History

This copy of the First Folio is one of fewer than 20 in private hands.

399-Year-Old Copy of Shakespeare's First Folio Could Fetch $2.5 Million at Auction

Without the printed collection, many of the playwright's most iconic works could have been lost to history

The U.S.S.R. sent legions of “liquidators” to clean up in the aftermath of the meltdown. 

Past and Presence

Footage Shows How Daily Life Didn't Change After Chernobyl—and the Cover-Up's Toxic Aftermath

A new documentary shows how the disaster transformed—and endangered—those who lived near the nuclear plant

A group of Chinchorro mummies, dated between 5000 B.C.E. and 3000 B.C.E.

Cool Finds

Can the World's Oldest Mummies Survive Climate Change and Other Threats in the Coming Decades?

Up to 7,000 years old, the mummified remains are treasured by local residents

Horses have shaped human history over millennia, just as humans have influenced their evolution

When Did Humans Domesticate the Horse?

Only recently have scientists discovered exactly when and where the animal went from wild to tame

This Assyrian rock art discovered under a home in southeastern Turkey was hidden by local looters. 

Cool Finds

Ancient Rock Art Depicting Divine Procession Discovered in Secret Chamber Beneath Turkish House

It may have been created as a way for Neo-Assyrian officials to curry favor with local residents

The newly-discovered limestone statuette is over 4,500 years old.

Cool Finds

Palestinian Farmer Digs Up 4,500-Year-Old Goddess Sculpture

While working his land, Nidal Abu Eid uncovered a statue of Canaanite deity Anat

The National Museum of American History and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum announced the joint acquisition of the historic kit envisioned by activist Martha Goddard.

Invented by a Woman Activist, an Early 1970s Rape Kit Arrives at the Smithsonian

Martha Goddard didn’t receive much recognition—instead she got the job done

The Lockkeeper's House is the oldest building on the National Mall. After years of neglect, it is now open to the public.

The National Mall's Oldest Building Is Now Open to the Public

The long-lived Lockkeeper's House represents centuries of D.C. history

Close up of plate of Matzah.

A Gentile's Guide to Keeping Kosher for Passover

Pizza and pasta are pretty obviously out, but what are the other no-nos?

A small library on Maine's Matinicus Island is actively collecting banned books in a challenge against recent political efforts to remove controversial literature off the shelves of libraries and school curriculums.

This Small Library Off the Coast of Maine Is Collecting Banned Books

With challenges to books in the United States at a high, the Matinicus Island Library is a remote haven for controversial literature

An aerial view of San Juan, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

Explore the history, culture and natural wonders of the United States territory

A collage of Vladimir Putin placing his hand on Joseph Stalin's shoulder. Richard Cohen's new book Making History details the links between the two Russian leaders.

History of Now

Vladimir Putin's Rewriting of History Draws on a Long Tradition of Soviet Myth-Making

Much like Joseph Stalin, the Russian president has used propaganda, the media and government-sanctioned books to present an ahistorical narrative

Earlier this month, U.S. officials agreed to return two seized cuneiform artifacts to the Iraqi consulate in Los Angeles.

U.S. Returns 4,000-Year-Old Cuneiform Tablet and Prism to Iraq

An investigator says the artifacts were "almost certainly" looted from the Middle Eastern country

Earlshall Castle has hosted royalty over the years and sits on 34 acres of parkland and gardens. 

You Could Own a Possibly Haunted Castle Visited by Mary, Queen of Scots

Located in Fife, Scotland, the 16th-century Earlshall Castle boasts a rich history—and its very own ghost story

The Bonhams sale features more than 1,000 books from the late Supreme Court justice's personal library.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Personal Library Is Up for Auction

The late Supreme Court justice's collection includes novels, law books, notes and other documents dating back to her youth

Researchers found the skeleton of a human (pictured) and dog left behind by a tsunami that destroyed coastal communities along the Mediterranean Sea some 3,600 years ago.

Cool Finds

First Human Skeleton From Bronze Age Tsunami Discovered in Turkey

Archaeologists find remains of a young man and dog left behind by a natural disaster some 3,600 years ago in the Mediterranean

A first-century C.E. mosaic of Hercules and Iolaus

Cool Finds

Archaeologists Identify Possible Location of Lost Temple of Hercules

Experts in Spain used laser scanning technology to locate submerged ruins along the coast of the Bay of Cádiz

An intercontinental ballistic missile takes flight from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, in 2002. In 1962, the United States would confront the Soviet Union on its missile stockpiles in Cuba, edging the two nations to the brink of nuclear war.

History of Now

'Do You Hear What I Hear?' Conjures Images of Peace Everywhere—and Nuclear Annihilation

Composed at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the classic Christmas song contains another message—one of unity

Archaeologists have identified a rare ninth-century Viking sword discovered at a burial site on one of the Orkney Islands in Scotland.

Cool Finds

Rare Viking Sword Discovered in Grave on Scottish Island

The weapon is covered in rust and dirt, but a new X-ray analysis suggests it once boasted rich decorations

An aerial view of the ongoing efforts to reconstruct Paris' Notre-Dame Cathedral, pictured in June 2021.

France Approves Controversial Plan to Renovate Notre-Dame Cathedral

Conservative critics have opposed the new proposal, which aims to make the Paris landmark an "even more beautiful and welcoming" place for visitors

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