Weapons

Otzi carried 14 arrows in his quiver, but only two had arrowheads and feather fletching.

What We Can Learn From Ötzi the Iceman's Hunting Pack

The famed Copper Age mummy's bowstring is the world's oldest known specimen

Atlatl grips from the Par-Tee site in Oregon

Cool Finds

These Miniature Tools Taught Ancient Children How to Hunt and Fight

A new study describes artifacts from an archaeological site in Oregon that appear to have been scaled down for little hands

The film opens on Christmas Day.

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind the '1917' Movie

A story shared by director Sam Mendes' grandfather, a veteran of the Western Front, inspired the new World War I film

The shield was buried alongside a 2,000-year-old chariot drawn by two horses.

Cool Finds

Archaeologists Unearth Celtic Warrior Grave Complete With Chariot, Elaborate Shield

One expert hailed the shield as "the most important British Celtic art object of the millennium"

The stretcher bullet (mostly intact) and two fragments of the bullet that fatally wounded Kennedy, as seen from multiple perspectives

Bullets That Killed John F. Kennedy Immortalized as Digital Replicas

The originals remain at the National Archives, but new 3-D scans showcase the ballistics in vivid detail

An unknown thief stole the historic rifle in a brazen 1971 heist.

Cool Finds

Revolutionary War Rifle Stolen 50 Years Ago Recovered at Barn Sale

The long rifle, made by master gunsmith Johann Christian Oerter, will go on view at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia

Archaeologists unearthed the cannonballs while excavating the ruins of Zishtova Fortress in Bulgaria

Cool Finds

Trove of Cannonballs Likely Used by Vlad the Impaler Found in Bulgaria

The primitive projectiles probably date to the Romanian ruler's 1461 through 1462 siege of Zishtova Fortress

Family photo of Elsye Mitchell

In 1945, a Japanese Balloon Bomb Killed Six Americans, Five of Them Children, in Oregon

The military kept the true story of their deaths, the only civilians to die at enemy hands on the U.S. mainland, under wraps

The ancient scorched-earth warfare tactic of well poisoning is still in use today

The History of Poisoning the Well

From ancient Mesopotamia to modern-day Iraq, the threat to a region's water supply is the cruelest cut of all

Plumber planner Jannick Vestergaard and engineer Henning Nøhr posing with their discovery.

Medieval Sword, Blade Still Sharp, Pulled From Sewer in Denmark

Experts think its owner may have been defeated in battle and dropped the luxurious weapon in the muddy streets

The 1999 discovery of the Nebra Sky Disc, a 3,600-year-old bronze object adorned with gold renderings of celestial bodies, sparked resurgence of interest in deceased prince, who was buried at same archaeological site

This Bronze Age Regicide May Be World’s Oldest-Known Political Murder

The prince of Helmsdorf’s skeleton revealed three brutal injuries, including one that suggests he knew his killer and attempted to fend off the attack

The majority of homicides catalogued on the map occurred in public places, including crowded streets and markets

Relive Medieval London’s Bloody Murders With This New Interactive Death Map

The macabre tool features tales of revenge, thwarted love, infanticide—and a urinal that drove a man to murder

A mid-level solar flare captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory in 2017.

Did a Huge Solar Storm Detonate Deep Sea Mines During the Vietnam War?

Dozens of underwater devices seemed to explode without cause in 1972

Nuclear material in drums in a storage area of Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Center in 1991.

How Saddam and ISIS Killed Iraqi Science

Within decades the country’s scientific infrastructure went from world-class to shambles. What happened?

To illustrate this article, artist Victoria Villasana applied colorful yarn to a photograph of Fred Rogers wearing his signature zippered cardigan.

Mister Rogers Pioneered Speaking to Kids About Gun Violence

We need the children's television icon now more than ever

Busting dams

How a British Engineer Made a Bomb That Could Bounce On Water

Seventy-five years ago, Barnes Wallis masterminded a famous World War II attack that involved skipping a bomb into German dams

When the director of DARPA heard about the blasts and their purpose, he had an immediate reaction: “Holy shit. This is dangerous.”

How Soviet Bomb Tests Paved the Way For U.S. Climate Science

The untold story of a failed Russian geoengineering scheme, panic in the Pentagon, and a Nixon-era effort to study global cooling

A gun manufacturer in Birmingham in the 19th century.

How British Gun Manufacturers Changed the Industrial World Lock, Stock and Barrel

In ‘Empire of Guns,’ historian Priya Satia explores the microcosm of firearm manufacturing through an unlikely subject—a Quaker family

View of two farmers checking the corpses of dead sheep on a farm ranch near the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah.

How the Death of 6,000 Sheep Spurred the American Debate on Chemical Weapons

The Dugway sheep incident of March 1968 made visible the military’s covert attempts to test and stockpile millions of dollars worth of chemical weapons

American Farm Hand by Sandor Klein, 1937

How Portraiture Gave Rise to the Glamour of Guns

American portraiture with its visual allure and pictorial storytelling made gun ownership desirable

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