Dream Idyll (A Valkyrie) by Edward Robert Hughes
Thursday, March 30, 2017 - 19:03

And so began the final battle of the Norse gods: the one-eyed leader Odin, hammer-wielding Thor, and the mortal comrades chosen at death to fight alongside them against the forces of Hel and the trickster god, Loki. These comrades, once human men—princes and kings—were chosen in their final breaths of life by women who moved swiftly and suddenly through grounds hazy with blood; women whose primary role was to determine which men would be immortalized to one day defend the world against Loki's powerful, nearly undefeatable army of monsters.

Statue of Persephone, circa 525 BC and painting The Deluge
Thursday, March 30, 2017 - 14:06

The myth of the underworld, much like the myth of the lost paradise and the worldwide deluge, is a universal one. Cultures from all across the world, past and present, widely separated and with seemingly no historical contact, believed in this mysterious realm that the spirits of the deceased went to after death. 

The remains of a mother and fetus were buried alongside those of two other children in the early days of the Black Death in Italy, however researchers cannot say for certain that they died of the plague.
Thursday, March 30, 2017 - 01:57

We can only guess about the life and times of a young mother and two children buried with her, possibly felled by the first wave of the bubonic plague in the 1340s in Italy. They were all buried in a single grave excavated in 2006. We know she was expecting the birth of a baby.

Archaeologists haven’t even had time to write up their findings for a scholarly journal about this ancient Assyrian tomb found in Erbil, Iraq.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 23:02

Though the Islamic State group (Daesh) recently plundered and wrecked a few ancient Assyrian cities, fighters recently successfully defended Erbil in Iraq, known long ago as Arbela. In that city, construction workers uncovered a tomb containing two skeletons in three ceramic sarcophagi and another eight skeletons scattered nearby.

A Sri Lankan version of the urumi, with multiple blades.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 18:59

The urumi (which may be literally translated as ‘curling blade’,) is a type of weapon from India. This weapon is known also as ‘surul vaal’, which means ‘spring sword’). As its name suggests, this weapon consists of a metal blade that is wielded like a whip. 

Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 15:37

The German Egyptologist Walther Wolf was unsparing in his description of Akhenaten, calling him a man who epitomized “sick ugliness and nervous decadence”. The greatest irony of the entire Amarna episode was that this pharaoh, who had vehemently denounced the Amun-Re cult from faraway Akhetaten, came to be buried in the traditional Theban royal necropolis. But not all believe Akhenaten’s mummy has been discovered.

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Dream Idyll (A Valkyrie) by Edward Robert Hughes
And so began the final battle of the Norse gods: the one-eyed leader Odin, hammer-wielding Thor, and the mortal comrades chosen at death to fight alongside them against the forces of Hel and the trickster god, Loki. These comrades, once human men—princes and kings—were chosen in their final breaths of life by women who moved swiftly and suddenly through grounds hazy with blood; women whose primary role was to determine which men would be immortalized to one day defend the world against Loki's powerful, nearly undefeatable army of monsters.

Myths & Legends

Dream Idyll (A Valkyrie) by Edward Robert Hughes
And so began the final battle of the Norse gods: the one-eyed leader Odin, hammer-wielding Thor, and the mortal comrades chosen at death to fight alongside them against the forces of Hel and the trickster god, Loki. These comrades, once human men—princes and kings—were chosen in their final breaths of life by women who moved swiftly and suddenly through grounds hazy with blood; women whose primary role was to determine which men would be immortalized to one day defend the world against Loki's powerful, nearly undefeatable army of monsters.

Ancient Places

Statue of Persephone, circa 525 BC and painting The Deluge
The myth of the underworld, much like the myth of the lost paradise and the worldwide deluge, is a universal one. Cultures from all across the world, past and present, widely separated and with seemingly no historical contact, believed in this mysterious realm that the spirits of the deceased went to after death.

Opinion

Statue of Persephone, circa 525 BC and painting The Deluge
The myth of the underworld, much like the myth of the lost paradise and the worldwide deluge, is a universal one. Cultures from all across the world, past and present, widely separated and with seemingly no historical contact, believed in this mysterious realm that the spirits of the deceased went to after death.

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