A Passover Tradition to Promote Jewish Unity
Freeing a prisoner—a gesture of generosity and benevolence—may have been a way to bring together a fractured spiritual community.
How the Maya Kept Time
Many scholars contrast linear and cyclical time and note that cycles were an important part of Maya concepts of temporal reality.
Healing and Memory in Ancient Greece
The goddess Mnemosyne helped bards remember what to sing and was the mother of the Muses. But she also played a role in healing sanctuaries.
Plant of the Month: Cork
Why is cork so strongly associated with bottle stoppers? The answer goes back centuries.
Fixing the Aqueduct from Hell
The Roman engineer Nonius Datus thought the project was in good shape when he left Saldae. He would return.
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.
Pompeii Mania in the Era of Romanticism
Nothing appealed more perfectly to the Romantic sensibility than the mix of horror and awe evoked by a volcano erupting.
Sewing Saved Us from a “Cold Snap” 13 Thousand Years Ago
Sewing a full winter outfit from animal hides took 105 hours. And we needed lots of them to survive the Younger Dryas Cold Event.
The Festival of the Flayed God
The terrifying and gruesome rituals of the Flayed God had a symbolic subtext that was somewhat gentler than one might imagine.
Facts and Fancies About Amber
It's taken scientists a long time to figure out what amber is made of, and what we can learn from it.