All we know is what they left behind: a tomb filled with prehistoric fossils, some of them as much as two million years old, hidden until 1922 AD.
Ever wanted a taste of life in an ancient civilization?
The oldest cookbook ever found was made sometime around 1600 BC in the ancient city of Babylon. It’s a set of cracked tablets engraved by an early civilization’s version of a master chef.
Tarrare, an 18th-century French showman, could eat enough to feed 15 people and swallow cats whole — but his stomach was never satisfied.
The ancient Greek city-state of Sparta has made its way into modern minds as a land of warriors. During the fourth and fifth centuries B.C., the Spartans earned the respect and fear of much of the ancient world with their pursuit of military excellence at all costs.
But there was a dark side to this ruthless pursuit of military might. For example, the Spartan slaves known as helots endured unimaginable suffering while living alongside a society of trained killers. The helots were brutalized, humiliated, and – via a brutal rite of passage that the Spartans called the Krypteia – hunted down and killed.
Pepi II was six-years-old when he became the pharaoh of Egypt. He was one of Egypt’s youngest rulers; but even as a child, he was considered a living god among men.
It was one of the strange realities of living in ancient Egypt. From time to time, a boy so young that he may well have still been wetting the bed found his way onto the throne. Suddenly, he was crowned the supreme ruler of Egypt and the intermediary between the people and the gods. His every whim was the will of the divine.
The coconut crab isn’t just scary-looking – these things really can tear you apart. Its claws are powerful enough to rip open a coconut, it can climb trees, and it may just be the animal that devoured Amelia Earhart.
Two thousand years ago, funerals weren’t the quiet, somber affairs we have today. They were loud, boisterous shows that started with a massive procession of people parading down the streets, pounding away at musical instruments and trying to get everyone around to stop and watch the show.
They’ve been called “ carnivalesque” – they were big productions full of life, joy, and laughter. Hired actors would walk behind the musicians of the funeral processions and put on shows that, today, might sound ridiculous.
But for the Romans, death wasn’t just a time for mourning. It was a time to celebrate the person who once lived – and they pulled out all of the stops.