Smart News History & Archaeology

Cool Finds

Children’s Skulls Encircled Some Bronze Age Lake Villages

The bones may have been thought to ward off flooding in lakeside villages

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Cool Finds

How One 1930s German Photographer Successfully Trolled the Nazi Party

A photograph of a young Jewish girl won a contest to find the "perfect example of the Aryan race."

Cool Finds

Archaeologists in Greece Find Some of the World's Oldest Erotic Graffiti

About 2,500 years ago, ancient Greeks were boasting of their sexual conquests in long-lasting graffiti

Soviet propaganda, circa 1920

Cool Finds

Thousands of Secret KGB Espionage Documents Are Now Available to the Public

The papers contain names of spies, descriptions of secret weapons and detailed plots against the West

Visitors wait in line at the National Archives to view the Declaration of Independence (against the wall, center right), preserved under glass and special lighting, ahead of the Fourth of July Independence Day holiday in Washington, July 3, 2013.

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The National Archives Wants to Put Its Whole Collection on Wikimedia Commons

The National Archives and Records Administration plans to upload everything it can

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After WWII, Japan Made One of the World's Strongest Commitments to Military Pacifism—Which It's Now Going to Soften

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is trying to rejigger Japan's long-standing commitment to pacificism

Washington, D.C.

The Colosseum Was a Housing Complex in Medieval Times

Recent archeological digs have found that people lived in the Colosseum during the medieval era

New Research

Archeologists Find Evidence of Torture at 1,200 Year Old Massacre

An archaeological dig in Colorado was the site of a horrific massacre

Hammer amulets like these have been found across Viking Europe

Cool Finds

Small Viking Charms Really Do Represent Thor’s Hammer

Inscription on a small metal charm definitively states 'This is a hammer'

Male and female parasitic worms of the genus Schistosoma

New Research

Mesopotamian Irrigation May Have Helped Out a Parasite That Now Infects 200 Million People

A parasite egg found in a grave in the Middle East gives scientists a window into how disease spread in prehistory

These mana potions won't actually let you cast fireballs.

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How Did "Mana," An Austronesian Religious Idea, Become a Gaming Staple?

Anthropologist Alex Golub tracks the path of mana, from ancient Taiwan to fantasy gaming culture

Part of a healthy (neanderthal) diet

New Research

Neanderthals Ate Their Vegetables

Traces of feces found in Spain show that neanderthals ate their vegetables

Unattributed photograph of William Howard Taft from 1909

Cool Finds

Taft’s Bathtubs Weighed A Ton

Taft might not have really gotten stuck in a bathtub, but he did seem to have a fondness for them

Plimoth Plantation, a recreation of what the Plymouth colony might have looked like

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Archaeologists Are Trying To Figure Out Exactly Where Plymouth Was

A new excavation is looking into the location of the famous colony

Amelia Earhart and her plane

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Another Amelia Earhart Is Trying to Fly Around the World

Amelia Earhart (no relation to Amelia Earhart) is trying to follow in her namesake's flight path

Floodwaters gushing through a dam on the Yellow River.

New Research

Humans Have Been Messing With China's Yellow River for 3,000 Years

When humans try to tame nature things rarely go according to plan

New Research

When Trees Are Cut Down, Angkor’s Temples Begin to Crumble

People usually think of trees' destructive impacts on Angkor, but they also protect those iconic temples

Cool Finds

Archaeologists Find Jobs in Oil Boomtown

The oil boom in North Dakota has lead to a lot of job openings, including jobs for archaeologists

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When Did We Start Calling ‘Football’ ‘Soccer’?

"Soccer" isn't an Americanism at all—it's a British word

Cool Finds

New Road To Machu Picchu Discovered

The nearly-mile-long road was built over 500 years ago by the Inca, and appears to be intact

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