Category: History

8 Wonders of the Ancient World

Take a tour of history’s greatest human-made landmarks The Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx Built between 2589 and 2504 BCE, the three Pyramids of Giza served as extravagant tombs for ancient Egyptian pharaohs,...

Unwrap the origins of the Christmas market

Glowing wooden huts, cauldrons of mulled wine, smoky cooking stoves and arrays of precious trinkets for sale – all signature sights of a Christmas market. Today it is the highlight of any seasonal shopping...

Origin Stories: Typewriters

The origins of the mechanical writing machines that influenced modern keyboard designs For most of the 20th century, almost every house, office and school had a typewriter. This mechanical device allowed people to write...

How was sumo wrestling invented?

What are the origins of this heavyweight martial art and how has it evolved over the centuries? There are certain pastimes that come to define a country. England has cricket and football. America has...

The history of the British Library

Image credit: Diliff  This centuries-old institution holds one of the most extensive collections of global knowledge Although the modern British Library was established as recently as 1973, its origins stretch back as far as...

Alchemy: The birth of modern-day chemistry

The ancient practice of trying to turn lead into gold was the protoscience that led to a chemical revolution The origin of alchemy lies in ancient Egypt, where the cultures of the ancient Greeks...

Killer colours

From poisonous greens to gruesome browns, the art world has a long history of deadly and disgusting paint pigments Bone black Created from the charcoal remains of burned animal bones, this deep blue-black pigment...

The terrible tales of the Tower of London

Murdered children, decapitated queens and the world’s largest diamond – over 900 years of Britain’s most famous fortress After his conquest of England in 1066, William of Normandy set about securing his throne by...