Warfare

Bruce Clark, author of the new book Athens: City of Wisdom, outlines the events that culminated in the Elgin Marbles’ extraction from Greece.

How the Much-Debated Elgin Marbles Ended Up in England

For two centuries, diplomat Thomas Bruce has been held up as a shameless plunderer. The real history is more complicated, argues the author of a new book

Lawrence Brooks, 110, pictured at a previous birthday celebration at the National World War II Museum

Lawrence Brooks, the United States' Oldest Living WWII Veteran, Dies at 112

Brooks was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1940, when he was in his early 30s

Brunhild and Fredegund were two lesser-known but long-reigning and influential Frankish queens.

The Medieval Queens Whose Daring, Murderous Reigns Were Quickly Forgotten

Over the centuries, Brunhild and Fredegund were dismissed and even parodied. But a new book shows how they outwitted their enemies like few in history

A 1930s couple rings in the new year with party blowers and streamers. New Year's Eve celebrations only began incorporating countdowns decades later, with the first crowd countdown in Times Square taking place in 1979.

Why Do We Count Down to the New Year?

A historian traces the tradition's links to space travel, the Doomsday Clock and Alfred Hitchcock

Finds unveiled in 2021 included a wooden falcon that originally belonged to doomed queen Anne Boleyn, an intact ancient chicken egg and a dress worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz.

Cool Finds

Ninety-Nine Fascinating Finds Revealed in 2021

The year's most exciting discoveries include a Viking "piggy bank," a lost Native American settlement and a secret passageway hidden behind a bookshelf

The capsized hull of the U.S.S. Oklahoma (right) is visible next to the U.S.S. Maryland.

The Story Behind Pearl Harbor's Most Successful Rescue Mission

Eighty years ago, civilian Julio DeCastro and his colleagues at the Hawaii base's naval yard saved 32 sailors trapped inside the U.S.S. "Oklahoma"

Inlaid with silver and brass, the ancient Roman dagger is in remarkably good condition.

Cool Finds

Amateur Archaeologist in Switzerland Unearths 2,000-Year-Old Roman Dagger

Lucas Schmid's find led to the discovery of hundreds of other ancient artifacts linked to a 15 B.C.E. battle between imperial and Rhaetian forces

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

The Seleucid fortress boasted stone walls measuring nearly ten inches thick.

Cool Finds

Israeli Archaeologists Unveil Hellenistic Fortress Destroyed by Jewish Forces in 112 B.C.E.

Hasmonean ruler John Hyrcanus I, a nephew of Maccabean Revolt leader Judah Maccabee, razed the fortified structure during his conquest of Idumea

Kabance joined the Women's Army Corps in 1943.

Women Who Shaped History

Julia Kabance, Oldest Known Woman Veteran of World War II, Dies at 111

She was also the oldest living member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation

The $11 million listing features a post office, a gas station, residences and more.

You Could Own a Former Military Town in New Mexico

In its heyday, Fort Wingate housed Buffalo Soldiers, Navajo code talkers and a future general

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

The cake may have been baked for a Palm Sunday celebration.

Cool Finds

WWII Bombing Raid Eerily Preserved This 79-Year-Old Charred Cake

Researchers discovered the blackened hazelnut-and-almond dessert in the ruins of a German house destroyed in March 1942

The timbers of a 500-year-old ship rest on the floor of the Baltic Sea. Scholars and divers are studying the legendary wreck.

An Extraordinary 500-Year-Old Shipwreck Is Rewriting the History of the Age of Discovery

In the frigid Baltic Sea, archaeologists probing the surprisingly well-preserved remains of a revolutionary warship are seeing the era in a new way

Detail of Ronald N. Sherr's General Colin Powell, 2012, oil on canvas

History of Now

Colin Powell, First Black Secretary of State, Dies of Covid-19 at 84

The decorated general broke racial barriers in the U.S. military but attracted criticism for his part in paving the way for the Iraq War

A diver discovered the 900-year-old sword in a natural cove off the coast of northern Israel.

Cool Finds

Diver Discovers 900-Year-Old Crusader Sword Off Israel's Coast

The four-foot-long weapon is encrusted in marine organisms but otherwise in "perfect condition"

Adam Driver (left) plays Jacques Le Gris, a French squire accused of raping Marguerite, wife of knight Jean de Carrouges (right, played by Matt Damon).

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind 'The Last Duel'

A new film from Ridley Scott dramatizes the 1386 trial by combat of a medieval man accused of a horrific crime

Divers can explore the wrecks of 14 warships, including the HMS Majestic and HMS Triumph.

Underwater Museum Allows Divers to Explore Shipwrecks From the Battle of Gallipoli

A new undersea park in Turkey preserves boats sunk during the 1915–16 World War I campaign

The Surprising Artistic Life of Ancient Sparta

Poets and lyricists populated the Greek civilization

A monument in Thermopylae to King Leonidas.

Sparta Was Much More Than an Army of Super Warriors

Fierce? Yes. Tough? You bet. But the true history of the Greek civilization had a lot more nuance

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