The British Museum excavation team work in Sidon

Ancient Sidon: Sifting through the city's deadly history

Among its ruins, Robert Fisk joins an archaeological dig that could transform our understanding of Lebanon’s bloody past

The skeleton of a man at Sozopol in Bulgaria, with an iron stake driven through his chest

Land of the tomb raiders: Bulgaria is trying to claw back tens of thousands of ancient artefacts plundered from its historic sites in a £25m-a-year export racket

Greeks, Romans, Thracians, Byzantines and Ottomans all fought countless wars to gain control of its fertile lands at the crossroads of Europe and Asia

Beowulf is depicted in his battle against Grendel

Feasting and fighting: the long-lost secrets of Beowulf

Archaeologists in Denmark have excavated the sixth-century great dining hall at the centre of the epic work

The gardens were probably situated in Nineveh, a city located in what is now in the north of modern-day Iraq

The biggest wonder about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon? They weren’t in Babylon

Oxford historian gathers evidence that proves ancient marvel was located 300 miles away

Pompeii: Life and death in the shadow of Vesuvius

A blockbuster exhibition of artefacts salvaged from the volcanic eruption that decimated the Roman city of Pompeii 2,000 years ago opens in New York today.

Greatest finds of the year

Grunts from the front: From Roman tablets to army blogs

Humans have always fought each other, but the written narrative of warfare begins about 6,000 years ago with documents detailing a conflict between Elam and Sumer (modern-day Iran and Iraq). Since then military history has been dominated by the official story of leaders and their strategic political and military decisions. Wars have rarely been narrated by the ordinary foot soldier, pilot or sailor.

David Lister: Craft does not make art – it takes originality

As a debate, "what is art" prefigures most art. France's celebrated prehistoric cave paintings probably had assorted cavemen raising their clubs as they declared: "I may not know much about art but I know what I like." And within the last couple of weeks, there has been an earnest debate in the pages of The Independent on the nature of art. This was sparked by Sir Richard Eyre's polemic on the subject, in which he said, among many other things, that art "makes us look at the world differently".

Huge ice age river carved the English Channel

Prehistoric Fleuve Manche cut through land bridge to Europe, say scientists

Prehistoric Masterpieces: The Swimmers and The Beast

The inhospitable plateau of Gilf Kebir in the far south-west Egyptian desert was once home to an early Egyptian civilization, who left behind spectacular cave art.

Best of the stones: The ancient structures at Stonehenge are truly rocks of ages

You know Stonehenge, of course: a haunting silhouette from the past that stands gaunt and defiant on the chalky grassland of Wiltshire, just where the busy A303 and A344 meet. This inspirational stone circle, a triumph of the human spirit, was bequeathed millennia ago. It is now protected by English Heritage and forms part of a Unesco World Heritage Site.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference