Smart News History & Archaeology

Two women operating ENIAC

Computer Programming Used To Be Women’s Work

Computer programmers are expected to be male and antisocial - an self-fulfilling prophecy that forgets the women that the entire field was built upon

Major General Edwin Walker

Before JFK, Lee Harvey Oswald Tried to Kill an Army Major General

Seven months before he shot President Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald tried to kill Major General Edwin Walker

A recreation of an ancient English farm

Early Agriculture Nearly Tanked Ancient Europe’s Population

While the rise of agriculture allowed human populations to blossom, it also opened the door for catastrophic collapses

Proto Indo-European is thought to be one of the precursor to languages as diverse as English and Hindi.

Hear Stories Read in Proto Indo-European, a 6000-Year-Old Language

Proto Indo-European is thought to be the precursor to many Indian, Asian and European languages

Lomboc Island is now a sleepy vacation spot.

The Case of the Mysterious, Thirteenth-Century Eruption Might Finally be Solved

In A.D. 1257 a massive volcano erupted, spreading ash all over the world. The problem is that scientists have no idea where the eruption happened

Lysol’s Vintage Ads Subtly Pushed Women to Use Its Disinfectant as Birth Control

As if that wasn't bad enough, Lysol isn't even an effective contraceptive

Funding Gaps Have Only Forced Government Shutdowns Since the 1980s

Funding gaps didn't always bring a shut down of the federal government


There Used to Be an Entire Museum Full of Weird, Old Robots, And You Can Still Take a Video Tour

Today, people can get their old creepy robot fix on the internet. But there was once a whole museum devoted to old bots

Archaeologists Looking for a Sultan’s Buried Heart Found a Whole Town Instead

Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent's missing heart still has not been found, but archeologists searching for it did discover a lost, ancient Ottoman town

Soldiers at the Korean War Veterans Memorial

Be Careful When Taking Pictures of Other People’s Art

The U.S. Postal Service owes the man who sculpted the Korean War memorial nearly $685,000

China Claims to Have Bought a Huge Chunk of Ukraine

China says it's purchased 3 million hectares of Ukrainian farming land, but Ukraine says it has no intention of selling land to China


The U.S. Nearly Nuked North Carolina

North Carolina was saved from nuclear devastation by one little switch

“Terrorist attacks at shopping centers, 1998 – 2005”

Kenya in Context: Malls Around the World That Terrorists Have Attacked

Lots of people, lots of exits, lots of packages--a few of the reasons why shopping malls are targeted

Bagels And Lox Are a Uniquely American Creation

Lox didn't originate in New York City. Nor did bagels. But putting them together, that is a distinctly New York Creation

Supporters of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi celebrate his 2012 election.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Short History as an Officially Recognized Political Party Is Over

Amidst an ongoing military crackdown, Egypt bans the Muslim Brotherhood

“The Eight Years of the War of the American Revolution,” wood engraving by John Warner Barber c 1871. You’re really going to want to zoom in on this one.

This Engraved Infographic of the Revolutionary War Is From 1871

This engraved infographic from 1871 shows the major events of the Revolutionary War, and some beautiful subtle additions

Legos Helped Restore a 3,000-Year-Old Sarcophagus

Lego platforms propped the sarcophagus in place from the inside, allowing the researchers to work on the ancient materials without fear of collapse


Google Earth Is Lending a Hand with Land Mine Clearing in Kosovo

Google has teemed with the Halo Trust, a non-profit that works to remove land mines and other unexploded ordinances that often linger after a conflict ends

An extended view, from 1 AD to 2000 AD. If you click it will get bigger and easier to read.

This Map Is a Crash Course in European History, 1 A.D. to Today

A three minute video shows 1000 years of European conquest

Three Ancient Rivers, Long Buried by the Sahara, Created a Passage to the Mediterranean

One river system, called the Irharhar, appears to have been a particularly popular travel route, corroborated by both model simulations and artifacts

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