Antiquity

Hatshepsut and the Expeditions to Punt

One of our biggest sources of information on Punt comes from Hatshepsut, who sent a huge expedition there in the 15th century B.C.E. The expedition to Punt is also an important and illustrative part of Hatshepsut’s reign.

The Tiara of Saitaphernes

Our April Fool’s Day story is the tale of an elaborate hoax. It starts with the Scythians and how their artifacts became highly prized in 19th century Europe, and ends with an artist who came into fame as a result of his part in a forgery. 



Sappho

Sappho is described as the greatest female poet of ancient Greece. Or, the greatest Greek lyric poet, period. Her reputation as one of the world’s finest poets has persisted for more than 2500 years, but the overwhelming majority of her work has not.

Sushruta, Father of Plastic Surgery

Sushruta’s Compendium is one of the foundational texts of Ayurveda, India’s traditional system of medicine. He’s also known as the father of plastic surgery, and was writing about medicine and surgery at least 200 years before Hippocrates.



Mohenjo Daro

Mohenjo Daro is in the Indus river valley in present-day southern Pakistan. This ancient city has a unique identity in that we don’t know a lot about the people who lived there; most of the ideas of the cultural identity come from analysis of its ruins.

The Ancient City of Ephesus and the Temple of Artemis

The city of Ephesus fell under many different rulers throughout its history, as wars and shifting politics changed Asia Minor. For centuries, it endured, became a successful trade port, and was home to one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. 






Aspasia and Pericles

This is often held up as one of history’s great love stories – Plutarch wrote that Pericles kissed Aspasia every single day. And that’s very sweet and romantic, but their high-profile relationship was central to a key period in Greek history.

The Achaemenid Empire

The Achaemenid Empire was founded by Cyrus II in the 6th century B.C.E., and it became an empire unlike any the world had seen up to that point.

Crucifixion in the Greco-Roman World

While the crucifixion of Jesus is the most most well-known instance of this type of execution, crucifixion was a practice that was both common and taboo all over the Greco-Roman world for almost 1,000 years. Read the show notes here.

Embalming and Mummification Rituals of Ancient Egypt

So how did Ancient Egyptians actually embalm their dead? Thanks in large part to Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus, we have some great descriptions of what happened to the deceased.