When I was in 5th grade, we had an Ancient Greece festival. It was a lot of fun, especially since I pretended to be the Oracle at Delphi and told fortunes to all my classmates.  We talked about ancient Greece during several different grade levels at school.  I think we also studied the Egyptians and Romans in elementary school. In high school history, we learned about ancient history in Mesopotamia, India, and China.  Taking a peek at today’s standards in the state where I live, not much has changed.

Imagine, when you go beyond the range of Alexander the Great’s conquests, there’s an entire globe to study!

  1. The Jomon People: These were the ancient people of Japan, likely ancestors to the Ainu people.  They were some of the first people to make pottery and domesticate dogs. But my favorite fact about the Jomon?  They believed in sanitation. They were semi-sedentary hunter-gatherers who built pit toilets in their villages.  They even trained their dogs to use the pit toilets!
  2. Australian Aborigines:  They have the oldest continuous culture in the world. They arrived in Australia somewhere about 40,000 years ago (exact dates are still debated).  For thousands of years, they passed down their stories and traditions. Their oral tradition includes stories of massive animals (megafauna) that scientists have now proven true using fossil evidence.  Their story continues into the present, even as they fight for rights within modern Australian society.
  3. The Olmec: So much of their history is a mystery to us today. Like the Jomon, we don’t even know their name for their own society.  We do know that they had a lasting influence on other meso-American cultures, including a love of chocolate.  They may have invented the first writing system in the Americas, a pictograph language.  No one has succeeded in translating it yet. There is only one tablet with writing, so decoding it may be impossible.
  4. The Scythians: They might be my favorite.  They were a pants-wearing, horse-riding, archery-loving, nomadic group of people.  Women fought alongside men.  They absolutely terrified the Greeks. Hardly anyone could defeat them in battle.  They may have inspired legends of centaurs and Amazon women.  And they invented pants!*
  5. Ancient Somalia: The Somalians have been around quite awhile. They traded with the Romans and Greeks, and played quite a trick on them.  The Somalians imported cinnamon from India, but told their trading partners that they grew it themselves.  Plus, they were the first to domesticate the camel. Some people think Somalia was the location of the lost kingdom of Punt, one of ancient Egypt’s trading partners.

There’s a lot more to history than the Mediterranean! If you’re interested in learning more about any of these civilizations, click the links to our educational boxes or subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates about our upcoming ancient history book! (If you’re interested in the Somalians, you’ll have to stay tuned!).

*Quick note about the Scythians: they weren’t beyond the range of Alexander the Great’s conquests.  He, in fact, engaged with the Scythians.  But I never learned about them in school!

Five Ancient Civilizations You (Probably) Never Studied in School

Dear Customers,

Fall of 2018 marks our 3rd year of business and it’s been a fabulous whirlwind.

We have grown from a company where I was working out of my basement to one that employs designers, historians, artists, and fulfillment teams across the USA. We’ve shipped enough apple mummification kits to probably actually mummify a body. We’ve heard from so many customers about how our boxes has made history real, tangible, and memorable for their students. What a fulfilling few years it has been!

During this time, our products have changed dramatically.

Jamestown Horn Book
My original concept of sending a few print outs and a single simple craft project has grown based on your feedback. We have overhauled our original boxes to be as full as our newest ones and now every box contains the fruit of more than a hundred hours of professional work and multiple craft kits and souvenirs; many of which are made from historic materials or sourced from authentic sites.

How cool is it that when you open Ancient Australia Unboxed the boomerang you receive is made by aboriginal craftsmen in Australia? Or when you decorate with Rangoli art from Mauryan Empire Unboxed the kit comes from tradesmen in India? Or when you put together a horn book in Jamestown Unboxed you are using real horn and wood – not a make-and-toss kit of cardboard and plastic? That’s huge. Your student is holding real, meaningful items and that deepens their connection with the lesson in a noticeable way. Also, pat yourself on the back, because you just helped native craftsmen continue to earn their living sharing their native crafts.

But that’s not all that has changed dramatically.

During our time in business the cost of materials, packaging, and shipping has risen considerably. I am a mother of 6 home educated children, and keeping our products affordable is close to home.

However, it is time to put on my business hat and acknowledge that History Unboxed can only thrive if I am able to pay myself as well as cover our costs. We need to adjust our product prices to reflect this reality.

Our new prices will go into effect Tuesday, August 13th:

  • Off the Shelf boxes: $54.95 ea plus shipping calculated by weight and zone
  • Subscriptions: $44.95 per month plus flat rate shipping calculated by zone
  • Sibling Add-Ons: $32.97 per month plus free shipping
  • Longer duration subscriptions (quarterly and annual) will receive a small discount as noted on the website

If you are a current subscriber: your subscription cost Will Not increase for as long as you keep your current subscription active. However, your shipping cost will be adjusted as of your next billing cycle.

I am elated to have crafted products that mean so much to so many people, and I want you to know that when you purchase from us the money that you spend is not only going to developing more high quality products, but also to supporting the families of artists, graphic designers, packing professionals, history teachers, and myself.

Thank you for being my customer.

3 Years in Biz and New Pricing

Are you ready to make history this holiday season?

For the first time ever, we're offering what some of our customers will call a dream come true: Custom Subscriptions!

Oh boy, we are excited to announce this! For a limited time only, you can mix-and-match to your heart's content, and build a 3-, 4-, 5- or 6-month subscription with ANY of our boxes! 

That's right: want to send your favorite student Ancient Egypt one month and Powhatan the next? Now you can!

Boxes in gift subscriptions will ship mid-December if you order by December 14th, and in January if ordered after that.

In your order notes, you can specify the order you'd like the boxes to arrive in; otherwise you can leave it up to us!

And another great option for the holiday season: Gift Boxes!

Give the gift of Whatever Box They Want! 

This purchase covers any box on our site plus its shipping, and your lucky student can redeem it themselves whenever they're ready. 

After your purchase is confirmed, we'll send you a festive PDF with a discount code that can be printed or emailed. 

Holiday gift subscriptions are here!

Welcome to our new site!

We are SO excited to launch our new website. Not only does it look and feel better, but it will be so much simpler for YOU our subscribers!

Here's what you need to know:

Individual purchasers:

  1. RESET YOUR PASSWORD...
    If you have bought from us before (either boxes or subscriptions!) and gave us your email address, then you already have an account in this new system! But you need to reset your password. Go here to the password reset page, enter your email address, and check your email for instructions.
  2. ...OR CREATE A FRESH ACCOUNT.
    If you placed an order over the phone, there's a good chance you didn't give us your email address and therefore don't have an account. No problem, just create one! Boom.
  3. SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE IN THERE...
    If you're an active subscriber, you will see the details of your current subscription in your account. You can make changes to it there.
  4. ...BUT OTHER PAST ORDERS ARE NOT.
    If you're a past subscriber or purchaser, you will not see past orders in your account. Sorry! But all future orders will be logged there.

Charter schools:

  1. CREATE AN ACCOUNT or RESET YOUR PASSWORD.
    If you had created an account in the old system, you can do the same password reset above to see if you've been migrated. If you didn't (because you were just emailing us your orders and didn't make one) just create a new one! You'll need one from now on.
  2. THE ORDERING PROCESS HAS CHANGED.
    You no longer have to fill a cart and then email us! You can now complete PO orders right here on the site and download the invoice directly from your account page. Very exciting.
  3. WE MADE OPTIONS JUST FOR YOU!
    There's a special shop page for you, linked from the Charter page here. It has all the customization you need for charter orders.
  4. YOUR ACCOUNT NEEDS TO BE UPGRADED THOUGH.
    You will need us to mark your account as a Charter in our system! Fill out the contact form after you create your account, letting us know your school and the email address you're using, and we'll set you up with permissions and the password for the Charter shop.

Any trouble? Email us!

We hope you find the site as amazingly fresh and simple to use as we do.

Welcome to our new site!