Prodigies, or monsters, were opaque and flexible symbols that signaled that God was sending some message.
How did people find out where their local boundaries were before there were reliable maps?
For cultural and geographical reasons, the city was a great place to find bodies to dissect. But there was also the matter of one well-connected doctor.
Lifecasting was the renaissance art of making sculptures using molds taken from real-life plants and animals.
We know a surprising amount about the dental history of the nation’s first president.
The wing-cases of gold-enameled weevils hung from necklaces; muslin gowns were embroidered with the iridescent green elytra of jewel beetles.
1877 was a banner year for American dinosaurs: three major finds in the West turned the region into a "paleontologist's El Dorado."
Our names for our fingers show a surprising depth of cultural variation—and similarity.
Seventeenth-century scholars were horrified by how much ancient knowledge had been lost when the monasteries dispersed.
Fratricide among rival princes was legal and widely practiced until 1603, so confinement to the palace was actually an improvement.