Colonialism

This 1925 painting depicts an idealized version of an early Thanksgiving celebration in Plymouth.

How to Tell the Thanksgiving Story on Its 400th Anniversary

Scholars are unraveling the myths surrounding the 1621 feast, which found the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag cementing a newly established alliance

The term “Crusade” has always been an anachronism—a way of looking back at complex, often disconnected movements with a wide array of motivations, membership, tactics and results and organizing them into a single coherent theology or identity. Pictured: A 19th-century painting of the 1177 Battle of Montgisard by Charles-Philippe Larivière

The Many Myths of the Term 'Crusader'

Conceptions of the medieval Crusades tend to lump disparate movements together, ignoring the complexity and diversity of these military campaigns

Minted in Canterbury between 1493 and 1499, the silver half groat dates to the middle of Henry VII's reign, when a rebellion led by pretender Perkin Warbeck threatened to unseat the nascent Tudor dynasty. 

Cool Finds

How Did a 15th-Century Coin Minted Under Henry VII End Up in Newfoundland?

Dated to between 1493 and 1499, the silver half-groat is the oldest English coin ever found in Canada

Attributed to Mary Way or Elizabeth Way Champlain, A Lady Holding a Bouquet, circa 1790–1800

Women Who Shaped History

These Sisters' Innovative Portrait Miniatures Immortalized 19th-Century Connecticut's Elite

An exhibition at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum is the first to showcase Mary and Elizabeth Way's unique creations, which went unrecognized for decades

This 16th- or 17th-century copper alloy plaque—one of the ten Benin Bronzes removed from view—depicts a high-ranking warrior flanked by musicians and a page holding a ceremonial sword.

History of Now

Why the Smithsonian's Museum of African Art Removed Its Benin Bronzes From View

Displaying the looted artworks does "a huge amount of harm,” says director Ngaire Blankenberg, who has affirmed her commitment to repatriating the objects

A view of the Anahuacalli Museum's main "temple" structure, which was inspired by Aztec architecture and completed in 1964

Diego Rivera's Utopian 'City of the Arts' Debuts 64 Years After the Artist's Death

The Anahuacalli Museum has expanded its campus to create a community art center first envisioned by the Mexican muralist in 1941

Researchers have tentatively dated the canoe to between 830 and 950 C.E.

Cool Finds

Well-Preserved Maya Canoe Found in Mexico May Be 1,000 Years Old

Researchers discovered the boat and other artifacts linked to the pre-Hispanic civilization near the ruins of Chichén Itzá

Tompkins Harrison Matteson, Examination of a Witch, 1853

History of Now

Reckoning With—and Reclaiming—the Salem Witch Trials

A new exhibition unites 17th-century artifacts with contemporary artists' responses to the mass hysteria event

Yale's namesake sits at the center of this group portrait, Elihu Yale With Members of His Family and an Enslaved Child (circa 1719, attributed to John Verelst).

Who Is the Enslaved Child in This Portrait of Yale University's Namesake?

Scholars have yet to identify the young boy, but new research offers insights on his age and likely background

In October 2020, authorities in Mexico City set up metal fences (pictured here) to protect a statue of Christopher Columbus from protesters. Officials later removed the sculpture, ostensibly for restoration.

Statue of Pre-Hispanic Woman Will Replace Columbus Sculpture in Mexico City

The towering likeness is an oversized replica of a 15th- or 16th-century limestone artwork discovered earlier this year

Rhodes left Oxford's Oriel College around $17 million in today's money.

Why a New Plaque Next to Oxford's Cecil Rhodes Statue Is So Controversial

The sign identifies the 19th-century statesman as a "committed British colonialist"

Abdulrazak Gurnah, 73, was awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday.

Abdulrazak Gurnah, Chronicler of Migrant Experience, Wins 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature

The Zanzibar-born author of ten novels tells richly detailed stories about people living "in the gulf between cultures and continents"

Dee may have bought the mirror in Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic) in the 1580s.

Obsidian 'Spirit Mirror' Used by Elizabeth I's Court Astrologer Has Aztec Origins

Tudor polymath John Dee used the artifact in his attempts to communicate with angels and apparitions

Of the 1,525 artifacts included in the show, 881 were recovered from abroad.

Trove of Artifacts, Many Recovered From Abroad, Traces 4,000 Years of Mexican History

A new exhibition in Mexico City features 1,525 objects linked to the Maya, Toltec, Teotihuacán, Aztec and Mixtec cultures

The cache of newly returned items includes 15 handwritten papers and a small collection of looted antiquities.

Colonial-Era Papers Stolen From Mexico's National Archive Return Home

The documents, many of which are directly linked to conquistador Hernán Cortés, were smuggled out of the country and auctioned in the U.S.

In the modern era, the European discovery of North American became a proxy for conflicts between American Protestants and Catholics, as well as northern Europeans who claimed Vikings like Leif Eriksson (left) as their ancestors and southern Europeans who touted links to Columbus (right) and the monarchs of Spain.

Viking Map of North America Identified as 20th-Century Forgery

New technical analysis dates Yale's Vinland Map to the 1920s or later, not the 1440s as previously suggested

William Trost Richards, Along the Shore, 1903

The Sights and Sounds of the Sea Have Inspired American Artists for Generations

Exhibition spotlights crashing waves, maritime voyages and seafaring vessels painted by Georgia O'Keeffe, Normal Rockwell and Jacob Lawrence

Joshua Reynolds, Portrait of Omai, circa 1776

The Polynesian 'Prince' Who Took 18th-Century England by Storm

A new nonfiction release revisits the life of Mai, the first Pacific Islander to visit Britain

Alula Pankhurst, a member of Ethiopia’s National Heritage Restitution Committee, calls the objects' return the “single most significant heritage restitution in Ethiopia’s history.”

Looted Maqdala Treasures Returned to Ethiopia After 150 Years

A nonprofit foundation purchased the objects, which were seized by British troops in 1868, with the aim of restituting them

This Aztec pictogram depicts warriors drowning as a temple burns in the background. New research links the scene to a 1507 earthquake.

Aztec Pictograms Are the First Written Records of Earthquakes in the Americas

New analysis of the 16th-century "Codex Telleriano-Remensis" reveals 12 references to the natural disasters

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