History, Other

What the Roman Empire looked like at its prime in one glorious map

rome empire map

Stretch above is one of the most interesting maps of the Roman Empire ever made, all carted in detail using modern computational techniques. It shows what the great empire used to look like during its period of maximum expansion under the reign of Septimius Severus, about 211 CE. As you can notice, the Romans’ domain covered much of Europe, from the Atlantic to the Ural Mountains and from modern day Scotland to the Sahara or the Arabian Golf.

Archaeology, History, News, Science

Native Americans were the first to make caffeinated drinks

Image via bodybuilding

The humble bean is the first thing some of us reach for in the mornings, it’s our companion during breaks and comes to warm us up on cold winter days. We’ve come to rely on coffee, due to the caffeine it contains, to wake us up when the night is short and full of terrors, and keep us going when the going gets rough. A new study from the University of New Mexico’s researchers however shows how the people of the Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico were drinking caffeinated beverages as early as 750 AD, over 1,200 years ago.

Archaeology, History, News, Science

Treasure trove of stone tools found in Puget Sound

It started off as a routine dig, but it quicky became one of the most important finds in the area when the archaeologists dug deeper.
Image via seattletimes

Is there anything you can’t buy in today’s shopping malls? The list must be pretty short already, but now we can cut artifacts off it. Archaeologists in Redmond US., working on a routine survey to get the green light for a construction site near a mall in the area, found thousands of stone tools estimated to be at least 10,000 years old, “The Seattle Times” reported.

Feature Post, History

Chocolate history: The early days, Mesoamericans, culture and rituals

Image via Wikipedia.

Chocolate is… who am I kidding – we all know what chocolate is. It’s dark, sweet, delicious pleasure. But chocolate, this seemingly simple food actually has a rich and complex history which stems for some 4,000 years. Here, we’re going to start with the earliest historical evidences of chocolate consumption, the medicinal and ritualistic uses of chocolate, and how it came

Agriculture, Anthropology, History, News, Science

And then i threw it on the ground: first signs of farming come from the middle east, some 23,000 years ago


Who, where and when “invented” farming? A new study pushes back the advent of farming by a couple of thousand years.

History, News

What may be the oldest Koran fragments were discovered in Birmingham, UK

An excerpt from what looks like one of the oldest Koran copies over. The written is extremely well preserved and legible.

A Koran manuscript etched on sheep or goat skin may be the oldest discover so far, according to a radiocarbon dating. The fragments, preserved in pristine condition and written in a surprisingly clear Hijazi script, were found in the University of Birmingham’s library. The dating shows the Koran copy is at least 1,370 years old, and was edited between 568 and 645 by a person who likely knew the prophet Muhammed himself. Though it’s not clear if it’s the oldest Koran fragment, it’s definitely out there among the earliest Islamic texts – a reason to rejoice for the large Islamic community in Birmingham.

Feature Post, Great Pics, History, Videos

In God we Trust: but other people don’t, really. Let’s look at religions

The Religion Tree, by Simon E. Davies

What drives us to create these intricate systems of tales, beliefs and myths, who starts them and why do they propagate? Is it just the need to explain the unexplainable? Is there a deeper need for order nestled in our brain that makes us pin rain and drought, life and death on some higher, but purposeful, being?

I don’t know. But what i can show you is what we know about how religion appeared, spread, and thought us up till today.

Archaeology, Health & Medicine, History, News, Science

14,000-year-old molar gives us oldest proof of dentistry, and will make you love your dentist’s drill

(A) Occlusal view of the RM3. (B) Detailed view of the large occlusal cavity with the four carious lesions and the chipping area on the mesial wall. Section A-A is directed mesio-distally, passing through the larger carious lesion. (C) MicroCT slice of the Villabruna RM3 in correspondence with section A-A.
Image via Nature

Just as today -or a little less often, as we tend to abuse our teeth quite a bit nowadyas – early humans had to deal with cavities. An infected 14,000 year old molar may give us a glimpse into how they treated such afflictions, and is the oldest known evidence of dentistry.

History, News, Offbeat

The Great Wall of China is Slowly Wasting Away

Great Wall of China near Jinshanling. Image via Wikimedia.

The Great Wall of China, one of the most marvelous constructions on Earth is slowly fading away due to the reckless behavior of humans. The effects of travel and recycling of the stones for other constructions is taking a monumental toll on the Great Wall, and almost 30 percent of the structure is now gone.

Feature Post, History

Skeletons with lavish jewelry found in Roman catacombs


They call them the Catacomb Saints – ancient Roman corpses that were exhumed from the catacombs of Rome, given fictitious names and sent abroad as relics of saints from the 16th century to the 19th century. They were decorated with extreme lavishness, as you can see below. But why – why would they be decorated with such luxury? Were they actually