Hypatia was a Greek philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer, who lived in Alexandria, Egypt in the 4th century BC, when it was part of the Eastern Roman Empire. She was admired for her groundbreaking ideas but was eventually killed by Christian fanatics, seemingly, for those same ideas.
The Roman Empire was vast and extensive, covering almost all of Europe. Britain also came under its rule for 400 years. First Julius Caesar visited in 55 BC, but he did not stay. Eventually, in 43 AD permanent conquest of the British Isles began and Britain became a Roman province. At the time, Britain was home to many tribes, some of whom had been already trading with the Romans and were happy to welcome the invaders. Others however, like the Picts of the north, in what is now Scotland, were particularly unimpressed by the Romans and kept rebelling against the conquerors, sometimes even venturing south to attack.
Rome got a new emperor from 117 to 138 AD. His name was Hadrian and he visited Britain, which was one of the farthest outposts of his empire, in 122 AD. It was Hadrian who decided to build a wall between England and Scotland to defend his territories in England.
I spent lovely day walking around this brilliant fortress, looking at the royal apartments, the spiral staircases, the towers and the well. Check it out in this video.
The Arabian desert has been known as just that – a desert – including in archaeology. It was thought that there had been no iron-age activity in the area (the iron-age was around 1200 to 500 BC). However, research conducted over the past 30 years or so has slowly changed the knowledge and understanding of the habitation and culture of this area. And not just from the iron-age but long before that!
Thousands of stone structures, first discovered in the 1970s, and which are from 6500 to 2800 BC through to the present, have been identified across the region, as well as the whole of the Arabian Peninsula. They range from burial markers, tower and pendant tombs and open-air structures, also known as gates. The gates are now known as mustatils (meaning rectangle in Arabic).
Who doesn’t love pirates and the stories of their seafaring adventures? We’ve heard of Black Beard, Red Beard and their ilk but I am pretty certain most do not know about famous lady pirates. One of them was Grace O’Malley, the pirate queen of Ireland (c. 1530 – c. 1603). In Irish her name is Gráinne Ní Mháille.
The Plain of Giant Jars in Laos (Lao PDR) houses the most mysterious megalithic structures in Southeast Asia. There are over 90 sites, each with up to 400 jars. There purpose is not known. Now a new study reveals they were put in place between 240 to 660 BCE.
The Etruscans were the main civilisation in Italy before the Roman Empire, with their own unique culture and language. The Romans conquered them but also adopted many of their practices.
This weird fish called the coelacanth has long been known as a living fossil. After disapearing for over 60 million years it reappeared. And now genetic testing shows it has been hijacking genes from other species.
The history of the development of writing and how we got our alphabet.
The Berlin Wall was a literal symbol of the iron curtain and the cold war, which divided east and west Germany. It was built in 1961 and fell in 1989.