Past and Present: The Idiocy, Fabrications, and Lies of ‘Ancient Aliens’

Using the “Gish Gallop” – spouting off a series of misinterpretations and falsehoods to bury his opponent under an avalanche of fictions and distortions. By Riley BlackFreelance Science Writer Until now, I have assiduously avoided Ancient Aliens. I had a feeling that if I watched the show—which popularizes far-fetched, evidence-free idiocy about how human history has[…]

Listen and Learn: Debunking the Pseudarchaeology and Revisionism of ‘Ancient Aliens’

Completely incorrect, intentionally deceptive, and outright fabricated. Video Presentation from Frederik Larsen In this three-hour presentation, Chris White demonstrates that Ancient Aliens series are not wrong on just some information, but on every single point where they assert the Ancient Astronaut theory to explain evidence. He also demonstrates the often deceptive means they use to[…]

Featured Scholar: Sarah Bond – The Nonsense (and Racism) of ‘Ancient Aliens’

Where, exactly, the idea of ancient aliens building the pyramids began – and why it’s all bunk. Curated/Reviewed by Matthew A. McIntoshPublic HistorianBrewminate About Dr. Bond Sarah Emily Bond is a Professor of History at the University of Iowa.[1] Her research focuses on late Roman history, epigraphy, law, topography, GIS, and Digital Humanities.[1] Bond received her PhD in[…]

Featured Scholar: Barry Cunliffe – Archaeology of Neolithic Europe

His interest in Iron Age Britain and Europe generated a number of publications and he became an acknowledged authority on the Celts. Curated/Reviewed by Matthew A. McIntoshPublic HistorianBrewminate Overview Sir Barrington Windsor Cunliffe, CBE, FBA, FSA (born 10 December 1939), known as Barry Cunliffe, is a British archaeologist and academic. He was Professor of European Archaeology at the University of Oxford from 1972 to[…]

Mudlarking: Searching for Lost Treasure – and History – on the Banks of the Thames

Established by the Romans in the 1st century AD, the edge of the river has always been a hive of activity. By Jason Sandy and Nick Stevens Ever since man first quenched his thirst in its waters, he has left his mark on the riverbed. Ivor Noël Hume, Treasure in the Thames (1956) London would[…]

Featured Scholar: Jane Sidell and the Archaeology of Ancient Roman London

London has been home to a huge diversity of cultures, inhabitation, patterns and events since the ancient world. Profile Jane Sidell is an archaeologist and honorary lecturer at University College London. She is Inspector of Ancient Monuments at Historic England. After realizing at the age of 8 that I wanted to be an archaeologist, I[…]

Featured Scholar: Israel Finkelstein and Archaeology in the Holy Land

Finkelstein has carried out his own fieldwork in a variety of sites and regions in Israel and Palestine. Curated/Reviewed by Matthew A. McIntoshPublic HistorianBrewminate Introduction Israel Finkelstein is an Israeli archaeologist, professor emeritus at Tel Aviv University. Finkelstein is active in the archaeology of the Levant and is an applicant of archaeological data in reconstructing biblical history.[1] He is also known[…]

Why Do We Rebury Ancient Sites after Archaeological Digs and Study?

There are many scenarios where reburial is the best option for an excavated heritage site. Introduction When we bury something, it’s usually because it’s dead or we want to hide it. But what if burying something actually extended its life? It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes burying excavated ancient art and architecture is the best[…]

A 3,000-Year-Old ‘Lost Golden City’ Discovered in Egypt

It has been called the most important discovery since tomb of Tutankhamun and a window into the ancient world. Archaeologists hailed the discovery of “the largest” ancient city found in Egypt, buried under sand for millennia, which experts said was one of the most important finds since unearthing Tutankhamun’s tomb. Famed Egyptologist Zahi Hawass announced[…]

The Ancient Peruvian Moche Royal Tombs of Sipán

The tombs were found almost completely undisturbed. A Golden Discovery In 1987, Peruvian archaeologist Walter Alva received a tip from the police that local villagers had discovered gold in one of the huacas (a term for ancient sacred sites used widely in Peru) and were looting artifacts at the site of Huaca Rajada in the town of Sipán, near[…]

How Do Archaeologists Know Where to Dig?

Archaeologists used to dig primarily at sites that were easy to find from obvious visual clues. Technology plays a much bigger role now. Introduction National Geographic magazines and Indiana Jones movies might have you picturing archaeologists excavating near Egyptian pyramids, Stonehenge and Machu Picchu. And some of us do work at these famous places. But[…]

Analyzing Bones: What Skeletons Can Tell Us about Ancient People

Analyzing the bones and teeth of individuals can give us insights into the details of their lives. Introduction Imagine you are an archaeologist excavating at a new building site in East London, the location of an ancient cemetery. Deep down you uncover bones that look old. You recover a full skull with teeth, and most[…]

Classical Archaeology and Ancient Greek Mythology

Despite the scientific rigor of archaeology today, archaeological exploration is still an art and an adventure of the human mind. Introduction to Classical Archaeology Classical Archaeology is the study of past societies in the Mediterranean region on the basis of surviving material evidence. What this means, for all practical purposes, is that classical archaeologists –[…]

Ancient Diseases: Traces of Suffering in the Bones

Diseases have often influenced historical events, but they are neglected in the documentation of these events. Human remains used to be considered a nuisance in archaeological excavations. Today they are considered a valuable source of information to understand the ways of life of prehistoric populations and their conditions. A short distance from what is now[…]

Comparing Egyptian and Incan Mummification Processes

Both the Egyptian and Inca cultures treated their deceased differently based on social hierarchy within the culture. By Emma J. Williams Abstract This two-year research project was carried out as part of SUNY Potsdam’s Presidential Scholars program which allows undergraduates to conduct independent research. The project employs controlled laboratory experiments to compare desiccation rates in[…]

Fortified Cities in Ancient Egypt

The Lion Temple Walls do seem to be a defining feature of many Egyptian settlements throughout the dynastic period. By Dr. Steven Snape Reader in Egyptian Archaeology University of Liverpool The origin of urbanism in Egypt includes the emergence of heavily defended walled settlements as major political and economic centres. The policy of providing enclosing walls for[…]

Stone Tools at Arabian ‘Crossroads’ Present Mysteries of Ancient Human Migration

Hand axes from the site of Saffaqah, Saudi Arabia. (Palaeodeserts/Ian R. Cartwright) Hominins made stone tools in central Arabia 190,000 years ago, and the hand axe technology raises questions about just who they were. By Brian Handwerk / 11.29.2018 early 200,000 years ago, at the confluence of two long-vanished river systems in the heart of Arabia,[…]

Stone Tools Date Early Humans in North Africa to 2.4 Million Years Ago

Archaeological excavation at Ain Boucherit, Algeria. Mathieu Duval, Author provided Ancient stone tools found in what is now Algeria show early humans likely spread across Africa more rapidly than first thought.    By Dr. Mathieu Duval (left) and Dr. Mohamed Sahnouni (right) / 11.29.2018 Duval: ARC Future Fellow, Griffith University Sahnouni: Archéologue et professeur, National Center for Research on Human Evolution (CENIEH) When did early humans first arrive in[…]

Petra: Wonder in the Desert

Petra, Jordan: The rock of Fassade and of “ed-Deir.” Andreas Voegelin, Antikenmuseum Basel. How a mysterious kingdom of former nomads created a luxurious, urban oasis in an inhospitable climate.    Interview of Laurent Gorgerat (right) by James Blake Wiener (left) / 05.07.2013 Wiener: Communications Director, Ancient History Encyclopedia Gorgerat: Curator, Antikenmuseum Basel Few places on earth have captivated humanity[…]

On Overview of the Archaeology of Prehistoric and Ancient Israel

Ruins of the ancient Great Synagogue at Capernaum (or Kfar Nahum) on the shore of the Lake of Galilee, Northern Israel / UNESCO, Wikimedia Commons Examining numerous different archaeological schools, disciplines, concepts, and methods currently in existence in Israel. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 10.29.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction LMLK seals with Israeli postage stamps[…]

Spices and Ceramics Found Aboard 400-Year-Old Portuguese Shipwreck

Divers are seen during the discovery of a centuries-old shipwreck, in Cascais in a photo released Monday. / Augusto Salgado/Cascais City Hall/Handout via Reuters A 400-year-old shipwreck that signified a time when the spice trade between Portugal and India was booming has been uncovered 40 feet below the water’s surface during a dredging project. By[…]

Italian Theater Basement Yields Hundreds of Ancient Roman Gold Coins

Hundreds of ancient gold coins were unearthed in the basement of a demolished theater in northern Italy. Archaeologists are calling it an “exceptional discovery.” / Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities  By Shannon Van Sant / 09.10.2018 Hundreds of ancient gold coins were found last week in the basement of a former theater in northern[…]

What Material Culture Tells Us about How the Vikings Lived

Chieftains house replica / Photo by Juanjo Marin, Wikimedia Commons Archaeological artefacts found in places such as Viking graves and former villages – including animal bones, brooches, weapons, pottery, etc. – can tell researchers many things about the Vikings, including how wealthy they might have been, what they wore, what items they used in their[…]

Think Everyone Died Young in Ancient Societies? Think Again.

Anglo-Saxon burial site at the Barrow Clump, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire. / Photo by Rexfeatures What is the source of the myth that those in the past must have died young? By Christine Cave / 07.09.2018 PhD Candidate in Archaeology Australian National University You might have seen the cartoon: two cavemen sitting outside their cave knapping stone[…]

Roman Era Map Shows Large Now-Sunken Island Off Black Sea Coast

Location of the sunken island of Cyanida / Kianida on Ptolemy’s 9th European Map (Nona Europae Tabula) published in the Reichenbach Monastery in 1467. The sizable island was likely located off the coast of the spot of today’s Black Sea border of Bulgaria and Turkey. Map: Wikipedia, National Library in Warsaw, Poland A sizable but now[…]

‘Photographing Tutankhamun’ Reveals Historical Context behind Pioneering Images

Iconic photography taken during the decade-long excavation of King Tutankhamun’s tomb has gone on display at Cambridge University’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA). 06.14.2018 The exhibition Photographing Tutankhamun has been curated by University of East Anglia (UEA) Egyptologist Dr Christina Riggs and gives a different view on the ‘golden age’ of archaeology and photography in the[…]

How Science is Giving Voice to Mummies Such as Ötzi the Iceman

Ötzi the Iceman has come to life. Simon Claessen/Flickr, CC BY-SA Here’s what one man from around 3,300 BCE actually sounded like. By Dr. Anna Barney / 10.03.2016 Associate Dean of Education Professor of Biomedical Acoustic Engineering University of Southampton Researchers recently managed to recreate the voice of 5,300-year-old Ötzi the iceman by recreating his vocal tract. The technology is promising[…]

Why We Love (and Fear) Mummies

The Mummy, in its 2017 rendition, rehashes an 80-year-old franchise focused on revived Egyptian corpses. AlloCine Mummies are scary but they also fascinate us, giving us the feeling that we can vanquish time by preserving our most perishable feature: flesh. By Dr. Christian-Georges Schwentzel / 06.22.2017 Professor of Ancient History Université de Lorraine Somewhere in Iraq, the tomb raider[…]