Machu Picchu is now an iconic tourist destination in Peru – but it was once a royal palace that pulled people from all corners of the Inca empire.
Olmec culture deeply shaped later Mesoamerican civilizations like the Aztecs.
Danny Lehman/The Image Bank via Getty Images
The return of an important monument to Mexico puts a spotlight on a culture whose influence is still felt in the Americas today.
Only about 10% of people with a gambling problem ever seek treatment.
Sean Gladwell/Moment via Getty Images
Treatment has a high success rate. Getting problem gamblers in the door – and getting them to complete a full course of therapy – is another matter.
‘Trallib (Oil Container),’ by Norman Daly, 1970. Daily made this object with an orange juicer.
Photo by Marilyn Rivchin
Norman Daly’s 1972 exhibition, ‘The Civilization of Llhuros,’ presented fiction as fact – and reminded viewers of just how easily they could be duped.
Mansa Musa, the king of Mali, approached by a Berber on camelback, from The Catalan Atlas, 1375.
Attributed to Abraham Cresques/Bibliothèque Nationale de France/Wikimedia Commons
Born in Blackness by Howard W. French is a towering work. It argues that, because of gold and slavery, Africa is central to creating the modern world.
This stone tablet records the restoration of certain lands by the Babylonian king Nabu-apla-iddina to a priest. Babylonian, circa 870 BCE. From Sippar (Tell Abu Habbah)
Ancient Babylonians achieved a practical application of trigonometry that was massively advanced for the time.
A depiction of a man milking a cow found on one of the walls of ancient burial tombs south of present-day Cairo dating from 2340 BC.
Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images
Natural landscape changes in the Nile Delta may have not only stimulated local take up of farming technologies, but might also have played a role in the emergence of the first “nation state”.
An Egyptian winged scarab amulet (circa 1070 –945 BC).
Believed to possess magical qualities, amulets were once widely used. They range from amber pendants worn during Denmark’s Mesolithic age to wind chimes found at Pompeii.
New modelling techniques shed light on the ancient city of Ugarit and can help plan effective conservation.
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.