Mesopotamia

‘The Cheesemonger’ by Eric Ravilious.

Round and ripe: the role of cheese in global history

3 December 2016 9:00 am

‘Blessed are the cheesemakers.’ The line from Life of Brian is followed by: ‘It’s not meant to be taken literally.…

The refrigerator takes centre stage at a 1920s luncheon party

Cooling is as important to civilisation as making fire — only much harder

1 August 2015 9:00 am

Modern civilisation depends on refrigeration — but we have been trying to manufacture cold for at least 4,000 years, says Michael Bywater

The Islamic State is destroying the greatest melting pot in history

23 August 2014 9:00 am

The fighters of the Islamic State are bringing a deadly new intolerance to a territory rich in ancient sects

View of Baghdad in 1918

Baghdad's rise, fall – and rise again

31 May 2014 9:00 am

Ali A. Allawi on the fluctuating fortunes of Iraq’s fabled capital