Ancient History Encyclopedia is a non-profit educational website with a global vision: to provide the best ancient history information on the internet for free.
We combine different media, subjects and periods in interactive ways that will help readers understand both the "big picture" and the detail. Editorial review is a key component in our process to ensure highest quality.
"To provide the best ancient history information on the internet for free"
Ancient History Encyclopedia is a non-profit educational website with the mission to provide the best ancient history information on the internet for free. We exist as a reference to ancient history educators, students, and enthusiasts. All contributions to this website are submitted and reviewed by expert volunteers who wish to share their knowledge.
Everything we publish is easy to read and understand, but also well-researched and referenced. All content material on Ancient History Encyclopedia is reviewed before publication by a group of volunteer peer-reviewers. Our information is balanced and neutral, as we want to present history from every angle.
We are committed to open education: All our original content is available under a Creative Commons license that enables teachers to freely distribute it in class, as it allows anyone to re-use our content in a non-commercial context. We're an open education resource listed in the OER Commons and we also share our data through the academic Pelagios network, side by side with institutions such as The British Museum and Kings College.
Our content is aligned with the school history curriculum, so that teachers can easily find material for class, and we plan on producing tailored classroom material, too. In fact, many schools and universities worldwide are already using our content in class or as reading material. We also believe that history education should be exciting: "Story" is a key component in the word "history", and we aim to convey in all our published content our belief that history is the greatest story ever written. We regularly publish interviews with historians and archaeologists, in which they share their passion for ancient history with our readers.
We combine different media, subjects of study and historical periods in ways never seen before that will help the understanding of both the "big picture" and the detail. Examples are our map of the ancient world, or our searchable interlinked timeline of ancient history -- both of which show historical events, connections and developments in an interactive and extremely accessible way. Digital media are far better-suited to representing the relationships between historical events than textbooks are, especially in education.
We generate revenue mainly through donations, from advertisements on the website, and through book sale commissions from Amazon. All income is invested in improving our service as a free digital humanities website. Expenses include running costs of the site (servers & traffic), historical source books for our authors, and various subscriptions. With more funding we hope to have full-time content writing staff in the future.
Ancient History Encyclopedia was founded in 2009 by Jan van der Crabben. As a designer of historical computer games, Jan realized that the internet was missing a reliable and comprehensive resource for ancient history information. Most information was either scattered across various websites, was nearly illegible due to bad presentation, or had a distinct nationalistic agenda.
At the same time he had the idea that history is not linear (as it is taught in most school coursebooks), but rather a very parallel type of story, where everything is interlinked. He envisioned a website where pieces of information were shared across different but relevant subjects, and where each page is built automatically, taking precisely the information that is relevant for that subject from a vast database of historical data.
After much programming on a netbook during daily train rides from London to Horsham and several months later, the first working version of Ancient History Encyclopedia was born. Again a few months later, in August 2009, it was launched to the public. Since then, it has grown from a small history website to perhaps the largest and most popular website on ancient history on the internet.
March 2014: Over 6 million people have visited our site since launch.
October 2013: Over 3 million people have visited our site since launch.
September 2013: Google changed its search algorithm to the "Hummingbird" engine with the goal of giving more priority to websites that have meaningful content, instead of just looking at keywords. With this update, Ancient History Encyclopedia has seen a sharp increase in visitors coming from Google. To us this is a great compliment, as it only shows us that we are publishing meaningful information, and we're happy to be "rewarded" by Google for the work we're doing.
May 2013: Over 2 million people have visited our site since launch.
September 2012: Over 1 million people have visited our site since launch.
June 2012: Ancient History Encyclopedia becomes a not-for-profit company registered in the UK.
March 2012: Google selected us to be a featured app on the Google Chrome Webstore.
May 2011: Over 100,000 people have visited our site since launch.
Feb 2010: Over 10,000 people have visited our site since launch.