In the second half of the 20th century, Bangkok-based British businessman Douglas Latchford was at the center of an operation that trafficked ancient Khmer sculptures and archaeological treasures out of Cambodia. These pieces of art traveled far, ending up in rich people’s homes and museums like the Met. Matthew Campbell tells an engrossing story filled with […]
The Curse of the Buried Treasure
“Two metal-detector enthusiasts discovered a Viking hoard. It was worth a fortune—but it became a nightmare.”
Building Parks on Antiquities Sites Is Not OK
How the Arizona State Parks and Trails Director got fired for violating the Arizona Antiquities Act.
An Interview with MacArthur ‘Genius’ Jason De León
The anthropologist studies the objects left behind by migrants as they cross the border.
How the Burning Brigade Broke Free
In the village of Ponar, in present-day Lithuania, occupying Nazis shot nearly 100,000 people, then exhumed and burned the bodies in an effort to remove all traces of the atrocity. The prisoners forced to dig up and burn the bodies of their countrymen knew there was only one way to get out alive: escape.
Digging Through The Past to Understand the Present
Revisit a fascinating story from Smithsonian Magazine on what the discovery of a 3,500-year-old soldier’s tomb in southwestern Greece tells us about the Mycenaeans, the Minoans, and the roots of Western civilization.
This 3,500-Year-Old Greek Tomb Upended What We Thought We Knew About the Roots of Western Civilization
The recent discovery of the grave of an ancient soldier is challenging accepted wisdom among archaeologists, calling into question our most basic ideas about European history.
When Cecil B. DeMille Went Way Over Budget
David Ferry, writing in Outside about the extravagant faux-Egyptian set built for Cecil B. DeMille’s 1923 film “The Ten Commandments.”
Really Old Stuff: A Reading List About Our Prehistoric Past
Four stories that take us millennia back into the past.