Month: April 2012

Interview: The Glittering World of the Sasanians

The Sasanians of Iran have long played a historical “second fiddle” to their Romano-Byzantine, Indian, and Chinese neighbors. The last of the ancient Persian dynasties and perhaps the most culturally sophisticated of all Persian polities, the Sasanians were a dynamic and commanding force in the world of Late Antiquity. In this interview, James Wiener of the Ancient History Encyclopedia took the opportunity to speak with Professor Touraj Daryaee, an expert on Sasanian culture and politics.

Plumed Serpent Exhibition Review

For those of you interested in all that which is “Mesoamerican,” please check out the Los Angeles Times‘ recent review of “Children of the Plumed Serpent: The Legacy of Quetzalcoatl in Ancient Mexico.” This exhibition is currently on show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art until July 1, 2012 and showcases some of the rarest and finest works by ancient craftsmen from across what is present-day Mexico. Please click here to read the review.

Ancient Peruvian Tombs & DNA

MSNBC is reporting that ancient Peruvian tombs are revealing fascinating genetic and cultural secrets. Throughout the centuries, many Andean peoples in Peru buried their dead in vertical tombs called “chullpas.” Researchers from the University of Warsaw have traced genomic sequences of dozens of individuals, buried in the chullpas, encountering some surprising discoveries. Please click here to read the article in full.

Ancient Bulgarian Vase

Bulgarian journalists are reporting that an unusual erotic vase has been discovered in the city of Sozopol, which sits directly next to the Black Sea. Dating from the 6th or 7th century BCE, the vase appears to have been crafted in Greece and later traded to what is present-day Bulgaria sometime later. Please click here to read more from

Hardcore History Podcast

There’s a really interesting history podcast produced by Dan Carlin, called Hardcore History. He looks at various subjects in history, including several ancient subjects (such as the fall of the Roman Republic), in a very accessible, interesting, and captivating way. Fans of history and podcasting should definitely have a look at his site. Thanks to Felicia Day for the news tip.

Peruvian Priestess’ Remains Uncovered

Archaeologists working near the Peruvian city of Chiclayo have just uncovered the mysterious remains of a woman believed to be a priestess of the Sican or Lambayeque people. Dating from the thirteenth century CE, the remains might provide some much needed insight into the final centuries of the coastal Sican civilization. Please click here to read more about this unique discovery from Hispanically Speaking News.

AHE needs your help with map project

We are looking for your help with our next big project, which is best described as “Google Maps of the Ancient World”. It’s a very exciting and massive project. We need help with research on ancient cities and their placement on the map, with date ranges of their existence. As with the rest of the site, we cover the world from the beginning of civilization to 700 CE. If you are a historian, archaeologist, or simply an expert history enthusiast, please help us with this project! Send an email to jan AT ancient DOT eu DOT com (or simply comment to this post) and tell us what your area of expertise is.

Ancient Egyptians in Australia

The Queensland Museum, located in Brisbane, Australia, is the newest venue of Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb. This unprecedented exhibition will be shown in Queensland from April 19 until August 19, 2012. With a mix of diverse artifacts and 3D technological presentations, Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb promises to be an unusual and captivating take on the splendors of ancient Egypt. To learn more about the show, please read this review from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation by clicking here.

Statue of Ancient Female Gladiator?

LiveScience is reporting that a statue displayed in the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, in Hamburg, Germany, might be that of a female gladiator. Topless and of unknown origins, the statue is nearly 2.000 years old but in very good condition. Contrary to popular belief, female gladiators did exist in the Roman Empire although they were quite rare. Emperor Septimius Severus banned them outright in 200 CE. Please click here to read more about this unusual statue and its possible origins.

Satellite imagery reveals 8000 years of Mesopotamian settlements

Scientists have used satellite images to locate previously-unkown human settlements in Syria. Harvard archeologist Jason Ur and MIT computer scientist Bjoern Menze have combined spy-satellite photos acquired during the 1960s with modern images of the Earth’s surface, and thus have devised a new method of mapping patterns of human settlements at an unprecedented scale. They recently used their new technique to map upwards of 14,000 previously overlooked settlements, distributed over 23,000 square kilometers of Mesopotamian landscape. Their method of aerial analysis relies on the detection of anthrosol, a distinctive type of soil that forms in the presence of long-term human activity. Read the full story on