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Article by Trustees of the British Museum

Illness and medicine in Roman Britain

Although medical science was still in its infancy during Roman times, knowledge of medicinal plants was widespread and sick people may have been treated with herbal remedies by relatives and friends. Environment, diet, exercise and hygiene...
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Article by Trustees of the British Museum

The people of Iron Age Britain

The people of Iron Age Britain were physically very similar to many modern Europeans and there is no reason to suppose that all Iron Age Britons had the same hair colour, eye colour or skin complexion. Iron Age Britons spoke one or more...
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Article by Trustees of the British Museum

The health of Iron Age Britons

It is likely that many people in Iron Age Britain would have died from diseases as babies or children. Many of those people who survived to be adults rarely lived beyond the ages of 35-45. Only about a third of all adults lived longer...
Assyrian reliefs
Article by Trustees of the British Museum

Assyrian reliefs

Mostly dating from the period 880-612 BCE, these carved scenes are found on free-standing stelae and as panels cut on cliffs and rocks at distant places reached by the Assyrian kings during their campaigns. The most spectacular use of stone...
The Battle of Colmar (58 BCE): Caesar against Ariovistus
Article by Jona Lendering

The Battle of Colmar (58 BCE): Caesar against Ariovistus

The Battle of Colmar (58 BCE): one of the first battles of the Gallic War, in which Caesar defeated an army led by the Germanic leader Ariovistus. In 58 BCE, Julius Caesar had invaded Central Gaul. The pretext had been the plan of the...
Making and decorating Athenian black- and red-figure vases
Article by Trustees of the British Museum

Making and decorating Athenian black- and red-figure vases

The first stage in making a pot is to dig the clay out of the ground. Pieces of grit or plant matter must be removed before the clay can be used. This was done in ancient times, as it is today, by mixing the clay with water and letting the...
Greek vases: names, shapes and functions
Article by Jan van der Crabben

Greek vases: names, shapes and functions

The system of names used today for Greek vases has quite rightly been described by one leading scholar as 'chaotic'. Many of the names were first applied in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by scholars who tried to fit the names of...
Greek Vase Painters & Potters
Article by Trustees of the British Museum

Greek Vase Painters & Potters

We know the names of some potters and painters of Greek vases because they signed their work. Generally a painter signed his name followed by some form of the verb 'painted', while a potter (or perhaps the painter writing for him) signed...
Firing Athenian black and red figure vases
Article by Trustees of the British Museum

Firing Athenian black and red figure vases

A distinctive red and black colour scheme characterises most of the painted pottery of sixth- and fifth-century Athens. The colours result from the skilful exploitation of the high iron content of Athenian clay by an ingenious process of...
Initiation of religions in India
Article by Sanujit

Initiation of religions in India

The religious practices of the early Indo-Aryans, known as the Vedic religion (1500 BCE to 500 BCE) were written down and later redacted into the Samhitas, four canonical collections of hymns or mantras, called the Veda, in archaic Sanskrit...
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