Since the earliest civilizations, people have recorded their thoughts and experiences through storytelling, art, philosophy and other forms of expression. Studying these works – collectively known as the humanities – helps us understand the past and ultimately ourselves.

Today’s humanities scholars are rediscovering the past through traditional ways, such as reexamining an ancient mummy case with a fresh perspective, as well as more modern techniques, which include the use of big data analysis or 3-D and X-ray models.

These stories represent some of the ways Stanford scholars are probing ancient questions through modern and traditional methods to figure out how and why history unfolded the way it did and what makes us human.