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Tech Tonic

Digging up the past


You might have hated it as a subject in school, but then it's probably because our textbooks were written in a way that made history extremely hard to revisit. Still, if you want to give the subject another chance - and you won't regret it - the chronicles of the past tend to be so much more entertaining than the best piece of fiction. From "badass" invaders and scandalous women to a voyeuristic view into the lives of everyday people, the websites in this list are nothing if not informative and yet, splendidly entertaining.

>> www. HistoryWorld. net

Easily one of the most comprehensive portals on the web, HistoryWorld covers more than 10, 000 events. So be it the 16th century, the civilizations of Peru, Italian architecture, World War I, or the Byzantine empire, one click will get you a chronological list of events on your chosen topic.

The 'Timelines' feature - complete with photos and additional information where possible - comes with a navigation bar that lets you 'slide' back and forth in time
HistoryWorld also showcases new subjects every day, which range from French art to Charlie Chaplin. Along with providing in-depth information, it also gives you a reason to keep going back daily.

>> www. TimeMaps. com

How did civilisation evolve over the centuries? See it all unfold on an atlas of the world. Check out how the Middle East has grown, from the Ancient Mesopotamian or Sumerian civilisations to Ancient Israel, and further into the Persian and Indo-Greek empires.

The timeline in each section - whether Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greeks or Roman Empire - can be 'zoomed' in or out to show you events marked on the calendar.
Of course, clicking on any one part of the map provides you with further data about that region's history.

Along with details about any period, TimeMaps also lists corresponding events from around the world at that time to give you a quick global perspective. Fascinating stuff!

>> BadassOfTheWeek. com

Ever heard of the Viking nobleman Rurik? No? Head over to this website to read up about the man who is widely credited with forming Russia.

The best part of this site however is the way author Ben Thompson chronicles events. Sample this: "His tale starts back in the 9th century, when Rurik and the Vikings were having a blast sailing their totally rad dragon-headed longships down the twisting waterways of present-day Russia, stopping every so often to bludgeon the holy living bejeezus out of anything stupid enough to be situated on waterfront property. "

Don't let the easy style of writing fool you though. Thompson meticulously researches each subject before writing a short biography of a cool historical figure (and at times, even fictional ones like Darth Vader or Batman).
But be warned: Thompson is prone to pepper his prose with profanity. As he puts it, "If you're easily offended by that sort of thing then this would be a good time for you to turn off your computer and go join a convent. "

>> ScandalousWoman. Blogspot. Com

If you were wondering who the original diva was, you needn't look too far away from Pauline Bonaparte - Napoleon's kid sister. The promiscuous princess bathed in milk every day, and her famous last words were, "I'm not afraid to die. I am still beautiful. "
Many other tales like these are housed at Scandalous Woman, where blogger Elizabeth Kerri Mahon writes stories of the most fascinating women in history. Each post is extremely well researched, but the treat lies in how she expertly narrates each of them.

"Well-behaved women don't make history, " wrote historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, and Mahon proves it.

>> www. IndianMemoryProject. com

When the Beatles performed at a private function in Delhi in 1966, Delhi University's first girl rock band, the Mad Hatters, were given front row seats. It's a story you might not hear of unless you visit the Indian Memory Project, where anyone from our subcontinent is free to send in photographs and a write-up about it to the curator, Anusha Yadav.

The project looks to create a "personal history" of India through old pictures and from the lives of ordinary people.

There are stories of separation in war;of the captain of the first Indian cricket team to play England;of a beauty icon who went on to become a governor - all spinning the untold story of an India discovering herself.

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