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Stone Age


From the dawn of our species to the present day, stone-made artefacts are the dominant form of material remains that have survived to today concerning human technology. The term “Stone Age” was coined in the late 19th century CE by the Danish scholar Christian J. Thomsen, who came up with a framework for the study of the human past, known as the “Three Age System”. The basis…


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The Banquet Stele of Ashurnasirpal II


When he came to the throne in 884 BCE, Ashurnasirpal II had to attend to revolts which broke out across the empire. He ruthlessly put down all rebellions, destroyed the rebel cities and, as a warning to others, impaled, burned, and flayed alive any who had opposed him. He fortified and strengthened his borders and then expanded them through campaigns that filled the royal treasury with booty. Having secured…


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The Greatest Party Ever Thrown: Ashurnasirpal IIs Kalhu Festival


The kings of the Neo-Assyrian Empire have long been considered some of the most ruthless monarchs in ancient history. However, at the same time they were sacking cities and slaughtering those who rebelled against them or resisted conquest, they often pursued gentler interests. Sennacherib (reigned 705-681 BCE) enjoyed gardening and loved flowers. His son, Esarhaddon (reigned 681-669 BCE) was more interested…


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Sennacherib


Sennacherib (reigned 705-681 BCE) was the second king of the Sargonid Dynasty of Assyria (founded by his father Sargon II). He is one of the most famous Assyrian kings owing to the part he plays in narratives in the biblical Old Testament (II Kings, II Chronicles, and Isaiah) and, since the 19th century CE, from the poem “The Destruction of Sennacherib” by the English poet Lord Byron…


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Thinking Big: How the Evolution of Social Life Shaped the Human Mind


Thinking Big: How Evolution of Social Life Shaped the Human Mind, by Drs. Clive Gamble, John Gowlett, and Robin Dunbar, explores the prehistoric and ancient origins of our social lives in a mere 224 pages. Divided into seven chapters, Thinking Big is centered on some provocative questions about the evolutionary development of the human mind: “When and how did the brains of our hominin ancestors…


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Patrician

The 4th century BCE Greek philosopher Aristotle once wrote in his essay Politics, “If liberty and equality…are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost.” Regrettably for Rome, when the Etruscan king was finally ousted in 509 BCE, the aristocratic families of the city - the patricians - seized control…


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Ashurnasirpal II

Ashurnasirpal II (reigned 884-859 BCE) was the third king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. His father was Tukulti-Ninurta II (reigned (891-884 BCE) whose military campaigns throughout the region provided his son with a sizeable empire and the resources to equip a formidable army. Ashurnasirpal II is known for his ruthless military conquests and the consolidation of the Assyrian Empire, but he is probably…


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Esarhaddon

Esarhaddon (reigned 681-669 BCE) was the third king of the Sargonid Dynasty of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. He was the youngest son of King Sennacherib (reigned 705-681 BCE), and his mother was not the queen but a concubine named Zakutu (also known as Naqia-Zakutu, c.701-668 BCE). Esarhaddon is mentioned in the Bible in II Kings 19:37, Isaiah 37:38, and Ezra 4:2. He is best known for re-building Babylon (which…


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AHE on Flipboard, magazine-style

We’ve just put 560 of our articles and definitions onto Flipboard, an app that allows you to read great web content in a magazine-style format. It’s perfect for browsing our ancient history content on your mobile phone or tablet, but you can also read Flipboard directly in your browser on the web. To make it easier to find your favourite content, we’ve divided our content into several “magazines”…


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The Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies

Another excellent book from the Oxford Handbook series with sixty-eight chapters arranged by theme, each written by a leading scholar in that particular field. Topics covered include literature, theatre, politics, philosophy, warfare, trade, and society. Strong on the literary arts it is strangely brief on subjects which are usually the staple topics of general history books on Greece, for example, Greek…


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Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections

Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections, edited by Anastasia Drandaki, Demetra Papanikola-Bakirtzi, and Anastasia Tourta is the exhibition catalogue of the eponymous exhibit at the National Gallery (Washington, D.C.), the Getty Villa (Los Angeles, CA), and the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL). This catalogue surveys the splendor, diversity, and enduring appeal of Byzantine art created…


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Yoga: The Art of Transformation

Yoga: The Art of Transformation, edited by Dr. Debra Diamond, Associate Curator of South and Southeast Asia art at the Smithsonian’s Freer Sackler Gallery, is exhibition catalogue of the eponymous exhibit at the Freer Slacker Gallery (in Washington, D.C.) and the Asian Museum of Art (in San Francisco, CA). Simply put, the catalogue is magnificent in every conceivable way. Yoga is divided into…


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The Egyptian

Historical Fiction, well researched and very readable. First published in the United States in 1949 and widely condemned as obscene, The Egyptian outsold every other novel published that year, and remains a classic; readers worldwide have testified to its life-changing power. It is a full-bodied re-creation of a largely forgotten era in the world’s history: the Egypt of the 14th century…


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Xochicalco

Xochicalco in central Mexico was an important hilltop centre from the 8th century CE and was a rival and successor of Teotihuacán. Architecture at the site is closely connected to that of the Classic Maya, Teotihuacan, and Veracruz, and contact was also established with the Mixtec Oaxaca and Zapotec civilizations. Blending these various cultural elements to create their own idiosyncratic art…


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Dur-Sharrukin

Dur-Sharrukin (modern day Khorsabad, Iraq) was a city built by Sargon II of Assyria (reigned 722-705 BCE) as his new capital. The name means “Fortress of Sargon” and the building project became the king’s near obsession as soon as it was conceived. The city covered 1.11 square miles (1.78 kilometers) with a length of 5,770 feet (1,758.6 meters) and a width of 5,364 feet (1,635 meters…


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