History Guild publishes articles that provide interesting insights into history. These articles cover social and cultural history from across the world.

who discovered what when book cover david ellyard

WHO DISCOVERED WHAT WHEN? – BOOK REVIEW

Who Discovered What When? Five hundred years of great scientific discoveries, by David Ellyard Who Discovered What When? is an ...

‘Habits of civilised life’: how one Australian State forced Indigenous people to meet onerous conditions to obtain citizenship

Reading time: 7 minutes Note of warning: This article refers to deceased Aboriginal people, their words, names and images. Words ...

Dockyard incendiarist: The tale of ‘John the Painter’

Reading time: 8 minutes Opposition to the British Crown during the American War of Independence took many forms, none more ...

Traps, rites and kurrajong twine – the incredible ingenuity of Indigenous fishing knowledge

Reading time: 20 minutes Standing on a ferry chugging across Sydney Harbour, it’s still possible to imagine the city as ...

The forgotten female soldiers who fought long ago – and why their stories matter today

Reading time: 13 minutes On the Swedish island of Björkö lie the remains of Birka, a significant Viking trading post ...

The Treason of Sir Thomas More

Reading time: 9 minutes Sir Thomas More was among the leading statesmen of the Tudor period and his legacy has ...
ON THIS DAY SHE: PUTTING WOMEN BACK INTO HISTORY, ONE DAY AT A TIME cover

ON THIS DAY SHE: PUTTING WOMEN BACK INTO HISTORY, ONE DAY AT A TIME – BOOK REVIEW

Reading time: 2 minutes On This Day She: Putting Women Back into History, One Day at a Time, by Jo ...

Schindler’s List at 30: a look back at Steven Spielberg’s shattering masterpiece

Reading time: 5 minutes Schindler’s List, released 30 years ago, remains Steven Spielberg’s most highly acclaimed and emotionally sapping film ...

A Brief History of West Papua: Indonesia’s Unwilling Territory

Reading time: 7 minutes Currently a province of Indonesia, West Papua is a region rich in cultural diversity and natural ...

In The Australian Wars, Rachel Perkins dispenses with the myth Aboriginal people didn’t fight back

Reading time: 5 minutes First Nations people please be advised this article mentions colonial violence towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait ...

LAND: HOW THE HUNGER FOR OWNERSHIP SHAPED THE MODERN WORLD – BOOK REVIEW

Reading time: 2 minutes Land—whether meadow or mountainside, desert or peat bog, parkland or pasture, suburb or city—is central to ...

Australia is still reckoning with a shameful legacy: the resettlement of suspected war criminals after WWII

Reading time: 6 minutes In the Canadian parliament last year, an outcry erupted after 98-year-old Ukrainian-Canadian Yaroslav Hunka was presented ...

Why Aboriginal Australian ‘Ununiformed Warriors’ Qualify for the Australian War Memorial

Reading time: 5 minutes Last year, chair of the Australian War Memorial Kim Beazley called for First Nations “guerilla campaigns” ...

How King Arthur became one of the most pervasive legends of all time

Reading time: 5 minutes King Arthur is one of, if not the, most legendary icons of medieval Britain. His popularity ...

“Homosexuals Are Not Cowards”: The Legacy of Willem Arondeus

Reading time: 6 minutes Dutch artist and author Willem Arondeus’ life had always been fraught with insecurity. Despite the modest ...

Why Did Britain Change its Stance on Slavery?

Reading time: 7 minutes By the 1730s, Britain was the largest slave-trading Empire in the world. It is estimated that ...

500 years after Ferdinand Magellan landed in Patagonia, there’s nothing to celebrate for its indigenous peoples

Reading time: 5 minutes Five hundred years ago, on March 31 1520, the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan began a sojourn ...
Hull City Police, 1875 (Flickr - East Riding Archives: https://www.flickr.com/photos/erarchives/31980137941)

How was law and order maintained in Britain before modern Policing?

Reading time: 6 minutes Although the police force may seem an integral part of our world now, the first statutory ...

Swedish Viking hoard: how the discovery of single Norman coin expands our knowledge of French history

Reading time: 5 minutes In the autumn of 2020, I was contacted by the field archaeology unit of the Swedish ...

From Chaucer to chocolates: how Valentine’s Day gifts have changed over the centuries

Reading time: 5 minutes For Valentine’s Day, some couples only roll their eyes at each other in mutual cynicism. The ...

In a first discovery of its kind, researchers have uncovered an ancient Aboriginal archaeological site preserved on the seabed

Reading time: 7 minutes For most of the human history of Australia, sea levels were much lower than they are ...

Feeling guilty about drinking? Well, ask the saints

Reading time: 6 minutes Each year the holidays bring with them an increase in both the consumption of alcohol and ...
viking

How Has Our Perception of Vikings Changed due to Recent Discoveries?

Reading time: 6 minutes The image of “The Viking” has always been a colourful one in the minds of society, ...

Fook Shing, colonial Victoria’s Chinese Australian detective

Reading time: 7 minutes On July 25 1882, Inspector Frederick Secretan, the head of Victoria Police’s Detective Branch, shifted uncomfortably ...

Cheating, bribery and scandal: how the ancient Greeks did the Olympic Games

Reading time: 6 minutes Is cheating at the Olympic Games a symptom of modernity? Do recent scandals involving athletes signal ...

THE POWER OF FRIGHT COMPELS: THE EXORCIST AT 50

Reading time: 8 minutes The horror film genre has a long and celebrated history which now dates some 100 plus ...

When should we hang Christmas decorations?

Reading time: 4 minutes December 6 is celebrated by the Christian churches as the feast day of St Nicholas. The ...

How unearthing Queensland’s ‘native police’ camps gives us a window onto colonial violence

Reading time: 7 minutes In 19th century Queensland, the Native Mounted Police were responsible for “dispersing” (a euphemism for systematic ...

Black GIs arrive in Britain

Reading time: 13 minutes In this blog post I’m going to draw on the Cabinet Papers to explore the British ...

How those found guilty of treason were punished

Reading time: 7 minutes In 1352 the crime of treason was defined for the first time in English law. But ...

ALL RIVERS LEAD TO ROME

Reading time: 7 minutes Never mind the roads, rivers were the arteries of the Roman Empire, carrying food, fuel and ...

Women, Parliament and Political Space

Reading time: 8 minutes This blog post marks the anniversary of the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act, which passed on 21 ...

FIVE GREAT HISTORICALLY ACCURATE FILMS: PART FIVE

Most history enthusiasts will eye the release of a new film on a historical topic somewhat skeptically, thinking ‘will they ...

African-American GIs of WWII: Fighting for democracy abroad and at home

Reading time: 7 minutes Until the 21st century, the contributions of African-American soldiers in World War II barely registered in ...

Auxiliary power: in wartime, Australian women fought germs, fired shells – and took on gender norms

Reading time: 5 minutes Sheila Sibley enlisted in the Australian Army in 1942 with a vision of becoming a wartime ...

Shapurji Saklatvala – British MP and agitator for change

Reading time: 4 minutes One of the first MPs of Indian heritage, Shapurji Saklatvala (1874–1936) was an agitator for change, ...

‘Wicked and seditious writings’ – Thomas Paine, Rights of Man and treason

Reading time: 7 minutes In December 1792, detachments of the 2nd Dragoon Guards across the Southwest of England staged spectacles ...

What contemporary feminism owes to Victorian textile workers in Glasgow

Reading time: 5 minutes As well as being Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow was its industrial heart. Central to the civic ...

Black soldiers and the Red Ball Express during World War II

Reading time: 6 minutes Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower had a problem. In June 1944, Allied forces had landed on Normandy ...

How did 4th-century Roman coins end up in a medieval Japanese castle?

Reading time: 5 minutes The recent discovery of Roman coins in controlled excavations of a castle in Japan prompted the ...

Are we learning the wrong lessons from history?

Reading time: 7 minutes Can historians influence government policy? Should they? And, if so, what kinds of historical knowledge should ...

Treason against the state: America declares independence

Reading time: 6 minutes This is the second part of a two-blog series exploring treason against the state, as used ...

Are Aussie pubs really filled with tiles because it’s easier to wash off the pee? History has a slightly different story

Reading time: 6 minutes The “six o’clock swill” is one of the best known terms in Australian history. It captures ...

How a third-century Roman soldier named Carausius was behind the first ‘Brexit’

Reading time: 5 minutes From the first to the fifth centuries AD, Britain – though not officially Scotland, which lay ...

Tales from the Special Operations Executive: Operation Remorse

Reading time: 5 minutes It was ‘the biggest currency black market in history’, a secret operation under the auspices of ...

The “Madman Theory” Was Quintessential Nixon

Reading time: 6 minutes When H. R. “Bob” Haldeman first described Richard Nixon’s “madman theory” in his 1978 memoir, The ...

Linguistics locates the beginnings of the Austronesian expansion – with Indigenous seafaring people in eastern Taiwan

Reading time: 5 minutes The study of Indigenous languages spoken in maritime South-East Asia today has shed new light on ...

How the Gunpowder Treason was discovered

Reading time: 9 minutes On the night of 4 November 1605, a man calling himself John Johnson was found in ...

The story of HMT Empire Windrush (1930–1954)

Reading time: 5 minutes Next June will mark the 75th anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush at Tilbury ...

The dark history of slavery and racism in Indonesia during the Dutch colonial period

Reading time: 7 minutes The anti-racism protest that started in the US has spread to Europe and the world. Protesters ...

Vikings were never the pure-bred master race white supremacists like to portray

Reading time: 6 minutes The word “Viking” entered the Modern English language in 1807, at a time of growing nationalism ...

A slave state – how blackbirding in colonial Australia created a legacy of racism

Reading time: 46 minutes In July 2021, Jack Dempsey, the mayor of Bundaberg, delivered an official apology for Northern Queensland’s ...

Pickett’s Charge: What modern mathematics teaches us about Civil War battle

Reading time: 5 minutes The Battle of Gettysburg was a turning point in the American Civil War, and Gen. George ...

Black troops were welcome in Britain, but Jim Crow wasn’t: the race riot of one night in June 1943

Reading time: 6 minutes Bullet holes found in the wood surrounds of the NatWest Bank in Bamber Bridge, in Lancashire ...

Volcanoes, plague, famine and endless winter: Welcome to 536, what historians and scientists believe was the ‘worst year to be alive’

Reading time: 5 minutes It’s only February and already 2022 is shaping up badly. A huge volcanic eruption off the ...

Slavers in the family: what a castle in Accra reveals about Ghana’s history

Reading time: 6 minutes As a Ghanaian archaeologist, I have been conducting research at Christiansborg Castle in Accra, Ghana. A ...

A brief history of lion taming

Reading time: 6 minutes Britain’s last lion tamer, Thomas Chipperfield, was recently refused a licence to continue performing with his ...

Lead up to the Jonestown Massacre

Reading time: 7 minutes Most people have heard Jonestown Massacre in 1978, when 918 members of the Peoples Temple committed ...

Fresh clues to the life and times of the Denisovans, a little-known ancient group of humans

Reading time: 7 minutes We know that some modern human genomes contain fragments of DNA from an ancient population of ...

LUCKY DISCOVERIES OF LOST ANCIENT HISTORY

Reading time: 8 minutes Our knowledge of the ancient world owes a lot to chance discoveries. Here, we share the ...

The Cowra breakout: remembering and reflecting on Australia’s biggest prison escape

Reading time: 8 minutes Today (August 5) marks the 81st anniversary of Australia’s largest prison escape: the Cowra breakout, in New ...

A white supremacist coup succeeded in 1898 North Carolina, led by lying politicians and racist newspapers that amplified their lies

Reading time: 6 minutes While experts debate whether the U.S. Capitol siege was an attempted coup, there is no debate ...

Returning looted artefacts will finally restore heritage to the brilliant cultures that made them

Reading time: 6 minutes European museums are under mounting pressure to return the irreplaceable artefacts plundered during colonial times. As ...

A short history of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy – an indelible reminder of unceded sovereignty

Reading time: 6 minutes Often people think about the Aboriginal Tent Embassy as something historic, dating back to the 1970s ...

The Christmas truce, 1914

Reading time: 7 minutes The Christmas truce of 1914 will generally conjure up images of opposing British and German soldiers ...

How whiteness was invented and fashioned in Britain’s colonial age of expansion

Reading time: 6 minutes Fashion is political — today as in the past. As Britain’s Empire dramatically expanded, people of all ...

With Academic History in Crisis, can Departments Pivot to Reach Interested Audiences?

Reading time: 4 minutes When you work in higher education, people will tell you what they think of your discipline ...

The Roman ‘Brexit’: how life in Britain changed after 409AD

Reading time: 5 minutes Leaving a major political body is nothing new for mainland Britain. In 409AD, more than 350 ...

Spain’s new memory law dredges up a painful chapter of Spain’s often forgotten ties to Nazis

Reading time: 6 minutes Walking down a tree-lined street in the Poble Sec neighborhood of Barcelona, one might easily miss ...

DNA reveals large migration into Scandinavia during the Viking age

Reading time: 5 minutes We often think of the Vikings as ultimate explorers, taking their culture with them to far-off ...

What good is a new national cultural policy without history?

Reading time: 5 minutes Alongside much else that is being revised, reimagined or recast by the Albanese government, Australia is ...

Regimes Around the World are Manipulating History and Threatening Historians

Reading time: 6 minutes The past is back at the center of today’s politics. The invasion of Ukraine by Russian ...

How World War II spurred vaccine innovation

Reading time: 7 minutes War and disease have marched arm in arm for centuries. Wars magnify the spread and severity ...

America Fought Its Own Battle Over Books Before it Fought the Nazis

Reading time: 7 minutes When United States servicemen stormed the beaches in Normandy, most of them had an essential item ...

‘Excessive severity’: Treason and the Grenadian Rebellion of 1795

Reading time: 9 minutes Late in the night of 2 March 1795, a rebellion broke out on the Caribbean island ...

A love story that threatened the Commonwealth: Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams

Reading time: 7 minutes A relatively unknown name in contemporary Britain, Sir Seretse Khama left an indelible mark on southern ...

WHY IS CHARLES CURTIS’S LEGACY SO COMPLICATED?

Reading time: 6 minutes Since the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, journalists, scholars, and activists have celebrated Harris ...

A cave site in Kenya’s forests reveals the oldest human burial in Africa

Reading time: 7 minutes Africa is often referred to as the cradle of humankind – the birthplace of our species, ...

Cave of Horror: fresh fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls echo dramatic human stories

Reading time: 6 minutes In March 2021 news broke of the discovery of fresh fragments of a nearly 2,000-year-old scroll ...

Sheepskin was used as an anti-fraud device in British legal documents for hundreds of years

Reading time: 4 minutes The 16th and 17th centuries were a notably litigious period in British history. New rights, wealth ...

Historians are Being Asked to Spin Simple Stories of Nationalism; The Past Won’t Cooperate

Reading time: 7 minutes North Macedonia, an EU candidate since 2005, and Bulgaria, an EU member since 2007, are neighbors ...

New archaeology finding shows how Muslim cuisine endured in secret despite policing by the Spanish Catholic regime

Reading time: 5 minutes Granada, in southern Spain’s Andalusia region, was the final remnant of Islamic Iberia known as al-Andalus ...

90 years ago, Yorta Yorta leader William Cooper petitioned the king for Aboriginal representation in parliament

Reading time: 4 minutes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised this article contains names and images of deceased ...

Reappraising The Passion of the Christ

Reading time: 5 minutes Looking back at director Mel Gibson's controversial depiction of Christianity's central event. As another Easter holiday ...

On the screen: Cold warriors

Reading time: 4 minutes The Courier, directed by Dominic Cooke, is a film of the Cold War with the Cuban ...

Uncovering the roots of racist ideas in America

Reading time: 5 minutes Donald Trump proclaimed during his inaugural address, “When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no ...

Ammonite: the remarkable real science of Mary Anning and her fossils

Reading time: 6 minutes This story contains spoilers for Ammonite Palaeontologist Mary Anning is known for discovering a multitude of ...

The Philadelphia zebras … and six great animal escapes of the Victorian era

Reading time: 6 minutes Nothing beats a good chase sequence, particularly when an animal is involved. Recently, social media was ...

Hidden women of history: Maria Sibylla Merian, 17th-century entomologist and scientific adventurer

Reading time: 8 minutes Most school kids can describe in detail the life cycle of butterflies: eggs hatch into caterpillars, ...

Rediscovered: the Aboriginal names for ten Melbourne suburbs

Reading time: 7 minutes Ten previously forgotten Aboriginal names for 19th century sites and suburbs of Melbourne have been recently ...

Why archaeology is so much more than just digging

Reading time: 5 minutes It’s our experience that most people think archaeology mainly means digging in the dirt. Admit to ...

What we’re finding as we excavate Halmyris, a frontier fort of the Roman Empire

Reading time: 5 minutes Nationalism is resurging across Europe, and with it has come increasing attention on the vulnerable outer ...

Safeguarding our Heritage – Why we must fund Trove

Reading time: 2 minutes Trove, the National Library of Australia's (NLA) public online database, has grown to include over 6 ...

Peta Clancy brings a hidden Victorian massacre to the surface with Undercurrent

Reading time: 6 minutes The slaughter of Australian soldiers at Gallipoli in 1915 is claimed by many to be a ...

Roman Britain was multi-ethnic – so why does this upset people so much?

Reading time: 4 minutes Nil nimium studeo, Caesar, tibi velle placere,nec scire utrum sis albus an ater homo. I’m not ...

Why the Neanderthals may have been more sophisticated hunters than we thought – new study

Reading time: 6 minutes When Neanderthals are depicted in artistic reconstructions, they often have a spear in hand. Most archaeologists ...

The Roman dead: new techniques are revealing just how diverse Roman Britain was

Reading time: 6 minutes Our knowledge about the people who lived in Roman Britain has undergone a sea change over ...

FIVE GREAT HISTORICALLY ACCURATE FILMS: PART FOUR

Reading time: 5 minutes Most history enthusiasts will eye the release of a new film on a historical topic somewhat ...

Neanderthals: Javelin athletes helped us show how effective they were at hunting with weapons

Reading time: 5 minutes Neanderthals used to be portrayed as unintelligent and technologically deficient, a species that went extinct because ...

Why we must better understand our history

Reading time: 5 minutes History never repeats itself, but it does often rhyme. Mark Twain As a society it is ...

Old teeth from a rediscovered cave show humans were in Indonesia more than 63,000 years ago

Reading time: 6 minutes Modern humans were present in Southeast Asia about 20,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to ...

18th- and 19th-century Americans of all races, classes and genders looked to the ancient Mediterranean for inspiration

Reading time: 6 minutes The ancient world of the Mediterranean has long permeated American society, in everything from museum collections ...

A snapshot of our mysterious ancestor Homo erectus

Reading time: 6 minutes If you bumped into a Homo erectus in the street you might not recognise them as ...

What the Romans can teach us about immigration and integration

Reading time: 4 minutes As a Roman historian, I’m struck by how often people ask why the Roman empire ended, ...
Still image from the 1940 propaganda film ‘Christmas Under Fire’ produced by the Crown Film Unit. BFI Archive

Carols, ration books and bomb shelters: how Britain celebrated Christmas in 1940

Reading time: 6 minutes At Christmas 1939, Britons had been able to maintain a semblance of normality. The blackout prevented ...

How did we come to celebrate Christmas?

Reading time: 6 minutes Christmas is literally “the mass for Christ”, the day on which Christians celebrate the birth of ...

Schnapps, whipping and sacks: how Christmas traditions evolved around the world

Reading time: 6 minutes Christmas has become a cultural event, associated with the giving of gifts and lavish meals with ...

The borrowed customs and traditions of Christmas celebrations

Reading time: 6 minutes Not long to go now before many of us get to spread some good tidings and ...

Harking back: the ancient pagan festivities in our Christmas rituals

Reading time: 5 minutes In the movie The Life of Brian (1979), Reg, played by John Cleese, asks fellow members ...

The busy Romans needed a mid-winter break too … and it lasted for 24 days

Reading time: 5 minutes In the Doctor Who Christmas Special from 2010, Michael Gambon’s Scrooge-like character remarks that across different ...

When did Homo erectus die out? A fresh look at the demise of an ancient human species over 100,000 years ago

Reading time: 6 minutes Imagine your child asked you “When did grandma die?” and you could only respond “It was ...

Mythbusting Ancient Rome: cruel and unusual punishment

Reading time: 7 minutes Early Roman history is full of stories about the terrible fates that befell citizens who broke ...

The Onna-Musha: Japan’s Fearsome Warrior Women 

Reading time: 6 minutes In pre-modern Japan, there existed a group of samurai warriors that defy the modern worldview of ...

‘Experimental in every sense’: The Metropolitan Police Women Patrols

Reading time: 8 minutes On 18 October 1918, Sir Cecil Macready, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, submitted a recommendation ...

The Right of Wreck

Reading time: 8 minutes With howling westerly winds and in freezing rain, the unforgiving waves push ships closer to the ...

4 Forgotten Historical Events that Shaped The World

Reading time: 7 minutes Our world has such a long, twisted history, it’s no surprise that some tales have been ...

The History of Food Delivery 

The History of Food Delivery Reading time: 7 minutes Friday night food delivery is a tradition that is as old ...

Saint Olga of Kyiv is Ukraine’s patron saint of both defiance and vengeance

Reading time: 5 minutes Ukrainians are used to adversity and they have a special medieval role model who personifies their ...

The colonial origins of scientific forestry in Britain

The colonial origins of scientific forestry in Britain Reading time: 27 minutes Around 1850 Britain had no forestry service and ...

The Moon Landing, Before the First Steps

Reading time: 10 minutes “We choose to go to the moon in this decade, and do the other things, not ...

From ‘Australia’s Titanic’ to deadly mutineers: 4 infamous shipwrecks found on the Great Barrier Reef

Reading time: 6 minutes The Great Barrier Reef is incredible, with turquoise water, stunning reefs and white sandy cays. Yet ...

Has Captain Cook’s ship Endeavour been found? Debate rages, but here’s what’s usually involved in identifying a shipwreck

Reading time: 5 minutes The Australian National Maritime Museum has announced a shipwreck found in Newport Harbour, off Rhode Island ...

How drinking fashions change: a historical take on the British fizz fervour

Reading time: 7 minutes Brits, typically associated with sipping warm beer on village greens – or, more recently, binge drinking ...

The messy history of our modern, Western calendar

The messy history of our modern, Western calendar Reading time: 7 minutes For something that’s meant to lend order to ...

The Jonestown Massacre: The Mass Murder-Suicide that Shook the World

Jim Jones, leader of the People's Temple Cult and perpetrator of the Jonestown Massacre. Reading time: 12 minutes The phenomenon ...

Plague Ahoy! Maritime quarantine in the 18th century

Reading time: 8 minutes On 23 August 1720 at the Council Chamber in Whitehall, the Privy Council issued an order ...

Meeting Grace O’Malley, Ireland’s pirate queen

Meeting Grace O’Malley, Ireland’s pirate queen Reading time: 8 minutes Mid-16th century tower house on an inlet from Clew Bay ...

The wreck of Endurance is a bridge to a bygone age, and a reminder of Antarctica’s uncertain future

The wreck of Endurance is a bridge to a bygone age, and a reminder of Antarctica’s uncertain future Reading time: ...

ABUSE AND TENACITY: UKRAINE’S STRUGGLE FOR AUTONOMY

ABUSE AND TENACITY: UKRAINE'S STRUGGLE FOR AUTONOMY Reading time: 10 minutes The 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine has rightfully outraged ...

The Mafia, The Godfather, and the Hollywood romance

The Mafia, The Godfather, and the Hollywood romance Reading time: 8 minutes The Godfather. Perhaps one of the greatest films ...

REEL OR UNREAL HISTORY

REEL OR UNREAL HISTORY Reading time: 5 minutes Long before “fake news” wedged itself into American vernacular, “fake” or “engineered” ...

Why January 6 Was Not Like a Banana Republic

Why January 6 Was Not Like a Banana Republic Reading time: 5 minutes After the January 6 insurrection, many observers, ...

How George Orwell justified killing German civilians in the second world war

How George Orwell justified killing German civilians in the second world war Reading time: 5 minutes Eric Blair (better known as ...

Tulip mania: the classic story of a Dutch financial bubble is mostly wrong

Tulip mania: the classic story of a Dutch financial bubble is mostly wrong Reading time: 7 minutes Right now, it’s Bitcoin ...

HOW DID A COCKATOO REACH 13TH CENTURY SICILY?

HOW DID A COCKATOO REACH 13TH CENTURY SICILY? Reading time: 7 minutes Among the hand-written documents, books, and ancient artefacts ...

Humans domesticated horses – new tech could help archaeologists figure out where and when

Humans domesticated horses – new tech could help archaeologists figure out where and when Reading time: 8 minutes In the increasingly ...

How much did our ancestors drink – and are we drinking more?

Reading time: 7 minutes Autumn is awash with alcohol, and not just because of the new vintage. Oktoberfest plays a ...

Shillings, gods and runes: clues in language suggest a Semitic superpower in ancient northern Europe

Shillings, gods and runes: clues in language suggest a Semitic superpower in ancient northern Europe Reading time: 6 minutes Remember ...

A SNAPSHOT OF THE PUBLIC’S VIEWS ON HISTORY

A SNAPSHOT OF THE PUBLIC’S VIEWS ON HISTORY Reading time: 8 minutes The teaching of history has become a political ...

When History disappears: the modern loss of historical artifacts

When History disappears: the modern loss of historical artifacts Reading time: 6 minutes Thanks to their meticulous preservation, museums and ...

The Conquerors Perspective: Why Europe Has so Many Different Languages

THE CONQUERORS PERSPECTIVE: WHY EUROPE HAS SO MANY DIFFERENT LANGUAGES History is typically told from the winner's perspective. In the ...

US prep schools held student exchanges with elite Nazi academies

US PREP SCHOOLS HELD STUDENT EXCHANGES WITH ELITE NAZI ACADEMIES Reading time: 7 minutes In the summer of 1935, the ...

On the money: Kate Sheppard and the making of a New Zealand feminist icon

ON THE MONEY: KATE SHEPPARD AND THE MAKING OF A NEW ZEALAND FEMINIST ICON Reading time: 7 minutes In 1992 ...

100 years later, why don’t we commemorate the victims and heroes of ‘Spanish flu’?

100 YEARS LATER, WHY DON’T WE COMMEMORATE THE VICTIMS AND HEROES OF ‘SPANISH FLU’? Reading time: 5 minutes At Sydney’s ...

A Continent’s Currency: 20 years of the Euro

A CONTINENT'S CURRENCY: 20 YEARS OF THE EURO Reading time: 6 minutes The central unit of money for much of ...

WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO BE A CHILD IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE?

WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO BE A CHILD IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE? Reading time: 7 minutes As the researcher for ...

The Chatterley Trial 60 years on: a court case that secured free expression in 1960s Britain

THE CHATTERLEY TRIAL 60 YEARS ON: A COURT CASE THAT SECURED FREE EXPRESSION IN 1960S BRITAIN Reading time: 6 minutes ...
Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheneer heading for the gallows 'The first execution' Painted in 1875 by WFE Liardet.

Truganini and the bloody backstory to Victoria’s first public execution

TRUGANINI AND THE BLOODY BACKSTORY TO VICTORIA’S FIRST PUBLIC EXECUTION Reading time: 10 minutes Sometime in August 1841, Truganini left ...

Britain’s obsession with the second world war and the debates that fuel it

BRITAIN’S OBSESSION WITH THE SECOND WORLD WAR AND THE DEBATES THAT FUEL IT Reading time: 5 minutes The COVID-19 pandemic ...
The Biggest Estate on Earth

The biggest estate on earth: how Aborigines made Australia

THE BIGGEST ESTATE ON EARTH: HOW ABORIGINES MADE AUSTRALIA Reading time: 5 minutes Indigenous Australians systematically burnt grasslands to reduce ...
Sigulda Castle

Rewilding: lessons from the medieval Baltic crusades

REWILDING: LESSONS FROM THE MEDIEVAL BALTIC CRUSADES Reading time: 6 minutes The Forest of Białowieża, which straddles the border of ...

In Appreciation of Schindler’s List

IN APPRECIATION OF SCHINDLER'S LIST Reading time: 7 minutes Revisiting Steven Spielberg's harrowing Holocaust drama on the 28th anniversary of ...

I asked historians what find made them go ‘wait, wut?’ Here’s a taste of the hundreds of replies

I ASKED HISTORIANS WHAT FIND MADE THEM GO ‘WAIT, WUT?’ HERE’S A TASTE OF THE HUNDREDS OF REPLIES Reading time: ...

The Black War

THE BLACK WAR Reading time: 10 minutes Nicholas Clements’ The Black War sheds new light on the long and bloody ...

How the Australian Women’s Weekly spoke to ‘50s housewives about the Cold War

HOW THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN’S WEEKLY SPOKE TO ‘50S HOUSEWIVES ABOUT THE COLD WAR Reading time: 5 minutes Under editor Esmé ...

Supreme Court upholds American Indian treaty promises, orders Oklahoma to follow federal law

SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS AMERICAN INDIAN TREATY PROMISES, ORDERS OKLAHOMA TO FOLLOW FEDERAL LAW Reading time: 5 minutes The eastern part ...

Maurice Hilleman, the scientist who saved more lives than any other

MAURICE HILLEMAN, THE SCIENTIST WHO SAVED MORE LIVES THAN ANY OTHER Reading time: 5 minutes Maurice Hilleman is credited as ...

Slave revolt film revisits history often omitted from textbooks

Reading time: 4 minutes SLAVE REVOLT FILM REVISITS HISTORY OFTEN OMITTED FROM TEXTBOOKS Armed with machetes and pitchforks and uttering ...

How one woman pulled off the first consumer boycott – and helped inspire the British to abolish slavery

HOW ONE WOMAN PULLED OFF THE FIRST CONSUMER BOYCOTT – AND HELPED INSPIRE THE BRITISH TO ABOLISH SLAVERY Estimated reading ...

Knowledge of the Ancients: Early Measurements of the Earth

KNOWLEDGE OF THE ANCIENTS: EARLY MEASUREMENTS OF THE EARTH Reading time: 7 minutes The desire to obtain knowledge of the ...

Oklahoma is – and always has been – Native land

OKLAHOMA IS – AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN – NATIVE LAND Reading time: 6 minutes Some Oklahomans are expressing trepidation about ...

People dropped whisky into their noses to treat Spanish flu. Here’s what else they took that would raise eyebrows today

PEOPLE DROPPED WHISKY INTO THEIR NOSES TO TREAT SPANISH FLU. HERE’S WHAT ELSE THEY TOOK THAT WOULD RAISE EYEBROWS TODAY ...

Gens Du Pays: A History of Quebec’s Struggle for Sovereignty

GENS DU PAYS: A HISTORY OF QUEBEC’S STRUGGLE FOR SOVEREIGNTY Reading time: 13 minutes Vive le Québec libre! The date ...

5 Inspiring Women Of History

5 INSPIRING WOMEN OF HISTORY Reading time: 10 minutes Throughout history, the world has witnessed influential women take the world ...

SIX of the best WORLD WAR II FILMS

SIX OF THE BEST WORLD WAR II FILMS World War II (1939-1945) was and remains the greatest conflict that humanity ...

The End of Apartheid

THE END OF APARTHEID Reading time: 8 minutes Racial divisions emerged in South Africa as early as the 1600s, due ...

Enheduanna, princess, priestess and the world’s first known author

ENHEDUANNA, PRINCESS, PRIESTESS AND THE WORLD’S FIRST KNOWN AUTHOR Reading time: 6 minutes The world’s first known author is widely ...

The detective work behind the Budj Bim eel traps World Heritage bid

Reading time: 8 minutes Last month, Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull visited the Gunditjmara community of southwest Victoria to announce that ...

The Friar Who Faced The Medici of Florence

Reading time: 8 minutes Girolamo Savonarola, an Italian preacher and reformer, led an interesting life. His ideologies and strong stance ...

The Holocaust

Reading time: 7 minutes Warning: some of the following photos may be disturbing to readers. The event traditionally defined as ...

Gregor MacGregor: History’s Greatest Conman

Reading time: 8 minutes In 1821, Gregor MacGregor, a seemingly ordinary man deceived banks, investors, the general public, and even ...

Volcanic Eruptions and European History

Reading time: 13 minutes On 14 April 2010 the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted for a second time in two month ...

This rainforest was once a grassland savanna maintained by Aboriginal people – until colonisation

Reading time: 6 minutes If you go to the Surrey Hills of northwest Tasmania, you’ll see a temperate rainforest dominated ...

The ‘great Australian silence’ 50 years on

Reading time: 13 minutes It’s 50 years since the anthropologist W.E.H. Stanner gave the 1968 Boyer Lectures — a watershed ...

Why Do We Like to Get Drunk?

Bacchanal (1625–1626) by Nicholas Poussin, Prado Museum. Reading time: 4 minutes Why do humans like to get drunk? Scientists have ...

The evidence for the Tasmanian genocide

Reading time: 7 minutes At a public meeting in Hobart in the late 1830s, Solicitor-General Alfred Stephen, later Chief Justice ...

Four days in August: The Soviet Union’s final blow

Reading time: 8 minutes Nearly 30 years have passed since the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991, and ...

The Role of Wood in World History

Reading time: 14 minutes The destruction of the world’s forests is a major concern in our age. According to the ...

New research turns Tasmanian Aboriginal history on its head. The results will help care for the land

Reading time: 5 minutes American farmer and poet Wendell Berry said of the first Europeans in North America that they ...

THE PHANTOM OLYMPICS-Why Japan Forfeited Hosting the 1940 Olympics

Reading time: 6 minutes When the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was ...

Sudan’s ‘forgotten’ pyramids risk being buried by shifting sand dunes

Reading time: 5 minutes The word “pyramid” is synonymous with Egypt, but it is actually neighbouring Sudan that is home ...

How our new archaeological research investigates Dark Emu’s idea of Aboriginal ‘agriculture’ and villages

Reading time: 10 minutes Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu is in the news again, with the publication of a new book ...

In 1968, computers got personal: How the ‘mother of all demos’ changed the world

Reading time: 7 minutes A scene from Doug Engelbart’s groundbreaking 1968 computer demo. Doug Engelbart Institute On a crisp California ...

Sardines for breakfast, hypothermia rescues: the story of the cash-strapped, post-pandemic 1920 Olympics

Reading time: 8 minutes Since the global pandemic began, debate has raged over whether Tokyo should go ahead with the ...

The voyage of Nicolas Baudin and ‘art in the service of science’

Reading time: 9 minutes The real-life story of French navigator Nicolas Baudin’s sea voyage to map the unknown coasts of ...

Five Great Historically Accurate Films: Part Three

Reading time: 6 minutes READ PART ONE AND PART TWO By Michael Vecchio Saving Private Ryan (1998) Dir. Steven Spielberg ...

Book review: Farmers or Hunter-gatherers? The Dark Emu Debate rigorously critiques Bruce Pascoe’s argument

Reading time: 9 minutes Eminent Australian anthropologist Peter Sutton and respected field archaeologist Keryn Walshe have co-authored a meticulously researched ...

How do archaeologists know where to dig?

Reading time: 7 minutes National Geographic magazines and Indiana Jones movies might have you picturing archaeologists excavating near Egyptian pyramids, ...

Chickens tell tale of human migration across Pacific

Reading time: 6 minutes Holiday in Hawaii and one of the birds you’re most likely to encounter is the chicken ...

From the Caribbean to Queensland: re-examining Australia’s ‘blackbirding’ past and its roots in the global slave trade

Reading time: 6 minutes There are moves afoot to scrub colonial businessman Benjamin Boyd’s name from the map. The owners ...

Four of the most lethal infectious diseases of our time and how we’re overcoming them

Reading time: 10 minutes In 2013, the World Health Organisation declared antibiotic resistance was a threat to global health security ...

CASTLES, CAVES AND ROCK SHELTERS

Reading time: 8 minutes Archaeology in the rugged landscape of Georgia reveals a medieval world where caves and underground shelters ...

Threat or trading partner? Sailing vessels in northwestern Arnhem Land rock art reveal different attitudes to visitors

Reading time: 6 minutes The rock art of northwestern Arnhem Land is world-renowned and represents one of the world’s most ...

A program for peace: The founding of the United Nations

Reading time: 6 minutes Achieving the elusive dream of “world peace”, has long been an idealist and collectivist goal for ...

What wind, currents and geography tell us about how people first settled Oceania

Reading time: 8 minutes Just look at a map of Remote Oceania – the region of the Pacific that contains ...

The Reality of Joan of Arc

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes Last spring, I found myself in the surprising position of explaining to a student sitting ...

Caste: A Divisive Structure in the United States, India, and Nazi Germany

Reading time: 4 minutes In her new book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, Isabel Wilkerson writes that the ways ...

How early Australian settlers drew maps to erase Indigenous people and push ideas of colonial superiority

Reading time: 6 minutes The new Netflix series Shadow and Bone opens with cartographer Alina Starkov crammed into the back ...

Constructing Oppression: The Berlin Wall and the Literal Iron Curtain

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes 60 years after its initial construction, the memory of the Berlin Wall remains a potent ...

OUT OF ANCIENT MARSHES

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes Archaeology at the site of the former Pontine Marshes has uncovered a massive but forgotten ...

VICTORIA’S VOLCANIC HISTORY CONFIRMS THE STATE’S ABORIGINAL INHABITATION BEFORE 34,000 YEARS

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes New techniques for dating volcanic eruptions, a lone axe and Indigenous oral traditions give us ...

The First Australians grew to a population of millions, much more than previous estimates

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes We know it is more than 60,000 years since the first people entered the continent ...

Five Great Historically Accurate Films: Part Two

Reading time: 5 minutes By Michael Vecchio READ PART ONE of FIVE GREAT HISTORICAL FILMS Gandhi (1982) Dir. Richard Attenborough ...

How The Napoleonic Wars Entrenched British Rule In 19th Century South Africa

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes The battles between Britain and France following the French Revolution and into the Napoleonic Wars ...

Who will have us? Jewish Refugees before WW2

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes The plight of Jewish refugees after the outbreak of World War II in 1939 is ...

People gave up on flu pandemic measures a century ago when they tired of them – and paid a price

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes Picture the United States struggling to deal with a deadly pandemic. State and local officials ...

Nikola Tesla – His Vision is our Reality

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes The legacy of one of the greatest inventors in history is some of our most ...

The Deadliest Infectious Diseases in History and Their Prevalence Today

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes The advances in medicine and technology have helped curb the spread of one of the ...

Picturing the unimaginable: a new look at the wreck of the Batavia

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes Before dawn on the morning of June 4 1629, the Batavia, a ship of the ...

How will our bodies be put back together? What about those eaten by cannibals? A brief history of Christian resurrection beliefs

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes Easter celebrates the Christian belief that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. In so doing, ...

Highland Clearances: Changing a Culture

HIGHLAND CLEARANCES: CHANGING A CULTURE Reading time: 5 minutes Cultures, customs and traditions change as time passes on, but sometimes ...

Ancient undersea middens offer clues about life before rising seas engulfed the coast. Now we have a better way to study them

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes The world’s oceans hold their secrets close, including clues about how people lived tens of ...

Archaeologists have a lot of dates wrong for North American indigenous history – but we’re using new techniques to get it right

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes By Sturt Manning, Cornell University. Columbus famously reached the Americas in 1492. Other Europeans had ...

Mistaken Maps and the Myths They Perpetuated

Mistaken Maps and the Myths They Perpetuated Reading time: 8 minutes Mapmakers in history occasionally got it wrong. Sometimes, very ...

What is the Austronesian Expansion?

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes The mass migration of Austronesian-speaking peoples thousands of years ago still has an impact on ...

Saint Patrick: A Story of Faith and Mythology

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes By Michael Vecchio Every year on March 17th, much of the western world celebrates “being ...

The priestess Pythia at the Delphic Oracle, who spoke truth to power

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes In a time and place that offered few career opportunities for women, the job of ...

Wise women: 6 ancient female philosophers you should know about

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes By Dawn LaValle Norman, Australian Catholic University. When we conjure up ancient philosophers the image ...

Archaeologists determined the step-by-step path taken by the first people to settle the Caribbean islands

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes For the millions of people around the world who live on islands today, a plane ...

Cultural diversity – the making of Rome

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes By Richard Shrubb. The Roman Empire was arguably the most successful empire in history, eclipsing ...

This 17,500-year-old kangaroo in the Kimberley is Australia’s oldest Aboriginal rock painting

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes In Western Australia’s northeast Kimberley region, on Balanggarra Country, a two-metre-long painting of a kangaroo ...

The West and the Rest: Deconstructing the Great Divergence Debate

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes By Madison Moulton. The causes of global inequalities between the West and the East is ...

Mapping the World: A Short History of Cartography

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes From the cave paintings of Montignac to the Mercator Projection and beyond, maps explain how ...

The Cold War, Churchill’s Iron Curtain, and the Power of Imagery

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes By Michael Vecchio Many years of fighting and an estimated 85 million people dead; the ...

After Caribbean Slavery – Indentured Labour

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes By Richard Shrubb. The abolition of slavery by the British Empire would cause an economic ...

A Brief History of Saint Valentine’s Day

A Brief History of Saint Valentine's Day Reading time: 5 minutes When one hears the word “Valentine”, many things may ...

Long before GameStop, bucket shops challenged the legitimacy of Wall Street

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes By Robbie Moore, University of Tasmania. The gleeful manipulation of GameStop’s share price is not ...

Australian government must negotiate a treaty with First Nations people

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes By Lidia Thorpe With 26 January looming, many Australians will be ashamed of the fact ...

The Rise of Black Wall Street and the Race Massacre That Burned It Down

Estimated reading time: 11 minutes The Greenwood neighbourhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma was a hub for black business and wealth from ...

Fake News, Misinformation and Propaganda Throughout History

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes By Madison Moulton Fake news has become a popular buzzword. However, the phenomenon is not ...

What We Now Know About the Lost Colony of Roanoke

Explore the story of the Roanoke disappearance. And the latest findings and theories that have brought us a bit closer ...

Explainer: what is radiocarbon dating and how does it work?

Rachel Wood, Australian National University Radiocarbon dating has transformed our understanding of the past 50,000 years. Professor Willard Libby produced ...

Magic, culture and stalactites: how Aboriginal perspectives are transforming archaeological histories

New collaborative work at an Aboriginal cave in eastern Victoria, published today, shows the stark difference between contemporary archaeological research ...
french fur trade

The Changing Relationship Between the US Government and Native Americans

Reading time: 11 minutes The Civilisation Program, the Indian Removal Act and the Cherokee Trail of Tears, 1776 - 1860 ...

Decking the halls of history: the origins of Christmas decorations

Reading time: 5 minutes The idea of hanging up decorations in the middle of winter is older than Christmas itself ...

Best Historical Films 2010-2020

There may be many historically based films, but only a few can be rightfully called striking, emotional, and informative. As ...
Sir Paul Edmund Strzelecki, Explorer and Scientist

The Incredible Life of Paul Strzelecki

Explorer, Scientist, and Humanitarian Hero By Caitlan Hester. Sir Paul Strzelecki (1797-1873) spent over four years exploring 7,000 miles of ...

Wauba Debar, an Indigenous swimmer from Tasmania who saved her captors

Though her brave acts were acknowledged after her death, Wauba Debar’s grave was later robbed in the name of “science” ...

Got your bag? The critical place of mobile containers in human evolution

By Thomas Suddendorf, The University of Queensland and Michelle Langley, Griffith University Today, bags are everywhere — from cheap canvas ...
Hawa Mahal Amer Fort

Decolonialising India’s Persianate Age

Reading time: 6 minutes For the last 1,000 years and until very recently, scholars have held that the Indian sub-continent ...

Secondary school textbooks teach our kids the myth that Aboriginal Australians were nomadic hunter-gatherers

Robyn Moore, University of Tasmania In his book Dark Emu, Bruce Pascoe writes that settler Australians wilfully misunderstood, hid and ...

Doggerland: The Lost World Beneath the North Sea

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes By Madison Moulton Looking out at the North Sea – the body of water dividing ...

Millicent Bryant, the first Australian woman to get a pilot’s licence

Before the glamorous flyers of the 1930s like Amelia Earhart, “Chubby” Miller and Nancy Bird Walton, another woman opened the ...

Five Great Historically Accurate Films

By Michael Vecchio. Most history enthusiasts will eye the release of a new film on a historical topic somewhat sceptically, ...

What Hamilton Got Wrong

Reading time: 6 minutes It’s important to take historically-based art, whether a painting that condenses a battle or the acclaimed ...

Five of the Most Historically Accurate PC Games

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes Plenty of video games are marketed as being historically accurate, but few truly are. In ...

Interesting Stories of the Mound-Building Native American Civilizations of the Midwest

By Caitlan Hester. Native American Mound-Building Civilizations For over 5,000 years the Eastern, Southeastern, and the Midwestern U.S. were populated ...

Slavery Compensation: Who Got Paid?

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes By Richard Shrubb. With the abolition of slavery in the British Empire in 1834 the ...

The Bantu Expansion: How Bantu People Changed Sub-Saharan Africa

Reading time: 4 minutes About 3500 years ago, an event began that changed the demographic, linguistic, and cultural makeup of ...

Battle of One Tree Hill, Australian Frontier Wars

Battle of One Tree Hill, Australian Frontier Wars Reading time: 7 minutes The Battle of One Tree Hill in 1843 ...

Cook – Man or Myth

2020 marks the 250th anniversary of Captain James Cook and the HMB Endeavour charted the East Coast of Australia. The ...