- Part 117

Getting to the Sites Other Tourists Cannot Reach

Have you ever wondered how a gladiator might have felt waiting in the wings of the Colosseum, ready for his turn to fight? Or what it might have been like to live in a Roman apartment block, with its claustrophobic corridors, precarious steps and cool marble floors? Visitors come to…

Prehistoric Pensioners From Outerspace

In 1930, Archaeologist Flinders Petrie excavated the tomb of a boy in ancient Egypt and was surprised to discover what appeared to be the full kit for a game of ten-pin bowling – the earliest evidence of the game. However, the more recent discovery of a number of perfect, grooved…

Bringing history to the masses

Ordinarily, Britain’s Got Talentdoesn’t have a lot in common with history, though I suppose there will be a footnote onSusan Boylein the ‘History of Reality TV’ when it’s finally published. Or in Simon Cowell‘s autobiography. But none of this matters toMary Beard, whose excellentTimes Online blog, It’s A Don’s Life,…

Aboriginal remains make the long journey home

The University of Oxford is the latest British research institution to agree to return the remains of indigenous Australians to their homeland. Aboriginal remains are scattered across the globe after they were shipped abroad for ‘research purposes’ following the colonisation of Australia by the British in 1788. It is the…

Utah saint? The Redneck Stonehenge

Stonehenge‘s cult status as a centre for pagan worship could be in doubt, thanks to a bloody minded Utah farmer and three old bangers. Rhett Davis, of Hooper, engineered the mechanical megalith to keep prying eyes away from his property – and to show his nosey neighbours he wasn’t afraid…

From Cairo to Clapton: Hawksmoor’s London

There may be well-known pyramids in Egypt, Mexico and even Bosnia – and ancient wonders across the globe – but not many know about the ancient architecture located right on their doorstep in London. Step forward Nicholas Hawksmoor: architect, freemason and all-round ancient religion nut. Born to a poor family…

B&W It Like Burton: Shooting King Tut The Expert’s Way

Various exhibitions featuring the photography of Harry Burton the man responsible for shooting the iconic photographs of the investigation of the tomb of King Tut in the 1920s are currently making their way around the US and Europe (or some of them are about to at least). Theres a small…

Nice figure, a bit toothy though: the Venus of Hohle Fels

She may not be to everyone’s taste, but don’t knock her – this tiny mammoth tusk temptress is looking good for her 35,000 years. Discovered last year in the southwest German cave of Hohle Fels, the somewhat ironically-named Venus is believed to be the earliest form of figurative art –…

How To Construct Your Very Own Pyramidiot Theory and Put it to the Test

When reading books, and especially when browsing ‘the interwebz’, one comes across the most hilarious, flabbergasting and ‘OMG, the pills you are taking, are those legal?!‘ pyramid theories. Sadly enough, the thrill is soon gone, as all those ‘pyramidiot’1 stories fall back on the same basic protagonists aliens and the…

Rock ‘n’ Roll: Stonehenge’s Rave Credentials

Stonehenge‘s use may have been debated for millennia – but one expert now thinks the Neolithic site was the venue for some of prehistory’s wildest raves. Professor Rupert Till, an expert in acoustics and music technology at Huddersfield University, insists the megalithic structure would have worked perfectly to resonate sound…