Gold Weights and Wind Scales in the Asante Empire
The ornamented tools used to ensure fair market transactions also conveyed the stories and values of the Akan peoples.
Plant of the Month: Turmeric
The plant’s golden color has inspired a long—and potentially deadly—fascination.
Ed Hardy Changed Tattooing Forever
Trained as a printmaker, this artist helped change American tattooing from a fringe behavior into an art form people use to express themselves.
Why Ancient Egyptians Loved Cats So Much
Ancient Egyptians' love of cats developed from an appreciation of their rodent-catching skills to revering them as sacred creatures.
Reversing the Trade of Māori Tattooed Heads
Preserved heads decorated with tā moko, or facial tattoos, were sacred objects to New Zealand's Māori. Then Europeans started collecting them.
From Saturnalia to Coachella
Art, music, religious, and seasonal festivals have been a part of human life since prehistory. How have they changed as society has changed?
The San Zeno Astrolabe Tracked Time by the Stars
The astrolabe was a revolutionary tool for calculating celestial positions and local time. The device's design dates back to Islamic antiquity.
The Ancient Origins of Dice
Gambling is one of humankind’s oldest activities. Elaborate technologies and customs have emerged around games of chance. Dice in particular have drawn attention from scholars.
Herbs & Verbs: How to Do Witchcraft for Real
Like for real real.
The History of Purple, From Pliny to Prince
In August Pantone honored late singer/songwriter Prince with a new shade of purple called Purple Rain. Why is the color purple considered to be so special?