Culture & Literature
History's Greatest Mysteries

History's Greatest Mysteries

Historys Greatest Mysteries

The study of history is all about uncovering the truth behind the mysteries of the past. In this special edition from the makers of History Revealed magazine, we play archaeological detective to get to the bottom of some of the biggest stories that have kept us guessing for centuries.

United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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in this issue

1 min.

The study of history is all about uncovering the truth behind the mysteries of the past. And while some civilisations are well documented, and some characters have their stories recorded for prosperity, far more often, it’s a case of piecing together the jigsaw to get to the truth. In this special edition of History Revealed magazine, we attempt to separate fact from fiction, we examine the evidence and play archaeological detective to try to get to the bottom of some of the most intriguing stories that have kept us guessing for centuries. Of course, we’ll never know all the answer, but don’t forget you can uncover more mysteries from the past every month in History Revealed ! editor@historyrevealed.com JEAN-MICHEL GIRARD/WWW.THE-ART-AGENCY.CO.UK X1, ARCANGEL IMAGES X1, ALAMY X2, GETTY X8…

33 min.
50 greatest mysteries

50 SS OURANG MEDAN Rumour has it that in June 1947, an SOS signal was sent by SS Ourang Medan, a Dutch freighter sailing near Sumatra and Malaysia. “All officers including captain are dead, lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead. I die”. "The decaying bodies of the entire ship’s crew were found strewn across the decks, uninjured but with faces twisted in horror. Were they, as some have suggested, victims of biological weapons, or was it something more sinister? 49 THE WEIGHT OF THE SOUL In early 19th-century Massachusetts, Dr Duncan MacDougall weighed six dying patients – five men and one woman. To his astonishment, the moment life left each of the patients, their weight reduced by 21 grams, something that didn’t happen in subsequent experiments on mice and dogs.…

1 min.
what’s the story?

The histories and mysteries of Ancient Egypt have held mankind in thrall for centuries - from magnificent pyramids that soar above the barren sands of the desert, to the cool, treasure-laden tombs of the pharaohs. But what is it about this ancient civilisation that still holds such fascination for so many, and what was life really like for those who lived, worked and died in the shadows of its unique monuments? Beginning c3150 BC with the unification of upper and lower Egypt, and ending with the invasion of Alexander the Great in 332 BC, Ancient Egypt’s legacy lives on in the treasures, tombs, monuments, mummies and artefacts, and in the life-giving Nile that still weaves its way across modern Egypt.…

3 min.
1 how they lived

Flowing north through Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea, the River Nile was the lifeblood of Ancient Egypt. Between July and September, its waters would swell with the monsoon rains of Ethiopia, flooding the land beyond its banks to create rich, fertile soil in which crops could be grown. Early huntergatherers began living in the Nile Valley some 120,000 years ago, but it was with the unification in c3100 BC of the lands along the Nile under one ruler that the story of Ancient Egypt began.Ancient Egyptian society was highly stratified, headed by a pharaoh and his elite group of nobles and priests. !e majority of the population seem to have been farmers, or worked in food production, but little written evidence remains of these people. Craftsmen and scribes enjoyed a…

3 min.
2 how they ruled

The notion of the all-powerful pharaoh remains one of the most enduring images of Ancient Egypt. The word ‘pharaoh’ literally means ‘Great House’, originally referring to the King’s palace, but became a name for Egyptian kings at some point between c1479 and c1425 BC. Pharaohs were Egypt’s political and religious leaders and were honoured as representatives of the gods on Earth. As such, they were central to Egyptian life, encompassing both the secular and the sacred, and expected to maintain the ma’at, or universal harmony, of their land. Protecting Egypt from foreign invasion, expanding its territories, and building monuments to honour the gods were all part of a pharaoh’s duties. As long as the pharaoh had the support of the gods, no ill could befall the country; if this was lost,…

2 min.
3 what they built

Size mattered in Ancient Egypt and nothing demonstrates this more than the magnificent temples, pyramids, tombs and monuments that still stand in the dry, arid sands of the Egyptian desert. Wood was hard to come by in Ancient Egypt, but there was a great deal of Sun-baked mud brick and stone, and it is this that was used to build much of the country’s architecture. Mud was collected from the Nile and placed in moulds before being left to dry into rough bricks. Usually used to build houses, mud bricks have also been found in the construction of royal palaces. Massive blocks of stone, however, which lasted longer than mud bricks and were much stronger, were used to construct Ancient Egypt’s magnificent temples and the pyramids in which pharaohs were buried. Tools…