Without the scientific knowledge we have today, ancient cultures turned to myths and legends to understand celestial objects.
My investigations have generated stunning insights into how the ancient Greeks made music.
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.
What's needed is a comprehensive international strategy to combat the illicit trade in antiquities.
Graham Bartholomew/BBC/Wild Mercury Productions
A new BBC series has put Troy back on the map. But how much do we know about this city of legend?
Heinrich Leutemann [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
There's a surprising amount in common between ancient ways of thinking about the future and the techniques we use now.
A fragment of a wall painting showing two lovers in bed from the House of L Caecilius Jucundus in Pompeii, now at Naples National Archaeological Museum.
From phallus-shaped wind chimes to explicit erotica on lamps and cups, sex is everywhere in ancient Greek and Roman art. But our interpretations of these images say much about our own culture.
A Greek amphora showing athletes, 4th century B.C.
©Trustees of the British Museum. (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
The idea that the athletic contests – held in honour of the Greek god Zeus for over a thousand years – were shut down by a puritanical Christian emperor makes for a good story. But is it true?
Pamphlets for participatory budgeting processes in New York , a system that does back to ancient Greece.
Politicians assume that voters cannot face the financial truth. To democracy experts this is just wrong. Involving voters results in better budgets as shows history from ancient Greece.
Fresco showing a woman called Sappho holding writing implements from Pompeii Naples National Archaeological Museum.
Sappho sang of desire, passion and love – mostly directed towards women. As new fragments of her work are found, a fuller picture of her is emerging, but she remains the most mysterious of ancient poets.
Current IOC President Thomas Bach touches a monument to Olympic founder Pierre de Coubertin in ancient Olympia, southern Greece, in 2016.
(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
As the Olympics get underway, what would the man who founded the modern Olympic movement think? Pierre de Coubertin's vision of the Olympics as a tool of peace and faith in youth still resonates.
A giant rally in Thessaloniki and another in Athens show the strength of feeling in Greek Macedonia – and all over a country's name.
A painting depicting a debate between Socrates and Aspasia, by Nicolas André Monsiaux, circa 1800.
In Athenian society, it appears some elite courtesans were better educated than traditional wives. Other sex workers were sold into the role as children.
The Fall of the Titans, Cornelis Cornelisz van Haarlem, circa 1590.
The dream of a "gay utopia" is a constant in gay and lesbian historical imaginings over the last 200 years. But the Greek attitude to same-sex attraction was not nearly as permissive as many have assumed.
A statue of Pericles outside Athens City Hall. Like Trump, Pericles used war to deflect from bad news.
Does ancient Greek war hawk Pericles provide clues to a besieged Donald Trump's next move? War has always been a helpful distraction for cornered world leaders.
The ancient Greeks knew what made a good leader. Why does it seem we have forgotten their lessons?
Odysseus and his crew escape the cyclops, as painted by Arnold Böcklin in 1896.
The story of the Odyssey is a quintessential quest that relates to the passage through life and the importance of love, family and home. Odysseus's adventures have influenced everyone from Batman to Bob Dylan.
The modern marathon distance comes from the 1908 London Olympics.
The story behind the marathon is more complicated than it seems.
The Greeks defend their ships from the Trojans in Alfred Churchill’s Story of the Iliad, 1911.
A central idea in the Iliad - a poetic work focused on the war for Troy - is the inevitability of death. The poem held a special place in antiquity, and has resonated in the millennia since.
Prometheus statue at Rockefeller Center, Manhattan. The inscription behind it is a paraphrase of Aeschylus that reads: “Prometheus, teacher in every art, brought the fire that hath proved to mortals a means to mighty ends”.
How the idea of a hyper-connected society could quickly go from utopia to dystopia and why neither scenario is likely to last.