History Archive

Aug
09
0
The artist Leo von Klenze was an architect for the Court of the Bavarian King, Ludwig I during the early 18th century. Klenze studied ancient architecture during his travels to Italy and Greece. He also participated in excavations of ancient buildings in Athens and submitted proposals for the restoration of the Acropolis.

Part 1: Sacred Diseases

As the Covid infections have ticked upwards and lockdowns have dragged on there’s been plenty of time to dwell on our current situation. Read more…

Aug
09
0
A dramatic depiction of an ancient Roman chariot race by Hungarian painter Alexander von Wagner inspired by Lew Wallace's 1880 best-seller Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.

A Glib History of Ancient Pandemics

Wherein I draw tenuous connections between the current Coronavirus shemozzle and the great pandemics of the ancient world.

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Jun
23
0
A member of Georgia's reformed Politsiya directing traffic in Tbilisi.

How Georgia Abolished its Police

The police were the first Georgians I met. Arriving in the capital, Tbilisi, at ten to midnight there were police officers waiting on the tarmac.

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Jun
03
0
Fan art by US army veteran Matt Klein depicting US soldiers with stormtrooper masks.

American Stormtroopers

Back in 2015 Amazon unveiled a promotional campaign for their TV adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s famous novel The Man in the High Castle. Read more…

May
10
0
Octopus use specialised skin cells called chromatophores to change colour. These cells also allow them to make changes to the opacity and reflectivity of their body. The shifts can take place in a fraction of a second.

Part 2: Replicants of the Reef

On a rocky stretch of coastline on Hawaii’s Big Island a group of marine biologists are studying the lifecycle of the octopus – a creature that lives fast and dies young. Read more…

Apr
13
0
Looking up through the rocks near the summit of Mauna Kea on Hawaii's Big Island.

Violence in the Aloha State

I knew that Hawaii was part of America but I still didn’t expect it to be so American.
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Mar
02
0
The former pirate radio broadcasting platform that was confiscated by the Dutch government in 1964.  It was salvaged and towed into Amsterdam in 2011 and now serves as an upmarket restaurant.

The Pirates of REM Island

On a cold day in December in 1964 three helicopters belonging to the Royal Dutch Navy set out across the north sea towards a tiny speck in the ocean about ten kilometers west of Noordwijk on the Dutch coast.
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Jan
25
0
CFC_Collage

Remembering Cummeragunja

Studying Australian history often feels more like uncovering some sprawling conspiracy. Buried underneath all the accounts of white explorers, convicts, bushrangers, miners and diggers is a vast bedrock of black history. The more you dig the more connections you find but the full story always seems to remain hidden.

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Nov
09
0
Photo of Schloss Itter taken before the war.

The Battle for Schloss Itter

Tucked away on a forested hillside in Austria’s Tyrolean alps is a château called Itter with a long history and one remarkable footnote. Read more…

Jan
18
0
Sorxwin-Tel-Hamis-Syria-YPJ-Womens-Protection-Units-Guerrilla_Fighters_of_Kurdistan_Joey_L_Photographer_001

The Women of Rojava

Photos by Asmaa Waguih and Joey Lawrence of Kurdish fighters provide a face for a revolution that is quietly taking place behind the front lines of the war with ISIS.

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Sep
11
0
Pool used by the LTTE to test submarines and train divers for guerrilla warfare.

Sea Tigers of the LTTE

In a lagoon north of Mullaitivu is a gold-painted ‘victory monument’. It presides over the area where the ‘Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam’ (LTTE) made their last stand against the Sri Lankan army in 2009.

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Aug
26
0
Tuk Tuk parked on the wall of the Kumbichchan Kulama 'Tank'.  These enormous reservoirs began to be built in the 3rd century BC using sophisticated techniques not acquired by western engineers until the 18th century.

Conflicting Stories in Sri Lanka

A couple of chance encounters highlighted the dueling narratives of Sri Lankan history and the tensions that still remain following the end of the civil war.

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Apr
16
0
December 1994

The Art of Amistics

Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag paints images of suburban Sweden in the 1980s transformed by some unexplained technological breakthrough.

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Apr
21
0
View of the streets below the Umeda Sky Building in Osaka.

Osaka and the Dekasegi

I met my first talkative local wandering Osaka looking for the famous Umeda Sky building.

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Apr
16
0
Customers browsing the stalls for fresh seafood at the Tsukiji fish market.

Tsukiji Fish Market

You can find a lot of dead sea creatures at Tsukiji Fish Market but you wont find much whale meat.

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Mar
20
0
Skytree is hundreds of meters higher than any other building in metro Tokyo. the contrast is especially apparent in Sumida which is made up of mostly low-rise apartments.  The tower has an immense presence at ground level that's hard to convey in photographs.

Tokyo’s Indestructible Skytree

2015 led me back to Tokyo. This time I spent most of my time in the district of Sumida in Tokyo’s Northeast.
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Mar
20
0
The Nagakin Capsule Tower designed by architect Kisho Kurokawa

Nakagin Capsule Tower, Tokyo

The Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo is a run-down testament to the ambition of some of Japan’s most celebrated post-war architects.

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Mar
12
0
Joestu tetrapods

The Dogs and Demons of Joetsu

The small coastal city of Joetsu on Japan’s north coast highlights some of the problems facing modern Japan.

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Sep
12
1
Tiered reading room in the National Library of China in Beijing.

China’s Firewall and the Siku Quanshu

The National Library of China holds an artifact that represents what must be the most ambitious attempt to control information in history.

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Aug
30
0
A neon box-canyon in Yanta district of Xi'an.

China’s Frenemies

Beijing incorporates all of the contradictions of Chinese society.

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