Ancient Origins

Dobunni Tribe Thrived as Peaceful Ancient Farmers of the Cotswolds’

Image of a woman from a pre-Roman tribe, possibly the Dobunni of ancient Britain. Source: Stanislav/Adobe Stock

The ancient Dobunni tribe holds a significant place in the Celtic era of British history, and its legacy is etched deeply into the fabric of pre-Roman Britain.


Joyeuse: The Legendary Sword of Charlemagne

The Joyeuse Sword of Charlemagne. Source: P.poschadel/CC BY-SA 3.0

The sword of Joyeuse, which today sits in the Louvre Museum, is one of the most famous swords in history. Historical records link the sword to Charlemagne the Great, King of the Franks.


Resurrecting Ancestry: Genetic Revelations Beyond Israelites

Ezekiel's vision of the valley of dry bones coming to life, signifying God's power to bring new life and open the gateway to heaven Generative AI.            Source: forenna /Adobe Stock)

The prophecy of the Valley of Dry Bones, as envisioned by the prophet Ezekiel, stands as one of the most potent revelations in his repertoire. 


Oddly Enough, London Bridge is Now Located in the Arizona Desert

The Opening of the New London Bridge (completed in 1831) by George Chambers. Source: Public domain

In an unexpected twist of history, the famed London Bridge now stands proudly in the Arizona Desert. Its journey from the heart of London to the American Southwest


Saladin - Conqueror of the Kingdom of Heaven (Video)

Saladin and Guy de Lusignan after battle of Hattin in 1187. Source: Public Domain

Saladin, known as the "Conqueror of the Kingdom of Heaven," emerges from history as a figure of profound complexity and greatness. Born in 1137 in modern-day Iraq, he navigated the tumultuous political landscape of the 12th-century Islamic world. Little is known of his early years, but he likely received a comprehensive education in Quranic studies and religious sciences, setting the stage for his future endeavors.

The loss of Jerusalem to the Crusaders ignited Saladin's fervor for religion and justice. Under the tutelage of his uncle Shirkuh, a distinguished military commander, Saladin honed his skills on the battlefield, notably demonstrating strategic brilliance in the Battle of Al-Babain.


Renaissance Magic: Linking the Earthly and the Divine

Representational image of the complex nature of Renaissance magic combining science and the divine. Source: lleandralacuerva / Adobe Stock

In the Renaissance, magic was a convergence of science, philosophy, and the mystical, reflecting the era's quest for knowledge and understanding of the world. Unlike today's clear demarcation between science and the supernatural, during the Renaissance era these realms were deeply intertwined. In this period people had both a renewed interest in ancient texts and with exploring the natural world, fostering a unique blend of empirical inquiry and mystical thought. Renaissance magic was not merely about the occult or esoteric practices but also seen a means of exploring and understanding the universe and its hidden forces.

Key figures in the study of Renaissance magic did not necessarily see themselves as magicians in a purely esoteric sense, but they also often saw their work as scholarly and philosophical – they were delving into the deeper truths of the cosmos. Their work in areas like natural magic, alchemy, and astrology sought to uncover the links between the earthly and the divine, often merging scientific investigation with mystical and theological elements.

Undoubtedly, this era's magic was a complex and multi-layered phenomenon, deeply embedded in the period's intellectual, religious, and social fabric. It reflected a world in which the boundaries of knowledge were constantly being expanded and the exploration of the natural world went hand in hand with a quest for spiritual enlightenment and a deeper understanding of the human condition.


New Study Links Decline and Fall of Ancient Teotihuacan to Earthquakes

Avenue of the dead, Teotihuacan, now thought t have declined due to earthquakes. Source: rafalkubiak/Adobe Stock

The reasons for the decline and abandonment of the mighty Mesoamerican city-state of Teotihuacan in the seventh century AD have long remained a mystery.


Tracing the Legacy of Egyptian Blue: From Ancient Artifacts to Modern Insights

Representative image of Egyptian blue pigment. Source: Pattadis / Adobe Stock

Egyptian blue, known in the scientific community as calcium copper silicate, has come to be recognized as a pioneering feat of human creativity.


Roman Brothels, the Controversial Ancient Societal Hubs

Sex scene in ancient fresco in Pompeii in the Casa delle Lupanare. Source: BlackMac/Adobe Stock

Ancient Rome had a very vibrant and complex society, where prostitution played a major role. It was legal, licensed, and very common. 


The Fascinating History of Ancient Corinth (Video)

Part of the archaeological site of ancient Corinth in Peloponnese, Greece. Source:   dinosmichail/Adobe Stock

Ancient Corinth, strategically positioned between Athens and Sparta, traces its roots to mythical narratives and archaeological evidence dating back to around 6500 BC


Discoveries Made in Roman Nîmes Include Stunning Glassware

Some of the stunning Roman glassware recovered from the Nîmes site. Source: INRAP / C Coueret / Heritage Daily.

During the development of a social housing residence in Rue de Beaucaire in Nîmes, archaeologists have uncovered a series of ancient structures including tombs and funeral pyres.


Lorenzo de' Medici: the ‘Magnificent’ Patron of the Renaissance

Portrait of Lorenzo de’ Medici, the Magnificent. Source: Public domain

Lorenzo de' Medici, also known as Lorenzo the Magnificent, stands as one of the most prominent figures in the history of Florence and the Italian Renaissance, and the foremost member of the powerful Medici family.


Swiss Archaeologists in Gebenstorf Find Unexpectedly Extensive Roman Site

The Swiss site in Gebenstorf, and (inset) some of the unexpectedly large and extensive Roman walls found by the initial archaeology. Source: Archaeology News / Cantonal archeology, © Canton Aargau.

Archaeologists in Switzerland have discovered a large Roman settlement in Gebenstorf in the Canton of Aargau.


How Did a Fossilized Body Solve A 2,400-Year-Old Murder? (Video)

Discovered in 1950, the Tollund Man is on display at the Silkeborg Museum in Denmark. 		Source: Chocho8 / CC BY-SA 4.0

The discovery of the Tollund Man, a 2,400-year-old bog body, presents a fascinating tale of ancient mystery. In 1950, Danish peat cutters stumbled upon his remarkably preserved remains in a bog outside Silkeborg, Denmark.


New Barrier Reef Find Proves Australians Didn’t Learn Pottery from Europe

The excavation site on Jiigurru where the discovery of ancient pottery has rewritten the history of Australia. Source: Science Direct / Ian J. McNiven.

A new discovery off the northwestern coast of Australia has rewritten the history books. Up until now the academic consensus was that pottery was introduced to Australia by Europeans. This has now been proven wrong.


Exploring the Masters: 10 Influential Medieval Artists You Should Know

Picture of St. Hildegard near Bingen at Rhine River. Source: Philipp/Adobe Stock

The Medieval period, spanning roughly from the 5th to the 15th centuries AD, was a time of profound artistic expression that laid the groundwork for the Renaissance to follow. 


300 Year Old “Exceptional” Prosthesis made of Gold and Copper Discovered in Poland

The skull of the man found in Poland from behind. On the left the absence of a hard palate can be clearly seen. The photograph on the right shows how the gold prosthesis was fitted. Source: Anna Spinek; © 2024 Elsevier Ltd / Live Science.

Archaeologists in Poland working on the excavation of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi in Krakow have found something new, described as the first discovery of its kind in the country. 


Roman Era Bronze Plaque Showing Alexander the Great Found in Denmark

The Roman bronze plaque measures only 26-28 mm in diameter. Source: Museum Vestsjaelland

During explorations on the Danish Island of Zealand, a pair of amateur archaeologists unearthed a small but remarkable artifact. While using metal detectors to search for coins or other items at a site near the city of Ringsted


Six Things That Made the Colosseum Unique (Video)

Roman Colosseum, Rome, Italy. Source: Sergey Yarochkin/Adobe Stock

The Colosseum, an architectural marvel in Rome, is renowned for its unique features that set it apart from other ancient structures. Its oval design, accommodating over 50,000 spectators,


Man’s Other Best Friend: Did Patagonian Hunters Domesticate an Extinct Fox?

The extinct Patagonian fox was found far further north than its known habitat, and analysis of its diet suggests it was domesticated. Source: Mario Llorca / Adobe Stock.

Was Man’s Best Friend a fox? For hunter gatherers in Patagonia 1,500 years ago, that may well turn out to be true. A team of archaeologists excavating the intriguing Cañada Seca site


Footprints, Fairies and even a Foreskin: 9 Bizarre Relics from History

The relics humans have chosen to worship over the course of human history can often help us understand the extent of belief systems and the anatomies of faith. Source: Top: Village Preservation Blog Bottom: epic_images / Adobe Stock; Public domain; Golden Palace Events

From time immemorial, people had the need to venerate objects of great significance: religious relics, mythical symbols or depictions of holy figures.


Spectacular New Frescoes Uncovered in Pompeii

Helen and Paris fresco, indicated in a Greek inscription placed between the two figures with his other name ‘Alexandros’.                Source: Archaeological Park of Pompeii

A spectacular banqueting room with elegant black walls, decorated with mythological characters and subjects inspired by the Trojan War


Why So Few Witches Were Executed in Wales in the Middle Ages

Witchcraft: a white-faced witch meeting a black-faced witch with a great beast. Woodcut, 1720.  Source: Public Domain

The fear of witchcraft led to centuries of persecution and executions across Europe. While there were an estimated 500 executions in England, and between 3,000 and 4,000 killings in Scotland, only five people were hanged for witchcraft in Wales.


All The Diseases You Might Have If You Lived in A Medieval City (Video)

AI image of the withered hand of a man with a deadly disease. Source: Alexander/Adobe Stock

Living in medieval cities exposed residents to a myriad of afflictions stemming from unsanitary conditions and limited medical knowledge. Leprosy, caused by the Mycobacterium leprae bacteria, was a widespread concern during this era. Historical records indicate that leprosy was prevalent in both the Byzantine Empire and Western Europe from the 12th century onwards. The establishment of leper hospitals outside city centers, such as those in France and the Low Countries, illustrates the severity of the problem and the societal response to it.

The Black Plague, caused by the Yersinia pestis bacteria, remains one of the deadliest pandemics in human history. It swept through Europe during the mid-14th century, resulting in millions of deaths. Eyewitness accounts from the time describe the widespread fear and devastation caused by the disease, with entire communities being decimated and mass burials becoming commonplace.


Bronze Lamp Revealed as Dionysus Cult Object in Cortona Italy

The underside of the Etruscan lamp of Cortona. Source: Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca e della città di Cortona/DeGruyter, edited by R. Alburz

An interesting new study has challenged the previous estimations surrounding a beautiful bronze lamp unearthed in a ditch near Cortona, central Italy.


The Carrot Patch Hoard: A Detectorist's Dream Comes True

Alan Baxter with his detecting equipment. Source: Alan Baxter

In a fortunate turn of events, a routine carrot harvest in Fife, Scotland, led to the remarkable discovery of a hoard of ancient coins dating back 500 years.


Seven Unusual Beauty Treatments That Ancient Women Used (Video)

(Left) Photo shows an Egyptian painted wood mummy portrait of a woman from the Roman period, circa 2nd or 3rd century AD. (Right) Cinnabar was widely used as a decorative pigment as well as a toxic cosmetic. A Chinese "cinnabar red" carved lacquer box from the Qing dynasty. Source: Public Domain, Andrew Lih / CC BY SA 2.0

In the pursuit of beauty, ancient women employed unconventional methods, challenging modern notions of glamour. Foot binding, prevalent in 10th-century China, exemplifies the extremes sought for aesthetic perfection. 


Investigation of Tomb Burial Reveals Sick Neolithic Ritual Sacrifices

The tomb containing the three skeletons, two of which are thought to be victims of Neolithic ritual sacrifice was built in the style of a silo, or pit for storing grain, within a small wooden structure and surrounded by a trench.         Source: Ludes et al/ Science Advances

Recent research has unearthed chilling evidence of ritual sacrifices in Neolithic Europe, a practice that involved the gruesome method of "incaprettamento" - tying victims' necks to their bent legs, leading to self-strangulation. 


Athena Parthenos: Tales of Artistry, Myth and Athenian Glory

Detail of a recreation of Athena Parthenos at Nashville Parthenon, Tennessee, USA. Source: Lucas Livingston / CC BY 2.0

The city of Acte had not formally been bestowed with divine protection. However, its king, Cecrops, ushered a golden period so remarkable that the city was then renamed Cecropia and the gods acknowledged its splendor. 


Are Toro Muerto's Petroglyphs in Peru Hallucinogenic Visions in Stone?

Geometric petroglyphs at Toro Muerto, Peru, possibly represent ancient songs and human figures dancing.	Source: A. Rozwadowski, Wołoszyn JZ. / Cambridge Archaeological Journal

A new study has offered a fresh perspective on the enigmatic petroglyphs discovered at Toro Muerto in the Peruvian coastal desert. The site contains intricate designs and petroglyphs, etched onto over 3000 volcanic rocks, dating back to the Wari Culture of the Middle Horizon era (500-1000 AD). These have long puzzled archaeologists due to their unique blend of anthropomorphic figures, geometric motifs, and enigmatic symbols, but some light might have been shed on this marvel now, suggesting a connection to the afterlife!

Toro Muerto Petroglyph Phenomenon

Toro Muerto, meaning "dead bull" in Spanish, is a significant rock art complex located southern Peru, nestled within a desert gorge near the Majes River Valley. Encompassing an expansive area of approximately 10 square kilometers (3.86 sq mi), this site holds around 2,600 volcanic boulders, each adorned with ancient petroglyphs. These petroglyphs vary in size and complexity, ranging from small stones featuring single motifs to massive boulders adorned with intricate arrays of multiple images.


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