🎧 The Ancients

🎧 The Ancients

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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
  • 🎧 Origins of Water

    When you envision what Earth was like 4.5 billion years ago, shortly after its creation, images of dust-filled air and raging volcanoes tend to come to mind. However, amidst all that chaos, hidden within the rocks and atmosphere, what if water was also present? Traveling back to the beginning of ...

  • 🎧 The Picts

    Originating around the 3rd Century BCE and later designated official adversaries of the Roman Empire, the Picts wreaked havoc across the northern fringes of Roman Britain. But due to their limited presence in the archaeological record and the complexities of multiple kings, kingdoms, and language...

  • 🎧 The First Spears

    According to the work of today's guest, Dr Annemieke Milks, humans were using spears approximately 400,000 years ago. Thanks to fragments of wooden spears incredibly well preserved at sites like Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, and SchΓΆningen in Germany, there's now evidence to show our early ancestors w...

  • 🎧 Australopithecus: Who Was Lucy?

    For millions of years, Australopithecus thrived in Africa's vast landscapes, laying the groundwork for the emergence of the Homo genus. Later, alongside early members of the Homo genus, Australopithecus played a crucial role in shaping human evolution and our present-day existence.

    In this epi...

  • 🎧 Ravenna and the Fall of Rome

    The fall of the Western Roman Empire stands as one of the most monumental moments in ancient history, symbolising the end of centuries of Roman dominance in the Mediterranean. However, amidst the crumbling of Rome, the city of Ravenna emerged as a prominent center, eventually surpassing Milan as ...

  • 🎧 Boudica's Battle of Britain

    The Celtic queen who led a major uprising against the Roman Empire in ancient Britain, Boudicca, is a name known throughout history. Her rebellion, fuelled by grievances against Roman oppression and with the aim of protecting her people, resulted in the destruction of numerous Roman settlements, ...

  • 🎧 Origins of Horse Riding

    Human and Horse relationships have long be intertwined; from the ancient Eurasian plain, through to modern cowboys. But how did these huge, independent creatures become domesticated - and what was the original intention behind such an act? Originally tamed for their meat and milk, the domesticati...

  • 🎧 Babylon and the Bible

    When looking at the Hebrew Bible, the city of Babylon plays a prominent role - especially in the Old Testament. A city famed for it's architectural beauty and gardens, also holds stories of suffering and captivity. Travelling back to the 6th Century BCE, the Babylonian Captivity was a defining mo...

  • 🎧 The Cyrus Cylinder

    An ancient clay artefact that dates back to the 6th century BCE, the Cyrus Cylinder is often considered one of the most important documents in history. Covered in Akkadian inscriptions that provide invaluable insight into the reign of Cyrus the Great - it focuses on Cyrus's conquering of Babylon ...

  • 🎧 Hanging Gardens of Babylon

    A legendary, ancient architectural wonder, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon are one of the most famed wonders of the Ancient world. Described in cuneiform texts, and even the bible, as being a luscious green space - likened to distant mountains, and fed by the Euphrates river, it's hard to know wha...

  • 🎧 Poverty Point: Centre of Ancient America

    An ancient, colossal site in Northeastern Louisiana, Poverty Point is a mystery amongst archaeologist and anthropologists a like. Dating back nearly 4 millennia, Poverty Point is renowned for it's massive earthworks, with gigantic concentric circles, complex mounds, and towering ridges - it's a s...

  • 🎧 Nebuchadnezzar

    One of the most famous Babylonian Kings - Nebuchadnezzar II was a legendary ruler who appears in biblical stories, cuneiform texts, and was immortalised in monumental architecture. Ruling Babylon at it's imperial height, and commanding an empire that spanned from the Mediterranean to the Persian ...

  • 🎧 Messalina: Empress of Rome

    In this episode of The Ancients, host Tristan Hughes speaks with historian Honor Cargill-Martin about the notorious Empress Messalina, third wife of Emperor Claudius. A lot has been said about Messalina over two millennia: that she was a nymphomaniac who organised orgies and engaged in prostituti...

  • 🎧 Alexander The Great's Sex Life

    This episode contains references and words of a sexual nature.

    Did Alexander the Great and the Queen of the Amazons really have sex for 13 days solid? What do we know about his male lovers? And how did his sex life stand up to that of his dad’s?

    Today, the guest is our very own Tristan Hughes, ...

  • 🎧 King Midas

    As Shirley Bassey once said, "He's the man. The man with the Midas touch." But who was the man that's inspired stories from Greek myths to Bond bangers?

    In this episode, Tristan Hughes is joined by archaeologist and classicist Professor Brian Rose to discuss the real King Midas, ruler of the Phr...

  • 🎧 Lilith: Mesopotamian Demoness

    Perhaps a name better known for recent appearances in horror films - Lilith is a woman who's origins go far beyond that of the Hollywood screens. Often blamed for illnesses, ailments, and male embarrassment - Lilith is force to be reckoned with. So just where does Lilith come from, and can ancien...

  • 🎧 Athens: Birthplace of Democracy?

    When we think of democracy in the ancient Greek world, our minds often go straight to Athens, the purported birthplace of democracy. But was Athens truly the home of democracy? And if so, who's responsible for giving a voice to the people?

    In this episode, Tristan chats to Professor Paul Cartled...

  • 🎧 Knossos

    The legend of the Minotaur and its labyrinth has captivated us for centuries, but is there any evidence of it really existing?

    In this episode, Tristan visits the Ashmolean museum in Oxford to interview Dr. Andrew Shapland, the curator of a new exhibition exploring the Bronze Age settlement of K...

  • 🎧 The First Toolmakers

    Invention and innovation are two concepts that have propelled humankind forward for as long as people can remember - but who were the first, original tool makers, and what can we learn from them? Travelling back nearly 3 million years ago to the African continent, in modern Kenya, recent archaeol...

  • 🎧 Iron Age Scotland: Clachtoll Broch

    Across northern Scotland, you can still see the skeletal remains of prehistoric skyscrapers known as brochs. These enigmatic drystone towers dominated the landscape 2,500 years ago - yet so much of their story remains shrouded in mystery. One of the most incredible structures still visible today ...

  • 🎧 The Great Fire of Rome

    In July 64AD, the Great Fire of Rome tore across the city, and ultimately burnt two thirds of Rome to ashes before it could be bought under control. A devastating event that can still be seen in the archaeology today, it ultimately led to the first persecution against the early Roman Christians. ...

  • 🎧 Athena: Goddess of Wisdom

    This episode contains graphic references of a sexual nature.

    Athena is the goddess of wisdom, tactical war and skilled craft in Greek mythology.

    She is the favourite daughter of Zeus and Metis, and is actually born from Zeus himself. She is one of the most recognisable Greek divinities, often d...

  • 🎧 Rise of the Assyrians

    At its pinnacle, the kingdom of Assyria stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf, a feat few could compare with in 660BCE. With Assyria's conquests documented by contemporary Greek historians, and even in the Hebrew Bible, nearly two millennia of studies have revealed a rich pictu...

  • 🎧 Alexandria: The Sunken City

    The Egyptian city of Alexandria was one of the greatest cities of the ancient Mediterranean world. Founded by Alexander the Great himself in 323BC, the metropolis was nurtured by his successors in Egypt, the Ptolemies, and flourished throughout the Late Hellenistic and Roman Imperial periods. Its...