Knowing the past to predict the future

Alexandre Chevalier studies plants from the past. He is convinced that this knowledge can help us to grow food in a more sustainable way.

Did our ancestors fancy birds for dinner?

Nowadays, 98 million tons of chicken are consumed every year, making it the second most consumed meat in the world, after pork. BUt what about the past? Well, Quentin Goffette tries to find out which place birds occupied in the daily life (or menu) of our ancestors. 

Fish bones: more than a detail in archeology!

"The study of a simple fishbone, provides us with a lot of insights on economic, ecologic and social level." Needless to say Wim Wouters is a fan of fish bones. He investigates fish remains from numerous archeological sites in order to reconstruct the history of fishing. 

Did Neandertals breakdance?

Were Neandertals able to breakdance? We bet you never thought of that question before, but that you're dying to know the answer by now. Well, Tara Chapman virtually (re)constructs skeletons of Neandertals and fuses them to movement of modern human to find out how they could have moved about.

What plant remains tell us about the history of Brussels

Cesspits, you undoubtedly prefer to leave them closed. But that's not the case with 'plant archeologist' Lien Speleers. For her, cesspools offer treasures of information that help her to reconstruct the history of Brussels.
De Munck
KU Leuven

Why did nurses not receive proper pay for a long time?

In 2020, we applauded en masse for our healthcare heroes. But did you know that for a very long time, nurses in Belgium hardly got paid or did not get paid at all? And that they hardly received any recognition? Historian Luc De Munck explains why that was the case.
De Mol

Was Cleopatra poor at spelling? ✍ ❌

Aproved"* reads a Royal Decree that was possibly signed by Cleopatra (or at least by one of her ministers). But how did such a spelling error get into such an important document? Couldn't Cleopatra and her ministers spell? That's what classicist Geert De Mol (Ghent University) is looking into in his PhD.

The power of singing together

Football supporters, the scouts, students, churchgoers, ... They all like to sing together because singing together unites. People were already aware of this in the 18th century. In her research, Renée Vulto (Ghent University) looks at how singing together was used as a political instrument at that time, in order to strengthen national identity and create a sense of belonging.
De Picker
KU Leuven

Forgotten war heroes

On Armistice Day we traditionally commemorate the tens of thousands of fallen soldiers of WWI & WW II. But what happened to the almost 200,000 disabled soldiers and civilians of the world wars? This is what Marisa De Picker (KU Leuven) is researching in her PhD.

The woman in medieval Islamic philosophy

Did you know that the Greek philosopher Aristotle considered the idea that the woman is inferior to the man as a scientific fact? But how did Islamic philosophers of the Middle Ages, who were quite fond of Aristotle, think about the role of women? Completely different, according to the research of philosopher Tineke Melkebeek.  

Fights with the police: were things better in the old days?

On social media clips of skirmishes between citizens and the police regularly pop up and, in a flash, go viral. They elicit a lot of reactions, not least the classic "things used to be better in the old days". But was there less violence on the streets in the past? Historian Martin Schoups delves into documents from 19th-century Antwerp.
L. Smith

Surviving in dry environments: lessons from the past

As a result of climate change, more and more areas in the world are suffering from drought. Can we draw lessons from the Ancient past, where people learned to adapt to life in arid regions of the Near East and built entire communities there?