Trade

Artist Arianne King Comer works with indigo ink and rice paper at a farm on Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina.

The Blue That Enchanted the World

Indigo is growing again in South Carolina, revived by artisans and farmers with a modern take on a forgotten history

Divers examine an iron anchor believed to come from the British antislavery patrol ship H.M.S. Nimble, which ran afoul of the Florida Keys' sharp reefs in 1827 while chasing the illegal Spanish slaver the Guerrero.

What a Spanish Shipwreck Reveals About the Final Years of the Slave Trade

Forty-one of the 561 enslaved Africans on board the "Guerrero" died when the illegal slave ship sank off the Florida Keys in 1827

This photo of the south end of the canal, taken in 2018, shows where the waterway met up with Little Lagoon. 

Archaeologists Dig Up 1,400-Year-Old Native American Canal in Alabama

The nearly mile-long structure allowed inhabitants to paddle to rich fishing grounds and access trade routes

Artist's rendering of John Canoe (Jan Kwaw), the Ahanta king who likely inspired the Bahamas' Junkanoo festival

The Gold Coast King Who Fought the Might of Europe's Slave Traders

New research reveals links between the 18th-century Ahanta leader John Canoe and the Caribbean festival Junkanoo

Donkeys are important pack animals that helped shape human civilizations.

Scientists Uncover the Story of Donkey Domestication

Humans tamed the equines about 7,000 years ago in East Africa, new research suggests

Bakhtiari nomads in the Zagros Mountains of Iran in June 2017

How Nomads Shaped Centuries of Civilization

A new book celebrates the achievements of wanderers, whose stories have long been overlooked

“The Great Divide” explores how ideas that came to the fore during the Enlightenment at once blurred social hierarchies and reinforced them, particularly along lines of gender and race. 

These 18th-Century Shoes Underscore the Contradictions of the Age of Enlightenment

An exhibition at Toronto's Bata Shoe Museum examines fashion's role in supporting social hierarchies that emerged during the landmark intellectual movement

Divers from AllenX examines the debris trail of the Maravillas, which sank in the Bahamas in 1656.

Cool Finds

The Race to Preserve Treasures From a Legendary 17th-Century Shipwreck

The new Bahamas Maritime Museum will feature finds from the "Maravillas," a Spanish galleon that sank in 1656 with a cargo of gold, silver and gems

A marine archaeologist examines one of the engraved Purbeck gravestones recovered from the 13th-century Mortar Wreck.

Cool Finds

England's Oldest Surviving Shipwreck Is a 13th-Century Merchant Vessel

Carrying a cargo of locally sourced limestone, the so-called Mortar Wreck likely sank off the Dorset coast during the reign of Henry III

A pair of rock reliefs found at Rabana-Merquly may depict Natounissar, an ancient Adiabene king linked to the lost city of Natounia.

Cool Finds

Why Archaeologists Think They've Found the Lost City of Natounia

New research draws on rock reliefs and ancient coins to link the Rabana-Merquly fortress in Iraq to a vassal state of the Parthian Empire

View of Nehalem Beach, where the ship was wrecked, with Neahkahnie Mountain in the distance

Cool Finds

Rare Timbers From 17th-Century Spanish Shipwreck Discovered Off Oregon Coast

The Manila galleon—and its cargo of silk, porcelain and beeswax—vanished en route to Mexico in 1693

Up to 50 percent of the world's tarantula species are involved in wildlife trade, including 25 percent of species described since 2000.

The Black Market Is Crawling With Spiders, New Study Finds

More than 1,200 species of spiders, scorpions and other arachnids are involved in the wildlife trade

On the island of Dejima, European traders could interact with the Japanese, but with a few (carefully escorted) exceptions, they were barred from continuing on to mainland Japan.

The Wild West Outpost of Japan's Isolationist Era

For two centuries, an extreme protectionist policy barred foreigners from setting foot in Japan—except for one tiny island

Cycads growing in Litchfield National Park in Australia.

Many of These Plants Older Than Dinosaurs Face Extinction

Cycads have changed a great deal since they first appeared around 280 million years ago, and habitat loss and illegal trade are now threats

The finds suggest that the islands off the coast of Abu Dhabi weren't "arid and inhospitable" thousands of years ago, but rather a "fertile coast" ripe for settlement.

The United Arab Emirates' Earliest Buildings Are 8,500 Years Old

Found off the coast of Abu Dhabi, the structures likely served as houses for Ghagha Island's Neolithic inhabitants

Four lead ingots found in a shipwreck off the coast of Israel feature Cypro-Minoan markings but actually originated in Sardinia.

New Research

Imported Lead Ingots Offer Evidence of Complex Bronze Age Trade Networks

A new analysis of shipwrecked metals inscribed with Cypro-Minoan markings suggests the objects originated in Sardinia, some 1,550 miles away from Cyprus

The new Netflix series imagines what would have happened if Harald Hardrada (played by Leo Suter) were best buddies with Norse explorer Leif Erikson (Sam Corlett) and the lover of Leif’s sister, Freydís Eiríksdóttir (Frida Gustavsson).

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind Netflix's 'Vikings: Valhalla'

A spin-off of the long-running series "Vikings," the show follows a fictionalized version of Norwegian king Harald Hardrada

Some of the ancient Roman decorative pottery pieces uncovered at the archaeological site in England.

Cool Finds

Ancient Roman Trading Settlement Unearthed 80 Miles From London

Researchers discover a Roman road, coins, jewelry and evidence of makeup at a dig site near a railway project

Some of the jewelry found in the tombs resembles designs worn by Queen Nefertiti.

Egyptian Jewelry, Mesopotamian Seal Found in Cyprus Offer Clues to Bronze Age Trade Networks

Artifacts found in a pair of tombs on the Mediterranean island speak to the interconnected nature of the ancient world

The Srivijaya Empire was known for its wealth and dominance of maritime trade routes.

Cool Finds

Indonesian Divers Discover Treasures From Enigmatic 'Island of Gold'

Archaeological evidence of the Srivijaya Empire is limited, but recent finds made along the Musi River may shed light on the mysterious civilization

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