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The pottery of ancient Korea stretches back to prehistory when simple brown wares were made and decorated with geometrical incisions. Potters would benefit from the ideas and techniques of their Chinese counterparts and go on to produce their own highly sought-after works, including grey stoneware, celadons or greenware, buncheong ware and white porcelain... [continue reading
The rich lands of Egypt became the property of Rome after the death of Cleopatra VII in 30 BCE, which spelled the end of the Ptolemaic dynasty that had ruled Egypt since the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE. After the murder of Gaius Julius Caesar in 44 BCE, the Roman Republic was left in turmoil. Fearing for her life and throne, the young queen joined... [continue reading
The Bulguksa Temple (aka Pulguk-sa Temple or 'Temple of the Buddha Land') was built in the 8th century CE on the wooded slopes of Mt. Tohamsan at the ancient Silla capital of Kumsong (modern Gyeongju, South Korea). The Buddhist temple, after suffering a destructive fire, now stands restored but is only a fraction of its original size. The temple... [continue reading
The tomb of king Muryeong is perhaps one of the most impressive tombs from the Baekje kingdom of ancient Korea, both in its design and the treasure found inside it. Muryeong-Wang (also Munyeong or Muryong) reigned from 501 to 523 CE. Baekje (aka Paekche) was one of the Three Kingdoms which ruled over ancient Korea from the 1st century BCE to the 7th century... [continue reading
Neanderthals are an extinct group of fossil humans that appeared in Western Eurasia in the mid-Middle Pleistocene. They shared the stage with the first modern humans arriving in Europe from around 45,000 years ago, before disappearing from the fossil record between c. 40,000 - c. 30,000 years ago. Neanderthals were a highly successful... [continue reading
Korea, located on a large peninsula on the eastern coast of the Asian mainland, has been inhabited since Neolithic times. The first recognisable political state was Gojoseon, which existed in the second half of the first millennium BCE. From the 1st century BCE to the 7th century CE the peninsula was dominated by the kingdoms of Baekje, Goguryeo and Silla, along... [continue reading
Dangun Wanggeom (or Tangun) was the legendary founder of Gojoseon (Gochoson or Old Choson), the first Korean state which ruled northern Korea in the second half of the first millennium BCE. Gojoseon possessed the most advanced culture in the Korean peninsula at that time and was an important marker in the progression towards the more centralised states of later... [continue reading
Hatshepsut (1479-1458 BCE) was the first female ruler of ancient Egypt to reign as a male with the full authority of pharaoh. Her name means "Foremost of Noble Women" or "She is First Among Noble Women". She began her reign as regent to her stepson Thuthmose III (1458-1425 BCE) who would succeed her and, initially, ruled as a woman... [continue reading
The Cherusci noble Arminius (c. 18 BCE - 19 CE) led the resistance to Roman conquest of Germania during the years 9-16 CE. Likely raised as a child hostage in Rome, Arminius gained command of a German auxiliary cohort in the Roman army. Posted on the Rhine, Arminius served under the command of Governor Publius Q. Varus. Varus’ task was to complete the conquest... [continue reading
The metalworkers of ancient Korea were highly skilled artists and some of their finest surviving works are the large bronze bells cast for use in Buddhist temples and monasteries. Both the Unified Silla kingdom and Goryeo kingdom produced bells, but perhaps the most famous example is the 19-ton Emille Bell from Pandok-sa which is considered one of the national... [continue reading