Colonialism

An activist holds up a rainbow flag inside Botswana's High Court to celebrate Tuesday's landmark ruling.

In Landmark Ruling, Botswana Strikes Down Colonial-Era Law Criminalizing Homosexuality

‘A democratic society is one that embraces tolerance, diversity and open-mindedness,’ Justice Michael Leburu said of the ruling

Much of the discussion has centered on the soon-to-be-finished Humboldt Forum, scheduled to open later this year that will house a large collection of ethnological artifacts.

Ministers From All 16 German States Agree to Move Forward With Restitution of Looted Treasures

Officials said they would collaborate with museums on researching and repatriating artifacts that were unlawfully taken during Germany’s colonial era

Museum of Black Civilizations in Dakar, Senegal.

Sprawling Museum of Black Civilizations Opens in Senegal

The launch comes as Senegal is requesting the repatriation of looted artworks from France

An aerial shot of North Sentinel Island

Inside the Story of John Allen Chau’s Ill-Fated Trip to a Remote Island

Questions abound about the ethics of the missionary’s trip and what will happen next

Thomas Jennings, accused of murdering Clarence D. Hiller, Chicago, Illinois, 1910.

The First Criminal Trial That Used Fingerprints as Evidence

Thomas Jennings used a freshly painted railing to flee a murder scene but unwittingly left behind something that would change detective work forever

Illustration of a sloth in André Thevet's Les Singularitez de la France Antarctique (Paris: heirs of Maurice de la Porte 1558)

The Strange Nature of the First Printed Illustration of a Sloth

As described by a 16th-century French missionary, the South American 'little bear' with the face of 'a baby' was introduced to Europe

Newly Discovered Artifacts Reignite Feud Over Which Town Is Connecticut's Oldest

Wethersfield and Windsor both date back to the early 17th century, but which came first is a matter of debate

It took thousands of years, but the pumpkin went from one squash among many to American icon.

How the Formerly Ubiquitous Pumpkin Became a Thanksgiving Treat

The history of Cucurbita pepo has a surprising connection to the abolitionist cause

An illustration of Blackbeard, the famed pirate

Three Centuries After His Beheading, a Kinder, Gentler Blackbeard Emerges

Recent discoveries cast a different light on the most famous—and most feared—pirate of the early 18th century

Brass plaques from Benin City, on display at the British Museum.

Major European Institutions Will 'Loan' Looted Artifacts to New Nigerian Museum

During an 1897 raid, the British army plundered 4,000 artifacts from the kingdom of Benin

A monument in lower Manhattan commemorates the "sale" of Lenape lands to the Dutch.

The True Native New Yorkers Can Never Truly Reclaim Their Homeland

Nearly 400 years after the alleged “sale of Manhattan,” some Lenape strive to reawaken their cultural heritage on the islands where their ancestors thrived

Scientists don full-body suits to minimize contamination and disturbance of the precious artifacts uncovered in the 1617 church in Jamestown, Virginia, where a new skeleton awaits identification.

A Jamestown Skeleton is Unearthed, but Only Time—and Science—Will Reveal His True Identity

Jamestown Rediscovery archeologists use new technology to uncover the bones of one of the first English colonists

Researchers used 1,000 years’ worth of built-up sediment found at the bottom of the valley’s Lake Huilla to create a timeline of the area’s population—and depopulation

This Lake Tells the Story of Ecuador’s Decimated Indigenous Quijo Civilization

In 1541, roughly 35,000 Quijos lived in the valley. By the 1580s, they had vanished, leaving little evidence of their existence behind

A dog buried in Western Illinois 10,000 years ago is one of the oldest dogs known in the Americas, and the oldest dog burial in the world. These native American dogs were almost entirely wiped out when European colonists arrived.

European Dogs Devastated Indigenous American Pup Populations

Disease, cultural change wiped out pre-contact populations, leaving no trace of ancient dogs’ DNA in modern counterparts

Still from the movie Rabbit-Proof Fence, which chronicles the real-life odyssey of Daisy Kadibil, her sister Molly and her cousin Gracie.

Daisy Kadibil’s Story of Escape Called Attention to the "Stolen Generations" of Aboriginal Australians

Kadibil, who died at the age of 95, had her incredible odyssey recounted in the acclaimed 2002 film ‘Rabbit-Proof Fence’

This painting by Louis-Nicolas Van Blarenberghe, court painter of battles to France’s King Louis XVI, depicts the 1781 formal surrender of the British army at Yorktown, Virginia. The original is at the Palace of Versailles. This secondary version was created in 1786 for French General Comte de Rochambeau, the commander of the French forces at Yorktown

The American Revolution Was Just One Battlefront in a Huge World War

A new Smithsonian exhibition examines the global context that bolstered the colonists’ fight for independence

Archaeologists in Alexandria, Virginia, have unearthed three 18th-century ships that were buried to extend the city's land.

Three 18th-Century Ships Found in Old Town Alexandria Tell a Story of Colonial-Era Virginia

Another intentionally buried ship was found just a block away from the newly discovered finds in 2015

Once touted as the Paris of the East, Ross Island has now been reclaimed by nature.

India's Abandoned Island of Colonial Horror

Eerie and desolate, Ross Island harbors a tale of oppression and disaster

Why Swaziland Is Now the Kingdom of eSwatini

The king has declared it will use its pre-colonial Swazi name from now on

Anti-cholera inoculation in Calcutta in 1894.

Science Still Bears the Fingerprints of Colonialism

Western science long relied on the knowledge and exploitation of colonized peoples. In many ways, it still does

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