Crow illustration

Crows Are Even Smarter Than We Thought

If crows like the New Caledonian Crow can plan out and create a specialized tool, then they seem to have smarts that rival those of early humans. 
Central medallion of a Qashqai rug, 19th century, with fragmented Herati pattern.

An Object History of the Persian Carpet

The famous Persian carpet, woven by female artisans in southwestern Iran, may be going extinct. Its story can be told in spindles and whorls.
adhesives

The Sticky History of Adhesives

Our Pleistocene ancestors in southern Africa made and used glue-like adhesives as early as the Middle Stone Age.
alchemist

Inside the Alchemist’s Workshop

What tools would an alchemist use in the quest to transmute other elements into gold?