The Cimbri and the Teutones c.120 BC-101 BC

In 1891, farm workers digging in a peat bog at Gundestrup in the far north of Jutland, Denmark, discovered a large silver cauldron. The cauldron was decorated with spectacular scenes of Celtic More »

The Obelisks of Ancient Egypt

One of the oldest and most iconic structures of ancient Egypt is the obelisk. A rising tower of stone, it was designed to astound mortals with its height and impress the immortals More »

The baby who provoked a revolution

The birth of a male heir to James II of England made possible a permanent Catholic dynasty. Several Protestants echoed Mary and Anne’s doubts that the baby had been smuggled into the More »

Red Indians and how to tame them

The Elizabethans’ colonial voyages brought them into contact with a people very different level of civilisation from their own—the ‘Indians’ of the New World, as is illustrated by the account written in More »

Mormons in search of Promised Land, 1846-69

The Mormons have been described as the most systematic, organised, disciplined and successful pioneers in American history. For over 20 years they were one of the main forces driving the settlement of More »

 

The family in Ancient Egypt

The family in Ancient Egypt

While there was a considerable difference in the housing of the upper and lower middle classes, this did not apply to the family. Monogamy was the rule in Ancient Egypt. Only the pharaoh had one or more harems (in later centuries this was also the case with princes and those in the positions of power) but this did not in the least undermine the husband – wife relationship.

King Kenneth MacAlpin and the Alban kings

King Kenneth MacAlpin and the Alban kings

The centre of administration of the Pictish kingdom in the 9th century was Forteviot on the River Earn. Close by the Dunkeld, King Kenneth MacAlpin (Cináed mac Ailpín) set up a new religious centre about 850AD. This was an acknowledgement of the fact that Iona was now no longer tenable as a religious capital, although the monastery was eventually re-established and it remained the burial place of Pictish kings until the time of Donald Ban.

Propaganda in the Wars of the Roses

Propaganda in the Wars of the Roses

In June 1864 Lewis Carroll was in London seeing to the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. On June 22nd he visited Lambeth Palace and while there (he notes in his diary) ‘the librarian, Mr Stubbs, showed me some interesting old MSS and relics’. I wonder whether one of those old manuscripts was not Lambeth MS 448: even the most casual reader cannot ignore the great number of decapitations recorded there. Alas, Alice was already with the publishers, so that manuscript cannot be the source for the Queen of Hearts.

Place to visit: Mr Straw House in Nottinghamshire, UK

Place to visit: Mr Straw House in Nottinghamshire, UK

Discover a time capsule of interwar life at the Worksop home of the Straw family who decided to leave their house unchanged for many decades. Opening the door of 7 Blyth Grove is like taking the time machine back to the 1920s. The house is a treasure chest of fascinating objects, fashions and memories from interwar Britain.

The Puzzle of Proto-Elamite

The Puzzle of Proto-Elamite

In a room at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, high above the fragments of early civilisations that are housed there, a camera dome flashes out light, yielding detailed, high-quality images of ancient written tablets. Thanks to this process of Reflectance Imaging Technology (RTI) our knowledge of the world’s oldest undeciphered writing, known as proto-Elamite and dating to before 3000 BC, is undergoing a transformation.