A well-preserved fresco recently unearthed in Pompeii—the Roman city razed by Mount Vesuvius’ eruption in 79 A.D.—depicts the final act of a gladiator fight: As one combatant begs for mercy, the victorious warrior awaits instructions on whether to kill or spare his opponent. According to the Guardian’s Angela Giuffrida, archaeologists found the painting while conducting
The Isle of Arran located off Scotland’s west coast is one of the most archaeologically rich sites in all of Great Britain. The island is home to some of the British Isles’ most impressive prehistoric sites, featuring Neolithic stone circles and standing stones, ancient burial grounds and cairns, and the remains of Stone Age and
Two men walked towards the demonstration kitchen stage, but only one looked the part of a chef. He was clad in a denim apron over a white shirt and khakis. His counterpart, bespectacled and wearing a suit and tie, strode onto the stage like a professor approaching a lecture podium, a map of China tucked
Smithsonian Voices National Museum of the American Indian Indigenous Peoples’ Day: Rethinking How We Celebrate American History October 11th, 2019, 4:00PM / BY Dennis W. Zotigh and Renee Gokey Johns Hopkins University observed Indigenous Peoples’ Day for the first time in 2018. “The culture around Columbus and how Natives are viewed is slowly changing,” Indigenous
In what is now acknowledged to be a “glorified grave-robbing campaign,” between 1788 and 1948, anthropologists and opportunists took skulls and bones of Indigenous Australians wherever they could find them—from graves, hospitals, asylums and prisons. Consequentially, the Australia government’s International Repatriation Program estimates that some 1,000 Aboriginal remains are still held in museums worldwide today.
At the turn of the 11th century, a Japanese woman known as Murasaki Shikibu penned what is often deemed the world’s first novel: a 54-chapter sojourn through the romantic and political exploits of a prince named Genji. The original manuscript of the Tale of Genji does not survive beyond a few fragments of text—but experts
Described by Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Caray as “a song that reflects the charisma of baseball,” ”Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” written in 1908 by lyricist Jack Norworth and composer Albert von Tilzer, is inextricably linked to America’s national pastime. But while most Americans can sing along as baseball fans “root, root,
Back in 2018, Old Master art dealer Fergus Hall first floated the idea that a 17th-century portrait owned by Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery attributed to Anthony van Dyck’s workshop was actually the work of the Dutch artist himself. Researchers at Art Detective, a digital forum dedicated to helping public art collections across the United Kingdom
In the 1950s, archaeologists in Israel identified an ancient settlement along the country’s northern coast. Over the following decades, small-scale digs continued there. Experts could tell the find was significant, but they were not sure of the site’s “size or magnitude,” Yitzhak Paz, a director of excavation with the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), tells Amanda
In April 1483, a German politician named Bernhard von Breydenbach embarked on a religious pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Breydenbach and his companions—among others, Dutch artist Erhard Reuwich—traveled at a leisurely clip, touring destinations including Venice, Corfu, Modon and Rhodes while en route. Two years after his pilgrimage, Breydenbach created an illustrated guide detailing the
A large assemblage of tiny stone tools found in Sri Lanka that date back 45,000 years suggest that not only were humans hunting prey within dense jungles earlier than previously believed, but that they also were in possession of tools that allowed them to occupy and survive in many different habitats. For the new study,
In his three decades on public television, Fred Rogers greeted his neighbors each day with his familiar theme song as he exchanged his leather shoes for sneakers and zipped up one of his trademark cardigans. The sweaters—lovingly knit by his mother—were a cozy and constant presence for his young fans. Behind the scenes, the production
Researchers are hoping that a new technology will help them to begin reading charred scrolls dating back 2,000 years. If successful, the technique could help decipher other charred, faded or damaged scrolls and documents from the ancient world. These particular scrolls were unearthed in 1752 in the ruins of Herculaneum, which was covered in ash
Twenty-five years ago, a man in Mattituck, New York, came across a collection of audiotapes in his basement and put them aside for a rainy day. Years later, when he finally investigated the tapes, he found that he was in possession of original recordings of some of the most important broadcasts of World War II.
On October 8, 1769, the British explorer James Cook made landing at the Tūranganui River, not far from the modern-day city of Gisborne, New Zealand. As the country prepares to commemorate—and grapple with—the 250th anniversary of this defining event, the British government has expressed its regret for the killings of nine Indigenous Māori in the
When France celebrated the 200th anniversary of revolution in 1989, Jessye Norman sang “La Marseillaise” while clad in a dress of red, white and blue. In 1986, she marked Elizabeth II’s 60th birthday with a rendition of “God Save the Queen.” The soprano also performed at two presidential inaugurations—that of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton—and