🎧 The Ancients

🎧 The Ancients

A podcast for all ancient history fans! The Ancients is dedicated to discussing our distant past. Featuring interviews with historians and archaeologists, each episode covers a specific theme from antiquity. From Neolithic Britain to the Fall of Rome. Hosted by Tristan Hughes.

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🎧 The Ancients
  • 🎧 Treasures of Tutankhamun

    One of the most famous names in history - who is Tutankhamun? In 1922 Howard Carter discovered one the most intact ancient tombs in history, filled with 5,000 priceless artefacts from the boy-king's life. But is Howard Carter truly responsible for this momentous discovery? And what can we learn a...

  • 🎧 Rise of the Persians

    The Achaemenid Empire, or better known as the First Persian Empire, was one of the largest empires in History - led by Cyrus the Great it covered 2.1 million square miles. But where did it come from? And what do we know about their society? It was in their DNA to travel and explore - so why did t...

  • 🎧 Prosthetics in Antiquity

    Prosthetics - an artificial feature or body part commonly used to either help restore functions of lost limbs, or change a person's appearance. Today, advancements in technology mean prosthetics can sense touch and be controlled by the mind - a far cry from their origins in antiquity as ivory emb...

  • 🎧 Ancient Americas: the South American Stonehenge

    One of the largest archaeological sites in South America, located near Lake Titicaca in Western Bolivia - Tiwanaku is a brilliantly mysterious place. Believed to have been founded around 200BC, Tiwanaku is filled with monumental structures, mighty monoliths and incredible ceramics - but who built...

  • 🎧 Ancient Americas: The Moche

    Known for their iconic ceramics and notable artwork - the Moche people flourished in ancient northern Peru. But who were the people behind the clay?

    In this special bonus episode of our Ancient Americas series, Tristan is joined by Doctor Jeffrey Quilter from Harvard University to tell us more a...

  • 🎧 Ancient Americas: The Olmec Heads

    One of the the earliest Mesoamerican civilisations discovered so far - Olmec influences are visible throughout history. But who were they? And what do we actually know about them?

    In the third episode of our 'Ancient Americas' series, Tristan is joined by Professor Jillian Mollenhauer to help sh...

  • 🎧 The Origins of Jerusalem

    One of the oldest cities in history, and revered by religions across the world - what do we know about the origins of Jerusalem?

    In this episode, Tristan is joined, once again, by Professor Jodi Magness to talk us through the origins of this important city. Looking at evidence from Egyptian New ...

  • The Ancient Americas: Teotihuacan

    A jewel of Mesoamerica, Teotihuacan was a vibrant, painted city - but who built it? And who actually lived there?

    In the second episode of our August series 'The Ancient Americas', Tristan is joined by professor Annabeth Headrick to help shine a light on one of ancient history's most marvellous ...

  • 🎧 The Oracle of Delphi

    "If Croesus goes to war he will destroy a great empire." That was the prophecy the Oracle of Delphi delivered to the Lydian King - she just left out that fact it was his own empire that would be destroyed.

    Known as the Pythia, the Oracle of Delphi was the High Priestess of the Temple of Apollo a...

  • 🎧 The Ancient Americas: The Maya Calendar: Debunking the Apocalypse

    One of the most famous, and sophisticated, cultures of Mesoamerica, why are the Maya known only for predicting the end of the world?

    In the first episode of our new mini series 'The Ancient Americas', Tristan is joined by Professor Matthew Restall from Penn State University to help debunk the id...

  • 🎧 Hannibal vs Rome: Hannibal's Greatest Victory

    One of the most studied military victories in history, and arguably one of the worst Roman defeats - what went wrong for the Romans at Cannae?

    In our final episode in the Hannibal mini-series, Dr Louis Rawlings explains just what happened at Cannae in 216BCE, and why that battle is still so impo...

  • 🎧 Hannibal vs Rome: the Road to Cannae

    One of the greatest military commanders in history - it's no wonder Hannibal and Rome so frequently fought.

    In the second episode of our Hannibal mini-series, Tristan is once again joined by Dr Louis Rawlings from Cardiff University to examine Hannibal's movements and clashes post-Trasimene.

    Lo...

  • 🎧 Yorkshire's Roman Mystery: The Ryedale Hoard

    In May 2020, four unique Roman artefacts were unearthed near Ampleforth, North Yorkshire by two amateur metal detectorists. A bronze bust that is thought to depict Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, a beautifully crafted horse, and a one of a kind figurine of the Roman god Mars, to name a few.

    But w...

  • 🎧 Hannibal vs Rome: Terror at Trasimene

    Towards the beginning of the Second Punic War on 21 June 217 BC, a Carthaginian force under Hannibal launched a vicious ambush on a Roman army commanded by Gaius Flaminius.

    The resulting battle, at Lake Trasimene in Italy, saw a complete capitulation of the Roman forces - with thousands of legio...

  • 🎧 The Origins of Rome

    Known as the Eternal City, ancient Rome was one of the greatest civilisations in human history, but how did it come about?

    With a turbulent history of Kings, civil wars and imperial desires - Rome has an incredible history. But who founded it? Were Romulus and Remus real brothers fighting for th...

  • 🎧 The Sumerians

    Despite being one of the first civilisations in human history, Sumer is not as well-known as other Bronze Age societies such as Babylonia and, of course, Ancient Egypt.

    Recent research indicates that the first ever writing system emerged in the Sumerian heartland of southern Mesopotamia around 3...

  • 🎧 The Rise of Cleopatra

    Famed across the ages and around the world - everyone knows the name Cleopatra. But how did she become one of the most infamous women in history?
    Born in 69BCE, a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty in hellenistic Egypt, Cleopatra VII lived a tumultuous life. Within two turbulent decades of taking th...

  • 🎧 The Rise of Rome: The Fall of the Samnites

    In the final part of our Samnite Wars episodes, Tristan is once again joined by Dr Kathryn Lomas from Durham University to find out more about these conflicts and the effect they had on the rise of Rome as an ancient superpower. With three wars between the Roman Republic and the Samnite armies, b...

  • 🎧 Rise of Rome: The First Samnite War

    In this first episode of a two-parter on the Samnite Wars, we focus in on one of Rome’s greatest rivals in early Italy. Based in modern day Campania, who were the Samnites?

    With three wars between the Roman Republic and the Samnite armies, beginning in 343 BC and the ending with a Roman victor...

  • 🎧 Prehistoric Rock Art of Atlantic Europe

    Dozens of incredible examples of prehistoric rock art have been found across western Europe in recent decades - but what do they mean?

    Artworks can be discovered all along the Atlantic seaboard, from Spain to Scotland, where one stunning example was uncovered just last year. Ancient peoples left...

  • 🎧 Sparta and the Nazis

    Ancient Sparta was co-opted by the Nazis as a supposed model civilisation for the Third Reich’s twisted racial and martial ideologies.

    German children were taught that the Spartans had originally been an β€˜Aryan’ tribe, and that they should aspire to Laconian ideals such as endurance, discipline ...

  • 🎧 The First Americans

    Modern humans thrived in the Americas for thousands of years before the first European colonists arrived, but how and when did they get there?

    What's more, did their arrival spell disaster for indigenous megafauna such as giant ground sloths and wooly mammoths, or was there another culprit behin...

  • 🎧 The Rise of Mammals

    They survived extinction level events and record high global temperatures - how did mammals adapt and thrive in a dramatically changing world? In today's episode, Tristan welcomes back Professor Steve Brusatte to uncover the origins of mammals. Going back to a time before the dinosaurs, from liza...

  • 🎧 The Image of God

    Often pictured with a flowing white beard, looking down from Heaven - why is God always seen as an old man? In today's episode, Francesca Stavrakopoulou, whose latest book 'God: an Anatomy' has been shortlisted for the Wolfson prize, is here to debunk those images. Using archaeological material a...