War Reporters: William Howard Russell

Widely regarded as the first modern war correspondent, Russell was a globetrotter with a wide purview, reporting on the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the American Civil War, the coronation of Tsar Nicholas I, the Franco- Prussian War, and the Zulu War among many other key events of the tumultuous 19th…

War Reporters: Jean Froissart

Froissant claimed to have born witness, during his travels, to many of the battles that took place during the Hundred Years War, committing all he had seen and heard to writing in the form of elaborate illustrated manuscripts. Seema Syeda examines battlefield scoops through the ages.…

Object Lesson – ‘Ahu ‘ula

What is it? This glorious 18th-century Hawaiian cloak, measuring 175cm in length and c.223cm in width, is made of olona¯ fibre and black rooster feathers, with a border of yellow feathers from the now-extinct ‘o‘o (a honeyeater) and red ones from the ‘i‘wi (a honeycreeper) arranged into triangles. High-status feathered…

War Reporters: Julius Caesar

He was a charismatic leader, a seasoned military veteran, and a formidable politician. It is little wonder that he is rarely thought of as being an ancient example of the modern-day war reporter. Seema Syeda examines battlefield scoops throughout the ages.…

The Phaistos Disc

This enigmatic fired-clay disc, dating to around 1700-1600 BC, was discovered in the palace of Phaistos on the Greek island of Crete.…

All you need to know about iklwas

Weapon specifications Most African tribes use a form of assegai, a light throwing-spear used in both hunting and war, typically around 6-feet long with a 6-inch steel head. Some of the most aggressive Bantu tribes of southern Africa have developed a shorter version of the throwing-spear, and one group –…

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Timeline: the Spartans

Traditional foundation date for Olympic Games c.776 BC Homer’s epics The Iliad and The Odyssey composed c.750 BC Sparta conquers Messenia c.700 BC Messenian Revolt followed by Spartan Reconquest c.650 BC At this time, radical changes took place in Sparta, with a new constitution (the Laws of Lykourgos), the development…

Curious Travellers: preserving endangered heritage across the world

Heritage is about more than monuments. It is also about people: how they interacted with the buildings in daily life and how their sense of belonging has shaped them. This is why organisations such as UNESCO were established to protect the world’s cultural heritage from damage through natural disaster, neglect,…

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Gozo, Malta

From Malta, we now travel to its sister-island Gozo, where Nadia Durrani encountered two new major restoration projects.…

The Pacific god A’a

What is it? This divine sculpture was made on Rurutu, one of the Austral Islands in Polynesia. When it was given to British missionaries in 1821, its name was recorded as A’a. A’a was said to have been named after the ancestor who founded the island of Rurutu and who,…

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