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Ancient Traditions

A photo of a troglodyte cave house in Gharyan, Libya.

Want a Unique Underground Experience? Live Like a Modern Troglodyte at a Libyan Cave House Hotel

Troglodyte (which means ‘cave dweller’) cave houses are a type of dwelling that may be found in certain parts of the world. In Libya, this unique type of house can be found in the Jabal Nasufah (...
Beltane Fire Festival Celebrations.

The Pagan Wheel of the Year: What Elaborate Rituals and Events Mark this Sacred Cycle?

As more and more people describe themselves as ‘spiritual’ rather than religious, experts expect eco-friendly pagan movements will continue to grow. Already there are perhaps a million pagans in the...
All images courtesy of Ashley Cowie

Sex Symbols of the Ancient World: Top Ten Sexually Explicit Caves, Mountains, Temples and Artifacts

If you are sensitive about matters pertaining to sex and sexuality it's probably best that you press the back button now. For those with a more exploratory attitude, what I hope you take away from...
Astrology Tile Mosaic, Ringling's Mansion (Courtyard)

The 4,000 Year History of Horoscopes: How Astrology Has Been Shaped Throughout the the Millennia

Every time ancient Greece is mentioned, most people automatically think of democracy, the Olympic Games, mythology, philosophy, technology and various sciences such as mathematics and astronomy. It...
Celtic warriors in “The Battle of Telamon, 225 BC.

Fighting in the Buff: Did Celtic Warriors Really Go to War Naked?

The Celts were known in ancient times to have been ferocious warriors. According to certain written sources, some of these Celtic warriors went a step further by going into battle carrying only their...
Elizabeth Taylor, ‘Cleopatra’ (1963).

A Brief History of the Enduring Iconic Female Phenomenon of Red Lipstick

Red lipstick is a modern-day symbol of sex appeal and an attribute of femininity. Many modern women may be surprised by the fact that our recent generations are not the ones which invented this...
The Harem Dance, Giulio Rosati

The Imperial Harem of the Ottoman Empire: More than Just Beautiful Women

The term “harem” brings to mind an image of a room full of beautiful women whose sole purpose in life was to please their captor sexually. This image may have been inspired by the 16 th and 17 th...
A gold Claddagh wedding ring.

Legendary Claddagh Rings: What are the True Origins of these Symbolic Irish Wedding Rings?

Claddagh rings are hugely popular both as fashion accessories and as symbolic gestures. The Claddagh design of two hands holding a crowned heart is a recognizable symbol of Ireland, particularly...
Chinese concubines in a harem

20,000 Women and 100,000 Castrated Men to Serve the Emperor: The Imperial Harem of China

In Imperial China, one of the important tasks that the emperor needed to do was to ensure the continuation of the dynasty, which was achieved by the production of a male heir. For this purpose, the...
An artist’s imaginary depiction of a pharaoh burning herbs (possibly cannabis or blue lotus) in a ritual.

A Versatile Plant: What Were the Many Uses of Cannabis in Ancient Egypt?

Cannabis is widely considered to be one of the most widespread options when it comes to medicinal herbs. However, in ancient times the plant’s popularity was far greater, and its use much more common...
The birthday party of Lazaro Salsita, born 15 years ago, in the body of Lazaro Medina Hernandez, 35, Sculptor. Havana (La Habana), Cuba.

A Unique Mixture of Afro-Cuban Religious Rituals or Witchcraft? The True Story Behind Santeria

Some religious practices can be very surprising because they link aspects from different beliefs which may appear incompatible at first glance. In the case of Santeria, the connection between native...
Pagans in a Modern World: What is Neopaganism?

Pagans in a Modern World: What is Neopaganism?

Modern Paganism (known also as Neopaganism or Contemporary Paganism) is a movement / group of religions / spiritual traditions centered on the reverence of nature. Modern Paganism borrows and adapts...
Osterby Man Still Has a Great Hairdo Nearly 2,000 Years On!

Osterby Man Still Has a Great Hairdo Nearly 2,000 Years On!

Since at least the 18th century AD, there have been discoveries in northwestern continental Europe and Britain of “bog bodies” - human remains which have been preserved in the anoxic environment of...
Phryne on the Poseidon's celebration in Eleusis by Nikolay Pavlenko, 1894

The Ancient Greek Symposium: Just an Excuse for Debauchery?

It’s no secret that the ancient Greeks loved to have parties, dance and drink for every occasion. It could be celebrating a birth, the arrival of a loved person or a marriage. Indeed, in many cases...
High Fashion of Ancient Egypt: The Bead-Net Dress

High Fashion of Ancient Egypt: The Bead-Net Dress

Fashion trends are not just a modern construction. In ancient Egypt, looking fashionable was an important part of everyday life, especially for the elite members of society. One of the high class...
A Roman Ring with Linked Hands – this was a popular design for Roman wedding rings.

Roman Engagement and Wedding Rings: Joining Hands and Hearts

The use of engagement rings and wedding rings are common in Western culture to indicate a person’s relationship status. This tradition may be traced back to ancient times, in particular, to the Roman...

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