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Writer Fuel: Who Was the World’s First Known Author?

cuniform writing - deposit photos

The oldest known writing dates back more than 5,000 years to ancient Mesopotamia, in what is now mostly present-day Iraq. But who was the first author known by name? Archaeological discoveries have revealed the earliest known writing was invented about 3400 B.C. in an ancient Mesopotamian area known as Sumer, near the Persian Gulf, according … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Archaeologists Find Hundreds of Mummies

Mummies - Deposit Photos

Archaeologists have unearthed the pyramid of a never-before known ancient Egyptian queen; a cache of coffins, mummies and artifacts; and a series of interconnected tunnels. For the past two years, archaeologists have been working at Saqqara, an archaeological site in Giza, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Cairo. Recently, they discovered a trove of … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Why Does the Devil Have Horns and Hooves?

the devil - deposit photos

Satan is often shown in popular depictions with horns on its head, furry legs and cloven hooves of a goat. But just why is the devil depicted with horns and hooves? It turns out that historians don’t agree on when this depiction of the devil became popular and where it came from. The devil’s appearance … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Forensic Artist Reconstructs Face of an 18th Century “Vampire”

18th Century Vampire

In the late 18th century, a man was buried in Griswold, Connecticut, with his femur bones arranged in a criss-cross manner — a placement indicating that locals thought he was a vampire. However, little else was known about him. More than 200 years later, DNA evidence is revealing what he may have looked like. (And yes, he … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Could We Be Due for a Massive Radiation Storm?

Shimmering blue aurora over marsh - Deposit Photos

A series of sudden and colossal spikes in radiation levels across Earth’s history could have come from a series of unknown, unpredictable and potentially catastrophic cosmic events, a new study has revealed. Named Miyake events after the lead author of the first study to describe them, the spikes occur roughly once every 1,000 years or … Read more

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Writer Fuel: A Piece of the Oldest Complete Star Map Found

star catalog fragment

Scholars may have just discovered a fragment of the world’s oldest complete star map. The map segment, which was found beneath the text on a sheet of medieval parchment, is thought to be a copy of the long-lost star catalog of the second century B.C. Greek astronomer Hipparchus, who made the earliest known attempt to … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Anglo-Saxon Hall Where Kings and Warriors Dined Discovered in England

Anglo-Saxon Hall - Suffolk County Council "Rendlesham Revealed" project

Archaeologists in the east of England have unearthed the remains of an elaborate hall that Anglo-Saxon monarchs and warriors feasted in roughly 1,400 years ago. The remains of the royal hall — near the village of Rendlesham in Suffolk, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) northeast of London — are only a few miles north of … Read more

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Writer Fuel: The Day of the Dead

The Day of the Dead - Deposit Photos

The Day of the Dead might sound like a solemn affair, but Mexico’s famous holiday (opens in new tab) is actually a lively commemoration of the departed. The nationwide festivities, which include a massive parade in Mexico City (opens in new tab), typically begin the night of Oct. 31 with families sitting vigil at grave … Read more

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Writer Fuel: What Happened to King Solomon’s Mines?

King Solomon's Pillars - Deposit Photos

Copper mines in Israel’s Negev Desert — ancient sites that may have inspired the legend of King Solomon’s mines of gold — were abandoned 3,000 years ago, when people there used up all the plants to make charcoal for smelting, a new study finds. The researchers studied fragments of charcoal from ancient furnaces in the … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Archaeologists Find Surprising Reason Crannogs Were Built in the British Isles

Crannog - Deposit Photos

Just as waterfront mansions are status symbols for today’s rich and famous, ancient artificial islands in the British Isles known as crannogs may have been used by elites to display their power and wealth through elaborate parties, a new study finds. A crannog is “an artificial island within a lake, wetland, or estuary,” Antony Brown … Read more