Smart News History & Archaeology

In the Entire History of the Catholic Church, Only a Handful of Popes Have Resigned

Today, Pope Benedict XVI told the world that he would resign

Chinese relics in disrepair and the study authors’ proposed fix for the terracotta soldiers.

China’s Terracotta Warrior Army Is Deteriorating

If China doesn't take steps to better preserve the relics, they may eventually turn into dust

Some of the newly discovered pyramids

Archaeologists Found a Mysterious, Dense Cluster of 35 Pyramids in Sudan

The pyramids hail back to the days of the kingdom of Kush, which occurred around 2,000 years ago

Aramaic is one language scholars are racing to save.

How to Revive a Lost Language

By the year 2100, the human race will have lost about 50% of the languages alive today. Every fourteen days a language dies. There are some success stories

A Liberty Head nickel from 1883

1913 Nickel Could Sell for More Than $2 Million

The coin is one of only five 1913 Liberty Head nickels known to exist, though this one has an illicit, serendipitous back story

“No. 2256. Copyist: Musa b. Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Kansusi from the area of Takrakar. Copied in 1144 H / 1731 G in Takrakar (Gao, Mali).”

Library Full of Precious Manuscripts Burned in Timbuktu

Two men reenact Roman military life in Split, Croatia.

In Ancient Rome, Children’s Shoes Were a Status Symbol

From a trove of ancient Roman footwear, a rethinking of military life

In Europe, These People Wouldn’t Be Allowed To Drive

A recent study found that drivers with blind spots were more likely to hit pedestrians and less able to respond to hazardous situations

Did ancient Australians witness a similar scene?

Indians Made It to Australia More Than 4,000 Years Before the British

Give your future and your coin to Anubis, and you’ll be spared the rigors of hard labor.

In Ancient Egypt, People Paid to Become Temple Servants

Rather than face forced labor, some ancient Egyptians gave up their futures and their coin to become temple servants

Hungover? There’s a Cure for That No Matter Where You Live

There are some things that are universal—trade, money, shelter, hangovers

Hankie Coated in Beheaded Louis XVI’s Blood Found in Dried Squash

Two centuries after King Louis XVI's execution, researchers think they've found a revolutionary souvenir from that fateful day

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Letter From Chinese Labor Camp Prisoner Found in Kmart Decorations

The letter's author described 15 hour work days, no days off and pay of around $1.61 per day after receiving sentencing without a trial

All of Zeus’s Affairs, Visualized

‘In Cold Blood’ Killers Exhumed

Richard Hickock and Perry Smith's bodies were exhumed yesterday, as part of an investigation into four murders committed in Florida in 1959

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Native American Woman May Have Made It to Europe 500 Years Before Columbus Was Born

Before the Civil War, There Were 8,000 Different Kinds of Money in the U.S.

It wasn't until after the war that the U.S. started to really use the dollar

Drinking Tea Was Once Considered an Irresponsible, Reckless Pursuit for Women

Poor Irish women who drank tea in the 19th century might as well have been chugging a bottle of whiskey

Blame Napoleon for Our Addiction to Sugar

Prior to 1850, sugar was a hot commodity that only society's most wealthy could afford

Archeologists Uncover Utah’s First Mormon Baptistry

Archeologists uncovered the remains of the first Latter-day Saints baptistry in Utah County, build around 1875

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