Undisciplined: Monkeying With History

Aug 14, 2020

Bronze-age painting of blue monkeys in Santorini, Greece.
Credit {{PD-US}}

For decades, researchers assumed the monkeys depicted on a 3,500-year-old painting in Greece were from Africa, just across the Mediterranean. But recently a team of experts looked at these animals and said – wait a second, that’s not right at all – and that’s forced a lot of other scientists to reconsider what they know about the Bronze Age.

Joining me to talk about this new mystery is Nikki Pareja. She is an archeologist and art historian, and the lead author of a new paper in the journal Primates, which doesn’t just rewrite the history of this mural, but also offers enticing new clues about trade in the Bronze Age.