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Society

Essays and videos on social issues, history, political life and the future
Ancient cave painting depicting bison and other animals, primarily in red and black hues, on a textured stone surface that shows visible cracks.
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Archaeology

Why make art in the dark?

New research transports us back to the shadowy firelight of ancient caves, imagining the minds and feelings of the artists

Izzy Wisher

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Archaeology

The secret life of Druids

The Greeks and Romans portrayed these elusive priests as bogeymen who bathed in their victims’ blood. Who were they really?

Miranda Aldhouse-Green

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Human evolution

How to grow a human

Our childhood is preposterously long compared to other animals. Is it the secret to our evolutionary success?

Brenna Hassett

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The ancient world

The horrors of Pompeii

The name ‘Eutychis’ was etched into a wall 2,000 years ago. Finding out who she was illuminates the dark side of Rome

Guy D Middleton

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Archaeology

Children of the Ice Age

With the help of new archaeological approaches, our picture of young lives in the Palaeolithic is now marvellously vivid

April Nowell

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Archaeology

What the tablets say

Some 3,700 years ago, an enslaved girl, a barber, and a king crossed paths in a city by the Euphrates. This is their story

Amanda H Podany

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The ancient world

The other Cleopatra

Daughter of Cleopatra and Mark Antony, she became the influential queen of a mysterious, abundant North African kingdom

Jane Draycott

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Archaeology

From Roman pots to glass eyes, the shore of the river Thames teems with surprises

8 minutes

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Archaeology

Finding the First Americans

Archaeology and genetics can’t yet agree on when humans first arrived in the Americas. That’s good science and here’s why

Jennifer Raff

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Archaeology

The pharaoh’s trumpet

The truly wondrous treasures of Tutankhamun’s tomb are not made of gold. They are the mundane things of everyday life

Toby Wilkinson

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Deep time

Mutual entrapment

As Neolithic people transformed prehistoric forests, they stumbled into an ecological trap. Domestication goes both ways

Mette Løvschal

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Archaeology

Ancient Greek sculptures were colourful. Why does the white marble ideal persist?

6 minutes

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Human evolution

Out of the forest

We have thought of humans for a century or more as creatures of the savannah, shaped in every way by grassland life. Not so

Patrick Roberts

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The ancient world

Cracking the Cretan code

Linear B has yielded its secrets, but Linear A remains elusive. Can linguistic analysis unlock the meaning of Minoan script?

Ester Salgarella

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Cities

Energised crowding

To understand why early cities thrived, look not to the temples of kings but to their subjects’ bustling neighbourhoods

Michael E Smith

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Computing and artificial intelligence

How machine learning can help historians decode ancient inscriptions

7 minutes

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Art

From archaeology digs to display cabinets: how museums bring exhibits to life

37 minutes

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Archaeology

Nefertiti’s bust

How did this ancient and enigmatic sculpture of a beautiful Egyptian queen end up as fortune’s hostage in Germany?

Joyce Tyldesley

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History of technology

Unravelling the surprisingly epic story of the world’s oldest pair of trousers

45 minutes

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Archaeology

Unearthing David’s city

Archaeologist Eilat Mazar dug with a spade in one hand and a Bible in the other. Should her theories be taken seriously?

Andrew Lawler

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Archaeology

A Viking axe struck a Newfoundland tree in the year 1021. Here’s how scientists proved it

7 minutes

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Archaeology

Poseidon’s wrath

Vanished beneath the waves in 373 BCE, Helike is a byword for thinking about disaster, for ancients and moderns alike

Guy D Middleton

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Anthropology

Although his story is a mystery, the Lion Man forever binds us to our prehistoric past

2 minutes

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Archaeology

The clothing revolution

What if the need for fabric, not food, in the face of a changing climate is what first tipped humanity towards agriculture?

Ian Gilligan