Smart News History & Archaeology

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How Big Were Romans' Feet?

A bioarchaeologist proposes one method to answer that question

The London as it looked before it blew up

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In 1665, a British Warship Mysteriously Blew Up—And Soon We Might Know Why

349 years ago, the warship The London exploded in the Thames Estuary. Now archaeologists are trying to figure out why

The Enola Gay crew (Van Kirk is standing, second from left).

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The Last Crew Member Who Dropped the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima Died

Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk said he never regretted his involvement in the bombing

Natural Chocolate Is Actually a Reddish Color

Chocolate didn't turn brown until chemists got their hands on it

Lead from mining operations in Broken Hill, Australia, reached Antarctica before humans did.

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Pollution Beat People to the South Pole

Before people ever made it to the South Pole, a pollutant had beaten us there

Giant pandas Hsing-Hsing (left) and Ling-Ling frolic at the National Zoological Park near Washington, DC. Photo circa 1974.

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Don't Worry Mr. Nixon, the National Zoo's Pandas Figured Out How to Have Sex

President Nixon wanted to make sure Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing had enough time to "learn the ropes"

A baby chimp in the 1950s

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This Guy Simultaneously Raised a Chimp and a Baby in Exactly the Same Way to See What Would Happen

When treated as a human, the baby chimp acted like one—until her physiology and development held her back

The Fort William Henry Museum and Restoration in New York

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Archaeologists Are Excavating the Battleground that Inspired 'The Last of the Mohicans'

For these students, archaeology field school is taking place on a very famous battlefield

MOLAB in Hopi Buttes (1967)

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Looking Back at NASA's Strange Mobile Lunar Laboratory

Unfortunately, the odd-looking MOLAB remained earthbound

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Along I-95, 5,000 Years of History

Archaeological excavations along I-95 are digging up the past

A hotel's welcome notice for Auke Dalstra of flight MH17 is seen at the arrival hall of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal on July 18, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia.

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The Horrific Downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 Has Echoes in History

Lessons from history hint at what might happen next

The skeleton of a young man, whose tooth plaque was used in the study.

New Research

Ancient Tooth Plaque Shows Our Ancestors Used to Feast on Weeds

Purple nutsedge is a pest today, but thousands of years ago it was probably valued for its cavity-preventing properties

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You Can Now Riffle Through the Same Library Charles Darwin Used Aboard the Beagle

The digital library includes 195,000 pages of text and 5,000 illustrations

Shoreline near Cape Canaveral

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Archaeologists Are Hunting for the Lost French Fleet That Nearly Conquered Spanish Florida

In 1565 a fleet of French ships was destroyed in a hurricane, effectively ending France's hopes of territory in Florida

The Costa Concordia, refloated.

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The Wrecked Costa Concordia Cruise Ship Is Finally Being Towed Away

The ship's remains will be broken down for scrap metal

Clay tokens that Assyrians used for a simple bookkeeping system.

New Research

Some Ancient Assyrians Ignored the Advent of Writing for Thousands of Years

It took thousands of years for Assyrians to finally give up primitive record-keeping methods

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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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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."

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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

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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

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