Category: ancient history

New Tomb Found of Ancient Egyptian General

Archaeologists have discovered the sprawling, 3,300-year-old tomb of an army general named Iwrhya at the ancient Egyptian site of Saqqara. Hieroglyphic inscriptions found on the tomb walls say that Iwrhya “is a high army General, and High steward of the domain of Amun [and] High steward of the estates of Ramesses II in the domain of Amun.”

According to more inscriptions, Iwrhya’s career started during the reign of pharaoh Seti I, who ruled Egypt from 1294 BCE to 1279 BCE, and continued into the reign of pharaoh Ramesses II, which lasted from 1279 BCE to 1213 BCE. The tomb contains a number of rooms, including chapels, a forecourt and a room that excavators call the “statue room.” The rooms have beautiful art on the walls, depicting Iwrhya’s time in the military and foreign relations with other nations. Iwrhya was a pretty important man. At least, according to the tomb he had built for himself.

This figurine dates to the mid-3000s BCE in …

This figurine dates to the mid-3000s BCE in ancient Egypt, sometime before dynasties and centralized governments arose. But you can already see the distinct Egyptian style beginning to emerge. You might be familiar with the stylized lotus blossom, sitting on her head.

“Female Dwarf,” courtesy of the Walters Art Museum.

Why Some Ancient Texts Will Never Be Translata…



EXHIBITION:  The Golden Fleece. The Quest of …


The Golden Fleece. The Quest of the Argonauts is now open to the public. (Bulgaria) 

ON 15 March 2018 the exhibition The Golden Fleece. The Quest of the Argonauts – Vassil Bojkov Collection was officially presented to the media. The initiative is part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.

Residents of and visitors to Sofia will have the opportunity to visit the event until the 30th of June 2018 in the National Gallery – The Palace.

Sixty-two selected cultural valuables will take the viewers on a fabulous adventure with the Argonauts. They include gold and silver eastern vessels, red-figure vases, ritual silver-gilt vessels, funeral offerings, ritual sets, etc. Sixteen artefacts will be presented to the general public for the first time. 

Please head to the Thrace Foundation for more information: 

ASSYRIA: ASSYRIA was the region located in the…


ASSYRIA was the region located in the ancient Near East which, under the Neo-Assyrian Empire, reached from Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) through Asia Minor (modern Turkey) and down through Egypt. The empire began modestly at the city of Ashur (known as Subartu to the Sumerians), located in Mesopotamia north-east of Babylon, where merchants who traded in Anatolia became increasingly wealthy and that affluence allowed for the growth and prosperity of the city.

According to one interpretation of passages in the biblical Book of Genesis, Ashur was founded by a man named Ashur son of Shem, son of Noah, after the Great Flood, who then went on to found the other important Assyrian cities. A more likely account is that the city was named Ashur after the deity of that name sometime in the 3rd millennium BCE; the same god’s name is the origin for `Assyria’. The biblical version of the origin of Ashur appears later in the historical record after the Assyrians had accepted Christianity and so it is thought to be a re-interpretation of their early history which was more in keeping with their newly-adopted belief system.

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IF you are reading this, you probably love history and archaeology. And if you have children, then you have probably struggled at times to excite them about ancient ruins and archaeology. Here is an idea: let them be an archaeologist and see how interesting (and yes, even exciting) it is!

The friendly people at sent us an archaeology kit for children to try out. We received the “Gods and Heroes” kit (€37.00), in which you “excavate” a broken black-figure pottery image and piece it back together like an archaeologist would. Exciting!

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Stolen Sumerian Tablets Were Written In A Lost…

Irisagrig is a Sumerian city which has never been found. But we know it existed, from the cuneiform tablets it left behind, and mentions in tablets from other cities.

Recently, a new cache of ancient Mesopotamian tablets was found. The discovery is a little crazy: US law enforcement seized thousands of looted artifacts from Hobby Lobby! The company had illegally purchased the artifacts after they were looted from Iraq.

Among the seized artifacts were at least 450 tablets from Irisagrig, which appear to have been written between 

2100 BCE and 1600 BCE.





THE Epic of Gilgamesh is among the most popular works of literature in the present day and has influenced countless numbers of readers but, for the greater part of its history, it was lost. The Assyrian Empire fell to a coalition of Babylonians and Medes in 612 BCE who sacked and burned the Assyrian cities and, among them, Nineveh.

Nineveh was the great capital where the king Ashurbanipal (668-627 BCE) had established his library which housed copies of every literary work he could find throughout Mesopotamia. As these works were written in cuneiform on clay tablets, however, the fires which consumed the library did nothing to the tablets but to bake them. Even so, the buildings which housed these works were destroyed, burying the literature of Mesopotamia beneath them for over 2,000 years until they were re-discovered in the mid-19th century CE.

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