Skip to content
Carly Silver

Carly Silver

A public historian, Carly Silver has written for BBC News, History TodaySmithsonian, Atlas ObscuraThe AtlanticNarrativelyThoughtCo/About.com (for which she served as the ancient/classical history expert), ArchaeologyBiblical ArchaeologyEidolon, and All That’s Interesting, among other publications. She works as an associate editor at HarperCollins and resides in Brooklyn, New York.

Scribes from Meketre's Model Granary ca. 1981–1975 B.C.

How to Fight with Friends in Ancient Egypt

A scholar finds that some ancient Egyptians who were literate wrote annoyed letters to friends.
An 18th century casta painting

The Paintings That Tried (and Failed) to Codify Race

Casta paintings of the eighteenth century tried to show who was who in New Spain. But reality was much more complicated.
New Albatross recipe book

The Delectably Indulgent History of Perfect Food Photos

Instagram didn't invent photos of culinary masterpieces designed to inflame the appetite. Cookbooks have been at it for centuries.

How Medieval Arabic Literature Viewed Lesbians

As far back as the ninth century, doctors and poets wrote about women who loved women without calling them deviants.
A statue of Maya and Merit displayed in part in the permanent Egyptian collection at the National Museum of Antiquities or Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden, Netherlands.

Hair, Gender, and Social Status in Ancient Egypt

Egyptian tomb chapels depict men, women, and children of different ranks in society. What can their hairstyles tell us about their lives?
Sketch of a Mayan sacrificial stone, the engravings on the stone show men in ceremonial dress engaging in a blood-letting ritual.

Stingray Spines and the Maya

In Maya culture, rulers used stingray spines in bloodletting rituals. Researchers have ideas about why.
An Ancient Roman latrine

This Is How They Wiped Themselves in Ancient Rome

A very gross but extremely informative look at the archaeology of toilet hygiene.
Lady Montagu in Turkish dress, circa 1756

Before Vaccines, Variolation Was Seriously Trendy

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu is credited with popularizing variolation among the aristocracy in England.
A Victorian tea advertisement

The Victorian Tea “Infomercial”

By the 19th century, tea was the British national beverage, and "tea histories" were a form of imperial propaganda.
The Loch Ness Wellington

Bomber Plane or the Loch Ness Monster?

A Vickers Wellington plane was submerged for decades in the Loch Ness, till a group of Nessie hunters stumbled across mysterious sonar readings.
Roman Street Scene by Ettore Forti

Everyone in Pompeii Got Takeout, Too

Archaeologists have found that snack bars called tabernae fed much of the city in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius.