkor was related to the fragmentation of critical infrastructure during a period of climatic instability.
Coming together for a solstice feast in ancient Peru.
How did civilization emerge from small groups of hunter-gatherers? Some archaeologists focus on cooperation as the vital ingredient – and find evidence for it in the form of feast-related artifacts.
Statue of Eros of the type of Centocelle. Roman artwork of the 2nd century AD, probably a copy after a Greek original.
Erotic spells were a popular form of magic in ancient Greece and Rome. Ancient spells were often violent, brutal and without any sense of caution or remorse.
A solar eclipse observed over Grand Canyon National Park in May 2012.
Grand Canyon National Park
More than 2,000 years ago, the Babylonians understood the cycle of eclipses. They also regarded them as signs that could foretell the death of a king.