Lascaux Cave Paintings are discovered

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September 12, 1940

Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor and author of Meditations, is born

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April 26, 121

Rome founded

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April 21, 753 BCE
Minoan prince on mural painting

Was This Atlantis?

The PBS series Secrets of the Dead aired "Sinking Atlantis," about the Minoan civilization that is the original source of the Atlantis legend. One theory is that the final blow to a declining Minoan civilization was a volcanic eruption, as happened with Roman Pompeii. EDSITEment has a lesson plan on Pompeii, and another one on Greek Mythology, a period contemporaneous with the Minoans. Study other Minoan contemporaries with the lesson plans on Egypt’s Pyramids, and Ancient Mesopotamia, and view Minoan artifacts from the EDSITEment-reviewed Timeline of Art History.

Gold head dress

Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul

The nearly 230 artifacts in this exhibit were thought to be lost forever, casualties of the years of warfare, looting and destruction that followed the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and the rise of the Taliban in 1996. Instead most of them had been secretly hidden in crates in the Central Bank within the presidential palace in Kabul.

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Perseus Digital Library

An extensive collection of maps, texts, translations, and commentary for students of the ancient world and beyond.

The Birth of Cuneiform Writing


You are about to travel a timeline in Ancient Mesopotamia, and learn about the birth of writing.

  • Hammurabi's Code: What Does It Tell Us About Old Babylonia?

    Hammurabi ruled ancient Babylonia and a good part of the Mesopotamian basin

    King Hammurabi ruled Babylon, located along the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, from 1792-1750 BCE however, today he is most famous for a series of judgments inscribed on a large stone stele and dubbed Hammurabi's Code. In this lesson students will learn about the contents of the Code, and what it tells us about life in Babylonia in the 18th century BCE.

  • Lesson 1: The Phoenicians and the Beginnings of the Alphabet

    "Aleph," the first letter in the Phoenician alphabet

    This lesson is about the Phoenicians, who invented the alphabet inherited by the Greeks, Romans, and eventually, us.

  • Lessons of the Indian Epics: Following the Dharma

    Bathing in the Ganges, India. A 19th-century photograph.

    The epic poem the Ramayana is thought to have been composed more than 2500 years ago, and like the Iliad and the Odyssey, was originally transmitted orally by bards. This lesson plan is designed to allow instructors to explore Hindu culture by examining the characters of the Ramayana, and the choices they make. Students will be able to explore the Hindu concept of right behavior (dharma) through an investigation of the epic poem, the Ramayana.The epic poem the Ramayana is thought to have been composed more than 2500 years ago, and like the Iliad and the Odyssey, was originally transmitted orally by bards. This lesson plan is designed to allow instructors to explore Hindu culture by examining the characters of the Ramayana, and the choices they make. Students will be able to explore the Hindu concept of right behavior (dharma) through an investigation of the epic poem, the Ramayana.