New research suggests Tutankhamun died from genetic weakness caused by family inbreeding

Last year, scientists announced that they had finally solved the mystery of King Tutankhamun’s death after 3,300 years. The boy king, they claimed, died after being struck by a speeding chariot. However, a new ‘virtual autopsy’ of the world-famous pharaoh has revealed that serious genetic physical impairments would have made riding a chariot impossible, and instead suggest that Tutankhamun succumbed to genetic impairments that were caused by the fact that his parents were brother and sister.   

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The great and powerful Xiongnu

Between approximately 300 BC and 450 AD, there existed a nomadic group known as the Xiongnu. Their ethnic identity has been greatly contested, but they were a very powerful tribal confederation that were considered a great threat to China. In fact, it was their repeated invasions that prompted the small kingdoms of North China to begin erecting barriers, in what later became the Great Wall of China. 

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Archaeologists uncover 1300-year-old ski in Norway

The melting of the long-frozen snow and ice in Norway, and elsewhere around the world, has already yielded numerous ancient artifacts, from hunting tools to goat-skin leggings, shoes, and even Otzi the Iceman, the remains of a man who lived more than 5,000 years ago. Now archaeologists have recovered an ancient ski complete with its binding, believed to date back some 1,300 years.

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Salem Witch Trial hysteria and the courageous stance of Giles Corey

On 19th September, 1692 AD, Giles Corey was pressed to death after refusing to plead in the Salem witch trials of Massachusetts, a method of torture in which heavy stones were placed one by one on the stomach and chest, in an effort to force him to plea either guilty or not guilty. Giles is famously known for crying out “more weight” instead of giving into the farcical witch trials. He died after two days. Since Corey refused to plead, he died in full possession of his estate, which would otherwise have been forfeited to the government. It passed on to his two sons-in-law, in accordance with his will.

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In Search of Helen of Troy

Her face was the face that launched a thousand ships. Considered to have been the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen would be seduced by the Trojan prince, Paris and travel to his homeland of Troy. But did Helen, or a historical representation of Helen really exist, or is she a mere legend?  Guest author Petros Koutoupis explores a curious Hittite document that may lead to some answers.

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Unique 3,000-year-old Sanxingdui artifacts to be revealed in all their glory

The discovery of the Sanxingdui artifacts shocked the world, and reflected an artistic style that was completely unknown in the history of Chinese art. Only the contents of two solitary pits represent the immemorial and brilliant civilisation of the Shu – no other artifacts like them have ever been found since. Now the stunning relics will be revealed in all their glory in a new exhibition ‘China’s Lost Civilization: The Mystery of Sanxingdui’, which includes more than 100 ancient pieces, some never seen outside China. 

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The puzzling case of the Atacama Giant

The Atacama Giant is the largest known geoglyph on the planet. It is also one of the most puzzling. While the other Atacama geoglyphs reflect realistic animal representations, as well as geometric shapes, the giant is an anthropomorphic figure with a square head and lines coming out from the top and sides of its head. There has been no shortage of explanations and theories to account for the strange features of this enormous geoglyph, but we are really no closer to knowing what it depicts and what purpose it served. 

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The Mystery of the Roman Tunnels of Baiae

A complex underground tunnel system uncovered in Baiae, Italy, has been interpreted as the site of one of the most famous oracles - the Cumaean Sibyl, meaning the prophetess, who was said have lived in a cave in the Phlegraean Fields, the area where the tunnel was found. According to legend, she had the power of prophesy, and scribbled the future of Rome on oak leaves scattered at the entrance of her cave. 

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