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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.  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

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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.  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

The Rise and Fall of Roman London

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In 43 AD, the Romans set up temporary forts along the banks of a river to wait for their Emperor, Claudius, to march onto the enemy capital of Camulodunum (Colchester), and eventually conquer Britain. The river was the River Thames. At the time, it was an area of marshy low-lying land, mostly composed of little islands. A far cry from the wall enclaved mercantile seat of authority it would become.

In today’s episode, Tristan is joined by Professor Dominc Perring, Director of the UCL Centre for Applied Archaeology, to discuss what the archaeology and history can tell us about the rise and fall of Roman Britain’s capital, Londinium.

For more Ancients content, subscribe to our Ancients newsletter here.

If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!

For your chance to win 5 Historical Non-Fiction Books (including a signed copy of Dan Snow's On This Day in History), please fill out this short survey.

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Oct 02 2022

1hr 1min

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The Real King Arthur: Ambrosius Aurelianus

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A friend of Merlin, the husband of Guinevere, and the inspiration for numerous Hollywood blockbusters - the story of King Arthur is known by many across the globe, but who is the man behind the myth?

Ambrosius Aurelianus emerged from the chaos of 5th Century AD Britain in the aftermath of the Roman retreat and is believed to be the main inspiration for the Legend of King Arthur. In this episode Tristan welcome Dr Miles Russell back to the podcast to talk about who Ambrosius Aurelianus was, and the legacy that he left behind. A Celtic hero who fought valiantly against the Saxons and who was tied up in legends of his own, Ambroisus Aurelianus should be a name just as well known as the mythical King of Camelot.

For more Ancients content, subscribe to our Ancients newsletter here. If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Sep 29 2022

46mins

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Top Five Dinosaurs

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They’re big. They’re fierce. And they’re extinct.

This is how today’s guest - palaeontologist, evolutionary biologist and Senior Editor of the science journal Nature, Henry Gee, sums up why we have a continued fascination with dinosaurs.

Join Tristan and Henry as they take a deep dive into their top five dinosaurs - from the Iguanodon to the Tyrannosaurus rex, plus a few surprises along the way.

For more Ancients content, subscribe to our Ancients newsletter here.

If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!

While you’re here, to be in with a chance of winning 5 Historical Non Fiction Books (with one being a signed copy of Dan Snow’s On This Day in History), please fill our this short survey so we can try and make your listening experience even better.

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Sep 25 2022

45mins

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Karnak: Egypt's Greatest Temple

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Located on the banks of the River Nile in Luxor, Egypt, the Karnak Temple complex is one of the largest buildings ever constructed for religious purposes. Dedicated to the god Amun-Ra and covering over 200 acres - the Karnak Temple complex is bigger than some ancient cities.

Earlier this year, Tristan visited the Temple complex, and spoke to the Director of Karnak Temples, El-Tayeb Gharieb Mahmoud. In this special, on location episode, Tristan and Tayeb give us a tour of one of the most colossal sites left from the ancient world. Journeying around the complex, looking at the reliefs, architecture, and reflecting on the Pharaohs responsible for it's construction - what can we learn from this 4,000 year old building?

For more Ancients content, subscribe to our Ancients newsletter here. If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Sep 22 2022

39mins

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Art of Neolithic Orkney

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Located in the Northern Isles of Scotland, Orkney is a remote and wild environment. With over 5000 years of history, this small archipelago of islands is a treasure trove of ancient sites and secrets.

Today Tristan is joined by Archaeologist Dr Antonia Thomas to talk about the art in some of the incredible sites and excavations across Orkney. Touching on famous locations like Skara Brae, or the legendary tomb Maeshowe, what can neolithic art tell us about the lives of the people who lived there 5000 years ago?

For more Ancients content, subscribe to our Ancients newsletter here. If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Sep 18 2022

44mins

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Neanderthals

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Neanderthals are stereotypically viewed as thoughtless savages - but is this an accurate depiction or was there more to Neanderthal society?

Discovered only 160 years ago what can they tell us about the Palaeolithic past? In this episode, Tristan is joined by archaeologist and author Rebecca Wragg Sykes to help dispel some of these myths. Using cutting edge technology and looking at recent discoveries, archaeologists are able to give a clearer picture of what Neanderthal life was actually like. With evidence of seafood in their diet, the advanced use of tools and managing to survive for 300,000 years - there's more to Neanderthal's than meets the eye.

For more Ancients content, subscribe to our Ancients newsletter here. If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Sep 15 2022

45mins

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Treasures of Tutankhamun

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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 about Tutankhamun beyond his famous death mask?

In a special live episode from the Chalke Valley History Festival, Tristan is joined by Egyptologist and author Toby Wilkinson to talk about some of the most impressive finds from the tomb. With a variety of artefacts ranging from precious scarab beetles to Tutankhamun's personal trumpet - what can these wondrous objects tell us about life in Ancient Egypt?

For more Ancients content, subscribe to our Ancients newsletter here. If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Sep 08 2022

47mins

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Rise of the Persians

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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 the Persians settle on the Eurasian plateau?

Tristan is once again joined by Professor Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones from Cardiff University to talk about the rise of the Persians and how they fit into this turbulent period of ancient history. The first society to have worn trousers, the original cowboys, and some of the first peoples to domesticate animals - the rise of the Persian empire dramatically effected intercontinental relationships for years to come.

For more Ancients content, subscribe to our Ancients newsletter here. If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Sep 04 2022

44mins

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Prosthetics in Antiquity

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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 embellished arms or hair extensions made out of plant fibres.

In this episode, Tristan is joined by Dr Jane Draycott from University of Glasgow to talk about the brilliant uses of prosthetics in ancient societies, where the concept originated from, and how sources like Pliny the Elder and excavated wigs can tell us how their functions have changed across millennia.

For more Ancients content, subscribe to our Ancients newsletter here. If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Sep 01 2022

41mins

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Ancient Americas: the South American Stonehenge

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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 it? And why?

In the final episode of our Ancient Americas series, Tristan is joined by Dr Alexei Vranich to help shine a light on this spectacular site. With 20 tonne stones carried from miles away, across mountains and lakes - Tiwanaku is a site shrouded in mystery. Together Tristan and Alexei discuss this South American Stonehenge and try to understand how some simple reed rafts helped build this magnificent site.

For more Ancients content, subscribe to our Ancients newsletter here. If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Aug 28 2022

45mins

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Ancient Americas: The Moche

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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 about this incredible society. Temples, tombs and treasure - what do we know from these sources about the Moche, and what can we still learn?

For more Ancients content, subscribe to our Ancients newsletter here. If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Aug 25 2022

53mins

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Ancient Americas: The Olmec Heads

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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 shed some light on this mysterious civilisation. Taking a look at their culture, legacy, and their iconic colossal statues - what can we learn from the archaeology, and why were the Olmec so influential?

For more Ancients content, subscribe to our Ancients newsletter here. If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Aug 21 2022

42mins

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The Origins of Jerusalem

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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 Kingdom texts, the Hebrew Bible and other surviving literary accounts - where does the archaeology align with these sources, and what can it tell us about Jerusalem that these fascinating sources are unable to?

For more Ancients content, subscribe to our Ancients newsletter here. If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Aug 18 2022

42mins

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Ancient Americas: Teotihuacan

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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 mysteries. Taking us on a journey through the city, examining the monumental structures, the mythology it was built on, and a quick detour to the Temple of the Feathered Serpent - there is no doubt Teotihuacan is a treasure trove of information.

For more Ancients content, subscribe to our Ancients newsletter here. If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Aug 14 2022

51mins

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The Oracle of Delphi

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"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 at Delphi. Responsible for delivering divine prophecy to those that visited her - she was one of the most revered women in antiquity. In this episode, Tristan is joined by classicist and author Dr Garrett Ryan to talk all things prophecy. With fainting sheep, and godly intervention, was the Oracle really high on fumes - or is that a modern misconception?

For more Ancients content, subscribe to our Ancients newsletter here. If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Aug 11 2022

44mins

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Ancient Americas: Debunking The Maya Apocalypse

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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 idea of a Maya Apocalypse. Together, Tristan and Matthew take a look at where this idea of an apocalypse originated from, and why our modern conceptions of the Maya calendar are incorrect. A civilisation known for it's mathematical advancements, beautifully coloured buildings, and with Maya peoples still alive today - there's more to the Maya than we know.

For more Ancients content, subscribe to our Ancients newsletter here. If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Aug 07 2022

41mins

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Hannibal vs Rome: Hannibal's Greatest Victory

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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 important today.

With 50,000 Romans dead, 20,000 captured, and only 10,000 managing to escape - Cannae is truly Hannibal's greatest victory. Using tactics that are still studied and used in modern military academies and in the field, Cannae demonstrates the importance of knowing your terrain, dividing forces - and never underestimating an enemy that's smaller than you.

Previous Episodes

Hannibal vs Rome: Terror at Trasimene (Episode 1)

Hannibal vs Rome: The Road to Cannae (Episode 2)

For more Ancients content, subscribe to our Ancients newsletter here. If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Aug 04 2022

31mins

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Hannibal vs Rome: The Road to Cannae

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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.

Looking at the Roman reaction to their second defeat and what happened next, why are these 10 months so important? With horses bathing in vinegar, famed military strategies, and animals being sacrificed - what happened on the road to Cannae?

For more Ancients content, subscribe to our Ancients newsletter here.If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Jul 31 2022

32mins

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Yorkshire's Roman Mystery: The Ryedale Hoard

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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 who buried these beautiful artefacts - and what can they tell us about life in Roman Britain? In this episode Tristan takes a special behind the scenes look at one of Roman Britain's greatest mysteries: the Ryedale Hoard - now on display in the Yorkshire Museum.

To learn more about these mysterious objects, Tristan is joined by Yorkshire Museum curator Dr Lucy Creighton and metal detectorist Mark Didlick - who along with friend James Spark found the hoard buried in a field two years ago.

Watch the video version on YouTube

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Jul 28 2022

29mins

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Hannibal vs Rome: Terror at Trasimene

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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 legionaries meeting their end at the bottom of the blood-sopped waters.

In this episode - part of our special miniseries on Hannibal's wars with Rome - Tristan is joined by Dr Louis Rawlings from Cardiff University to discover more about the terror of Trasimene.

Produced by Annie Coloe. Edited by Aidan Lonergan.

For more Ancients content, subscribe to our Ancients newsletter here.

If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Jul 24 2022

39mins

Play