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Essay/
Cultures & Languages
The deep roots of writing

Was writing invented for accounting and administration or did it evolve from religious movements, sorcery and dreams?

Michael Erard

Essay/
Art
Is it really a Leonardo?

Forensics can’t be sure. Provenance can be fudged. This is why the expert eye still rules the game of art authentication

Noah Charney

Essay/
Cultures & Languages
Black Achilles

The Greeks didn’t have modern ideas of race. Did they see themselves as white, black – or as something else altogether?

Tim Whitmarsh

Essay/
Stories & Literature
Communist robot dreams

Tech flourished in communist Bulgaria and so did a body of science fiction asking vital philosophical questions

Victor Petrov

Essay/
Subcultures
The spirit molecule

The theory that the brain produces its own psychedelic compound provokes pop-culture enthusiasm and scientific controversy

Graham St John

Essay/
Stories & Literature
Thus spake Albert

You probably know a quote from him. He probably never said it. How did Einstein become a touchstone of all that is wise?

Andrew Robinson

Essay/
Cultures & Languages
Did Homo erectus speak?

Early hominins who sailed across oceans left indirect evidence that they might have been the first to use language

Daniel Everett