Ancient History

Maccabean Revolt

The uprising of the Maccabees against the Seleucid Empire during the Hellenistic period is an integral part of the Hanukkah story. After the restoration of Jewish religious freedom, the Maccabees started another revolt to obtain total independence.

The Phaistos Disk of Minoan Crete

Like other artifacts that defy deciphering, this clay disk, found on Crete in the early 1900s, has puzzled researchers and stirred up controversy for decades. Is it a religious incantation, a calendar, a spell? Or is it all a pictogram hoax?

Diogenes of Sinope

Diogenes of Sinope was the father of the Cynicism school of philosophy. He was also an incredibly eccentric figure who spoke out against pretense, and he used humor to convey his ideals. Read the show notes here.

King Djoser and Egypt's First Pyramid

The pyramids at Giza are iconic Egyptian landmarks, but they weren't the first to appear. Djoser and his vizier Imhotep are credited with starting the pyramid trend.

Unearthed in 2014! Part 2

More of the 2014 history news roundup! This time out: We've got several assorted things that didn't really fit any other category, followed by medical unearthings, food and drinks, literature and letters, and everyone's favorite category, EXHUMATIONS.

Unearthed in 2014! Part 1

It's time to look at some of the stuff that was literally or figuratively dug up in 2014. This episode includes: connections to past episodes, some extreme serendipity, shipwrecks, a couple of Holocaust-related unearthings, and lots of Oldest Things Ever.

Unearthed! Stonehenge

When news about new findings at the Stonehenge site broke late in 2014, it seemed like time to update the original Stonehenge episode. But then it turned out, there wasn't an existing episode about this famous ruin. Read the show notes here.

The Lost Roman Legion

The story of the Ninth Legion is a favorite among history fans who love a good mystery. But is there really any mystery here, or is the story of their fate more mundane? Read the show notes here.

Poverty Point

Poverty Point is a collection of earthwork mounds and ridges situated next to Bayou Maçon in Louisiana. It has features that make it unique among Native American sites, and there are still many questions surrounding its purpose and construction.

Cosmetics From Ancient Egypt to the Modern World

Makeup has a rich and lengthy history that spans the globe and crosses cultures. From 10,000 B.C.E. to the 20th century, people have been using cosmetics to enhance their looks -- sometimes with unintended side effects.