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The Abyss of Hell, Sandro Botticelli, 1480s
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 13:45

The recent dispute over whether Pope Francis denied the existence of hell in an interview attracted wide attention. This isn’t surprising, since the belief in an afterlife, where the virtuous are rewarded with a place in heaven and the wicked are punished in hell, is a core teaching of Christianity.

Two Sides to Every Story: The North American Martyrs Shrines and Indigenous/ Roman Catholic Relations – Part II
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 01:51

Jerome Lalemant, the second Superior of the Huron mission, said there were so few converts because no Jesuit had been martyred yet. It is stated more than once that if the “glorious crown” of martyrdom was denied to them, the mission itself could be seen as a living martyrdom.

Head of Marcus Aurelius found at Aswan/Site of the newly discovered shrine at Luxor,
Monday, April 23, 2018 - 22:47

Recent discoveries at two of the major ancient sites in Egypt emphasize the diversity of culture and power that existed in the region over time. In Aswan, the head of a marble statue of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius was uncovered, while at the Karnak Temple site of Luxor, a Late Period shrine to the god Osiris was found.

Two Sides to Every Story: The North American Martyrs Shrines and Indigenous/ Roman Catholic Relations
Monday, April 23, 2018 - 18:58

After the Blessed Virgin Mary and her assorted shrines and grottoes, evangelical Catholics in Canada and United States flock to and draw inspiration from the North American Martyrs’ Shrines in Midland, Ontario and Auriesville, New York; where collectively six clerics and two `donne’ or lay people were killed, supposedly `in odium fidei’ (in hatred of the faith).

Head from a red granite statue of Amenhotep III wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt found at Karnak; side panel of one of the Colossi of Memnon shows a relief of Hapy, the Nile god, and a sculpture of Queen Tiye; design by Anand Balaji
Monday, April 23, 2018 - 15:42

With the empire witnessing an unprecedented era of peace and prosperity, Amenhotep III embarked on a grand building project that spanned the length and breadth of Egypt. The monuments he commissioned were breathtaking in scope, scale and artistry. Nebmaatre dedicated temples and shrines to several gods, primarily Amun-Ra, and also to himself—but most important of all, he built sanctuaries and lakes in honor of his beloved wife, Queen Tiye.

Detail of a copy of the Doryphoros of Polykleitos.
Monday, April 23, 2018 - 14:03

Was perfection possible in the ancient Greek world? If you look at their art, you may think so. Doryphoros (translated from Greek as ‘Spear-Bearer), was a statue created during the 5th century BC. The fine detail for an idealized human anatomy and natural pose of this statue inspired Romans to create several copies and lucky for us, some of the replicas have survived until today.

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Archaeology News on Human Origins, Ancient Places and Mysterious Phenomena

The Abyss of Hell, Sandro Botticelli, 1480s

What is hell?

The recent dispute over whether Pope Francis denied the existence of hell in an interview attracted wide attention . This isn’t surprising, since the belief in an afterlife, where the virtuous are...
Two Sides to Every Story: The North American Martyrs Shrines and Indigenous/ Roman Catholic Relations – Part II

Two Sides to Every Story: The North American Martyrs Shrines and Indigenous/ Roman Catholic Relations – Part II

Read Part 1 Jerome Lalemant, the second Superior of the Huron mission, said there were so few converts because no Jesuit had been martyred yet. It is stated more than once that if the “glorious crown...
Head of Marcus Aurelius found at Aswan/Site of the newly discovered shrine at Luxor,

The Head of an Emperor, the Shrine of a God: Two Contrasting Finds at the Egyptian Sites of Luxor and Aswan

Recent discoveries at two of the major ancient sites in Egypt emphasize the diversity of culture and power that existed in the region over time. In Aswan, the head of a marble statue of the Roman...
Two Sides to Every Story: The North American Martyrs Shrines and Indigenous/ Roman Catholic Relations

Two Sides to Every Story: The North American Martyrs Shrines and Indigenous/ Roman Catholic Relations

After the Blessed Virgin Mary and her assorted shrines and grottoes, evangelical Catholics in Canada and United States flock to and draw inspiration from the North American Martyrs’ Shrines in...
Head from a red granite statue of Amenhotep III wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt found at Karnak; side panel of one of the Colossi of Memnon shows a relief of Hapy, the Nile god, and a sculpture of Queen Tiye; design by Anand Balaji

Amenhotep III, The Man and his Monuments: Age of Empire and Architecture –Part II

With the empire witnessing an unprecedented era of peace and prosperity, Amenhotep III embarked on a grand building project that spanned the length and breadth of Egypt. The monuments he commissioned...
Detail of a copy of the Doryphoros of Polykleitos.

Doryphoros: Greek Art Imitating Ideal Form

Was perfection possible in the ancient Greek world? If you look at their art, you may think so. Doryphoros (translated from Greek as ‘Spear-Bearer), was a statue created during the 5th century BC...
Shields bearing image of Ahuizotl, Museum of Ethnology, Vienna.

Was the Ahuizotl an Aztec Mythical Creature or a Real Fisherman’s Foe?

The Ahuizotl (which may be translated from Nahuatl to mean ‘Thorny One of the Water’) is a creature found in the mythology of the Aztecs. This legendary creature is believed to inhabit the lakes and...
Painting of Father General Saint Francis Borgia, SJ, performing an exorcism, by Goya.

Exorcism – How Does it Work and Why is it on The Rise?

Exorcism is again in the news, as the Vatican announces a new training course will be held to meet increased demand for deliverance ministry. So, what does this actually mean, and should it be a...
A Neanderthal.

More than Brutish Grunting: Can One Bone Prove Neanderthal Speech Existed?

For a long time, the common depiction of Neanderthals was a group of unintelligent subhumans who could only communicate through wild gestures and loud grunts. But many researchers were not convinced...
Several types of mammoths walked the earth during the Pleistocene epoch.

Unprecedented Wave of Large-mammal Extinctions Linked to Prehistoric Humans

Homo sapiens , Neanderthals and other recent human relatives may have begun hunting large mammal species down to size -- by way of extinction -- at least 90,000 years earlier than previously thought...
A modern representation of Humbaba

Humbaba: A Monstrous Foe for Gilgamesh or a Misunderstood Guardian?

Humbaba (Huwawa) is a guardian creature found in the Epic of Gilgamesh , which is generally considered to be the earliest surviving great work of literature. Although Humbaba is traditionally...
Scene from the movie, Troy, loosely based on Homer’s Iliad. (Troy)

Toxic Masculinity Fostered by Misreadings of the Classics

Homer’s Iliad has been used by some men to hail the virtues of traditional masculinity in the 21st century. Typically, the famous work of literature serves as a sort of manual of manliness . Scholars...
A seedhead of an opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, with white latex. (Public Domain) Cylinder-seal of the "Lady" or "Queen" (Sumerian NIN) Puabi, one of the defuncts of the Royal Cemetery of Ur, c. 2600 BC. Banquet scene, typical of the Early Dynastic Period.

New Research Provides First Peek at Ancient Mesopotamian Drug Use

Medical usage? Ritual practice? Or perhaps the drugs served both purposes? Researchers are asking what the recently recovered psychoactive drug residues from ancient Mesopotamia mean. But not...
Detail from the outermost shrine of Tutankhamun showing a seated deity; design by Anand Balaji

KV62, Designed to Confound: Wealth of Mysteries in the Curious Tomb of Tutankhamun—Part II

Egyptological scholars are divided over whether a right-hand turn to the burial chamber in an Eighteenth Dynasty tomb signifies that it belonged to a female pharaoh. With this feature present in the...
Solar gods were worshiped in prehistoric Ireland.

Was Prayer to the Ancient Solar Gods enough to Change the Renowned Irish Weather?

Ireland’s history is rich in dramatic myth and mysterious legends. The significance of the natural world, and most importantly the sun, was obvious in the daily lives of the pre-Christian Irish...
Golden Hill of Mapungubwe (Copyright University of Pretoria)

Archaeozoology at Mapungubwe: Let the Bones Speak

Ever since Creation, mankind has had an interdependent relationship with the animal kingdom. Mapungubwe (circa 1220 to 1290 AD) on the northern border of South Africa, is an Iron Age settlement and...

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