Ancient Cultures

Ancient Cultures


Jul 2

Herod the Great’s Ancient Gardens

By: Marek Dospěl

Learn how scholars identify ancient gardens, what Herod’s gardens looked like, and how they fit in the larger landscape.


Jul 1

High Places, Altars and the Bamah

By: Ellen White

The open-air altar shrine, called a bamah (plural bamot), is known through several books of the Biblical canon. Often referred to as “high places” in translations of the Bible, bamot were worship sites that usually contained an altar.

Jun 28

Hezekiah’s Religious Reform—In the Bible and Archaeology

By: David Rafael Moulis

According to the Hebrew Bible, Hezekiah “removed the high places, broke down the pillars and cut down the sacred pole” (2 Kings 18:4). What was Hezekiah’s religious reform like on the ground, and what were his motives?


Jun 13

Classical Corner: The Antonine Plague and the Spread of Christianity

By: Sarah K. Yeomans

Did the Antonine Plague influence shifts in religious practices at the end of the second century C.E.?


Jun 2

Akhenaten and Moses

By: Robin Ngo

Pharaoh Akhenaten, who abolished the Egyptian pantheon and instituted worship of a single deity, the sun-disk Aten, in the mid-14th century B.C., may have established the world’s first monotheism. Did this influence the birth of Israelite monotheism?


May 31

10 Things to Know About the Assyrian Empire

By: Robin Ngo

The Assyrians referenced in the Hebrew Bible were a mighty force that exerted power over much of the Near East, including Israel and Judah, in the ninth through seventh centuries B.C.E.


May 29

Classical Corner: Checking Out Roman Libraries

By: Christina Triantafillou

Excavations in the city of Cologne have uncovered the remains of Germany’s oldest library.


May 23

Cheers! Scholars Brew Ancient Beer with Millennia-Old Ingredients

By: Robin Ngo

A recently published paper describes researchers using ancient ingredients to recreate ancient beers.


May 22

The Decline of the Neo-Assyrian Empire

By: Robin Ngo

A recent study argues that overpopulation and drought may have contributed to the rapid demise of the Neo-Assyrian Empire.

May 20

The Last Days of Hattusa

By: Trevor Bryce

In the latter part of the second millennium B.C., the Hittite empire was a Near Eastern superpower. Then, suddenly, the empire collapsed and Hattusa was invaded and destroyed.