Writing wasn’t just invented once by a single person. Many different ancient societies invented writing at different times and places.
Writing has only been a part of the human story for the last 5,000 years. In comparison, humans began to communicate using speech some 50,000 years ago.
DNA found in chewing gum from 10,000 years ago is helping scientists learn about prehistoric humans.
Members of the European Research Group are right to compare themselves to ancient Spartan warriors. Behind their combative stance, they seem to have no plan for when the Brexit war is over.
Some people think the mummies brought good luck!
The first mummy was wrapped up about 7,000 years ago, and it was from South America.
Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada.
From the amphitheatre at Arles to London's Wembley, stadiums can be adapted to serve their cities.
One important reason for the Spartans’ obsession with fighting was the constant possibility they would need these skills in war and also at home, in Sparta itself.
From about age seven, Spartan children learned to fight and practise obeying orders. They also staged pretend battles. Boys and girls were trained separately.
A group of men proceeds to an Otobo in an Igbo village.
John Kelechi Ugwuanyi
The Otobo remains an ancient symbol of democracy; it almost certainly helped to shape Nigeria's modern democracy in some ways.
Ancient quarry workers left messages carved on walls like a 4,500-year-old form of social media.
Tapping into ancient knowledge can help us feel connected to our ancestors – but that doesn't mean we should take their advice.
Zenobia addressing her troops.
Giambattista Tiepolo (National Gallery)
Anything is possible in the world of computers games – except women who fight, apparently.
Without the scientific knowledge we have today, ancient cultures turned to myths and legends to understand celestial objects.
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)
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.
Puzzle: fragments of 2,000-year-old scrolls before reassembly.
Shay Halevi, Israel Antiquities Authority, The Leon Levy Library of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Painstaking reconstruction of fragments of text has revealed the working draft of an ancient Jewish calendar and priestly duty schedule.
We think of the Druids as being embedded in British culture from the mists of ancient times. But what we think we know about Druids is of surprisingly modern provenance.
A central convention of Greek mythological narratives called katabasis, the hero’s journey to the underworld or land of the dead.
Marcella Cheng/The Conversation NY-BD-CC
Journeys to the Underworld – Greek myth, film and American anxiety.
The Conversation 36.9 MB (download)
Our new podcast, Essays On Air, features the most beautiful writing from Australian researchers. Today, classics expert Paul Salmond explores how modern cinema directors borrow from Greek legends.
Kayentapus ambrokholohali footprints belong to an animal of about 26 feet long, dwarfing all the life around it.
Theropod image adapted by Lara Sciscio, with permission, from an illustration by Scott Hartman
Until this discovery, theropod dinosaurs were thought to be considerably smaller, at three to five metres in body length, during the Early Jurassic.
A relief at the ancient Persian city of Persepolis (now in modern Iran), including inscriptions in cuneiform, the world’s oldest form of writing.
Cuneiform was used for over 3,000 years in the Ancient Near East, but was only decoded in the 19th century. The writing form is still revealing amazing stories, from literature to mathematics.
The martyrdom of the Maccabees by Antonio Ciseri.
The violent evolution of martyrdom.
No go zone.
Explore the hidden origins of one of China's most significant historic sites.
Tut-mania reigned in the 1920s – and keeps returning to haunt us.