This week: Hoards

No one knows for certain why Viking Age people chose to bury their most treasured possessions underground. According to one 13th-century source, the influential Icelandic poet Snorri Sturluson, they did it because Odin – the Norse god who oversees Valhalla – had decreed that a man will have the use…

This week: Hawaii and Polynesia

It is a matter of debate as to whether Captain James Cook was really the first European adventurer to set eyes on the Hawaiian archipelago. According to some historians, the 1778 arrival of the British seafarer's ship, HMS Resolution, in the waters of the North Pacific island chain may have…

Polynesia Quiz

The ‘Polynesian Triangle’ is an area of the Pacific which has Hawaii at its northern corner. Which island is at its south-eastern corner?…

This week: Operation Barbarossa

Eighty years ago next month, on 22 June 1941, Adolf Hitler unleashed the largest military invasion force in history, when he ordered almost 3,700,000 Axis troops with 3,000 tanks, 7,000 guns and 2,300 aircraft to advance into the Soviet Union along a front that extended from the Baltic to the…

Operation Barbarossa Quiz

When Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812, he had an army of approximately 685,000 men. How many times larger was the army with which Hitler invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941?…

This week: Hadrian’s Wall

When construction began in AD 122, Hadrian's Wall marked the furthermost limit of the Roman Empire. Stretching 73 miles from the North Sea to the Solway Firth, it divided conquered territory to the south from that occupied by unbeaten tribes to the north. Almost 2,000 years on, the Wall remains…

Hadrian’s Wall Quiz

Hadrian’s Wall stretches for 80 Roman miles from coast to coast. How many modern miles does this equate to?…

This week: Time Team

Of all the many side-effects of the coronavirus, perhaps the least expected (though most welcome) was a sudden revival of interest in a plucky little archaeology-based television series which last graced our screens way back in 2013. During the lockdown, however, it was reported that millions of people in more…

Time Team Quiz

The very first episode of Time Team was recorded in Athelney, the Somerset village often associated with which historical figure?…

This week: Ancient Iran

Epic Iran is the appropriately grand title of the Victoria & Albert Museum’s ambitious new exhibition, which explores 5,000 years of Iranian history through 350 objects that represent the country’s art and culture – taking us from the beginnings of civilisation, via the ancient palaces of Persepolis, right up to…

Ancient Iran Quiz

Which king, crowned in 550BC, was the founder of the Achaemenid empire, the first Persian empire?…

This week – Thomas Becket

With museums allowed finally to reopen next month, those of us who have been starved of culture are looking forward eagerly to the British Museum’s ‘Thomas Becket: murder and the making of a saint’. The exhibition, originally scheduled for last year, marks the 850th anniversary of the country's most famous…

This Week – The Mary Rose

Almost four decades have elapsed since the Mary Rose was raised and an astonishing array of new research techniques have revolutionised our thinking about the ship’s make-up, her calamitous final moments, and perhaps most poignantly, the skeletal remains of her 500-strong crew.…

This week on The Past: The Dig

Welcome to The Past, the brand new website that brings together the most exciting stories and the best writing from the worlds of history, archaeology, ancient art and heritage. 
The big talking point here this week has been The Dig, the new Netflix movie of the Sutton Hoo…

Sutton Hoo Quiz

At what event did Edith Pretty, Sutton Hoo’s owner, get chatting with historian Vincent Redstone, a meeting that began the chain of events which led to the site’s excavation?…

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