History In The Headlines

Author: Sarah Pruitt

Photo depicting sternum of Amara West skeleton with cancerous bone lesions. (Credit: British Museum)

3,200-Year-Old Skeleton is Oldest Known Case of Human Cancer

British researchers have found the earliest known case of human metastatic cancer in the skeleton of a young man who died around 1200 B.C. in ancient Egypt.

The BICEP2, or Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization, telescope. (Credit: Steffan Richter/Harvard University)

Scientists May Have Found Key to Unlock Big Bang Mystery

New findings announced this week support the theory that the universe underwent a fast and furious expansion just a fraction of a second after the Big Bang.

Illustration by Karen Carr

T. Rex’s Little Cousin: New Pygmy Tyrannosaur Discovered in Alaska

A newly discovered species of tyrannosaur roamed the ancient Arctic 70 million years ago and was about half the size of its close cousin, Tyrannosaurus rex.

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From King Cake to Zulu Coconuts: The History of 6 Mardi Gras Traditions

Explore the history behind six of the most famous Mardi Gras traditions, New Orleans-style.

Smithsonian researchers document one of the fossil whales from the Cerro Ballena site. (Credit Smithsonian Institution)

Scientists Probe Mystery Behind Chile’s Ancient Whale Graveyard

A new report provides insight into the amazing graveyard of fossilized whale skeletons unearthed during the construction of a Chilean highway.

Zircon crystal found in Jack Hills region of Australia (Credit: Jack Valley)

Scientists Confirm Crystal as Oldest Piece of Earth’s Crust

Researchers have confirmed that a tiny gem found in western Australia is the oldest known piece of Earth, dating back some 4.4 billion years.

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Legendary Admiral’s WWII Diary To Be Released Online

The newly digitized 4,000-page diary chronicles the daily operations of Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific during World War II.

Recreation of the Permian period (Credit: Getty Images)

Mass Extinction Occurred Much Faster Than Previously Thought

Some 252 million years ago, the planet’s largest mass extinction took place in only around 60,000 years — almost instantaneously, relative to geologic time.

HITH-Stonenge

New Study Reveals Source of Stonehenge Rocks

A new study of Stonehenge’s smaller rocks pinpoints their exact source, raising questions about how they may have been transported to the monument’s site.

Clovis-era tools originally discovered along with the remains of a one-year-old boy at a burial site in western Montana in 1968. (Credit: Sarah Anzic

Ancient Infant’s DNA Provides Key to Native American Ancestry

A new genetic study links Native Americans from both North and South America to the Clovis culture, which flourished in North America around 13,000 years ago.

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From Child Star to Diplomat: Remembering Shirley Temple Black

After becoming history’s most famous child movie star during the Depression era, Shirley Temple Black (1928-2014) reinvented herself as an accomplished diplomat.

animal pompeii

Pompeii-like Eruptions Killed Animals in Ancient China

Scientists think animals buried in a 120 million-year-old Chinese graveyard were killed instantly by volcanic eruptions similar to the one that destroyed Pompeii.

Ferdinand Porsche's P1 model car.

Ferdinand Porsche’s First Car Was Electric

The first car designed and built by Ferdinand Porsche—an electric vehicle from 1898—was recently uncovered in an Austrian garage after more than a century.