In Olden Days
How we got to now
The Little-Known Reason Pencils Are Yellow
Pencils weren’t always yellow. We have the marketing genius of a 19th-century Czech manufacturer to thank for their now-ubiquitous hue.
The Archivists of Extinction | Kate Wagner
In an era of capitalist ruin, we need an architectural history of the people.
How All 50 States Got Their Names
Let's look at each state and discuss the origin of its name.
A Most Violent Year
The world that 1968 ushered in is a far cry from the one activists imagined.
The Women Code Breakers Who Unmasked Soviet Spies
At the height of the Cold War, America’s most secretive counterespionage effort set out to crack unbreakable ciphers
8 Amazing Things Discovered During the Expansion of the London Underground
Europe’s largest engineering project uncovered countless historic treasures, ranging from bones to Tudor bowling balls.
How Did Aboriginal Australians Arrive on the Continent? DNA Helps Solve a Mystery
Scientists used a genetic test to discover that the ancestors of Aboriginal Australians arrived 50,000 years ago and spread along the coastlines.
A Lot of What Is Known about Pirates Is Not True, and a Lot of What Is True Is Not Known.
In 1701, in Middletown, New Jersey, Moses Butterworth languished in a jail, accused of piracy. Like many young men based in England or her colonies, he had joined a crew that sailed the Indian Oc
Ancient humans farmed the Amazon too
They were just way better at it than we are
10 African Civilizations More Amazing Than Ancient Egypt
Unknown to most people, hundreds of smaller kingdoms have popped up throughout Africa's history, with some eventually growing into powerful empires. These
The Funky History of George Washington's Fake Teeth
Mount Vernon holds perhaps the most famous dentures in American history.
New histories of Istanbul
Not just emperors and caliphs, but crusaders, underdogs, women and Jews
10 of the Most Ancient Temples in the World (and What They Look Like Now) | Architectural Digest
Indulge your inner Indiana Jones
1,000 Years Ago, Corn Made This Society Big. Then, A Changing Climate Destroyed It
The Mississippian American Indian culture rose to power after A.D. 900 by farming corn. Now, new evidence suggests a dramatic change in climate might have led to the culture's collapse in the 1300s.
How Table Manners as We Know Them Were a Renaissance Invention
Forks, knives, and napkins: These items may be part of a proper meal today, but well-bred medieval Europeans had no use for them—until modern table manners were born in the 1500s.
This Photo Marks the First Time Humanity Could See Its Place in the Universe
'Earthrise' made TIME's 100 Most Influential Photos of All Time
See the Civil War Through the Lens of Its First Photographer
Mathew Brady and the photographers he hired were the first to photograph a war zone
Why the 7 Wonders of the World Are So Wonderful
These are the top 7 Wonders of the World, as voted on by 100 million people.
DNA sheds light on African history
DNA from ancient remains is used to reconstruct thousands of years of population history in Africa.
6,000-year-old monument offers a tantalising glimpse of Britain's neolithic civilisation
An archaeological dig at Cat's Brain has unearthed a remarkable insight into life in Britain before Stonehenge.