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Ancient Traditions

Ancient Origins brings you articles related to Ancient Traditions from all over the world. Find related articles in the sections of history, archaeology, human origins, unexplained, artifacts, ancient places and myths and legends.

A seida (worshiped stone) Tromsø, Norway.

Sami Spirituality and the Cult of the Sacred Stones

The Cult of the Sacred Stones belong to the Sami people of northern Europe. The Sami (occasionally spelled Saami) live in Lapland, a part of northern Europe near Norway, Sweden and Finland, and...
The charcoal drawings found at Chauvet show a high degree of detail. Copy of the Lions Panel of the Chauvet Cave.

How Our Ancestors with Autistic Traits Led a Revolution in Ice Age Art

The ability to focus on detail, a common trait among people with autism, allowed realism to flourish in Ice Age art, according to researchers at the University of York. Around 30,000 years ago...
Jain version Game of Snakes & Ladders called jnana bazi or Gyan bazi, India, 19th century, Gouache on cloth.

The Origin of Snakes and Ladders: A Moral Guide of Vice and Virtue

The game of Snakes and Ladders is today considered a classic, and is loved by children from all over the world. Whilst the game itself is known my most people, its origin is less well-known. As a...
The Banquet (after Plato). second version (1874) by Anselm Feuerbach.

Plato’s Symposium: Is it Just a Joke?

When talking about love in the classical age, we would be utterly remiss to not include Plato’s Symposium in our conversation. Symposium is Plato’s recounting of a, supposedly true, ancient cocktail...
Artists impression of a giant sloth being confronted by human hunters. Credit: Alex McClelland, Bournemouth University

How to Hunt a Giant Sloth – Ancient Tactics Revealed in Human Footprints

Rearing on its hind legs, the giant ground sloth would have been a formidable prey for anyone, let alone humans without modern weapons. Tightly muscled, angry and swinging its fore legs tipped with...
Left to right- Barn Hammer Brewing Company Head Brewer Brian Westcott, Matt Gibbs of the University of Winnipeg and Barn Hammer owner Tyler Birch teamed up to re-create an ancient beer. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Lipnowski/The Conversation

We brewed an ancient Graeco-Roman beer and here’s how it tastes

Matt Gibbs / The Conversation Beer is the most consumed alcoholic beverage in the world; it is also the most popular drink after water and tea . In the modern world, however, little consideration is...
The “Burney Relief,” which is believed to represent either Ishtar, the Mesopotamian goddess of love and war, or her older sister Ereshkigal, Queen of the underworld (c. 19th or 18th century BC).

In Ancient Mesopotamia, Sex among the Gods Shook Heaven and Earth

Sexuality was central to life in ancient Mesopotamia, an area of the Ancient Near East often described as the cradle of western civilisation roughly corresponding to modern-day Iraq, Kuwait, and...
Welsh love spoon.

Spooning in Early Modern Wales: The Sweet Symbolism of a Welsh Love Spoon

Roses are red Violets are blue, Presenting a spoon Means I love you While one often thinks of presenting his/her loved ones with flowers or candy as a gesture of romance, it was once more common to...
Statue of lovers

How to Win Love and Ruin A Marriage in 5 Easy Steps: ‘Ars Amatoria’ by Ancient Love Guru, Ovid

Before Tinder and Plenty of Fish took over the dating world , men and women used to resort to meeting each other the old-fashioned way—in person, or not at all. Before the internet, dating advice...
Left:  Hopi snake dancer ( adobegallery) Right: A Hopi male during the annual snake dance and ritual prayers for rain, 1946 (public domain)

Dances with Snakes: The Real Reason for the Hopi Snake Dance – Part II

The day prior to the final Snake Dance performance in the plaza, before sunrise with Orion and Sirius rising, two warriors of the Snake society make several circuits around the Snake and Antelope...
Detail of ‘Hopi Snake Dance’ by Cornelia Cassady-Davis.

Dances with Snakes: The Real Reason for the Hopi Snake Dance

For thousands of years the Hopi tribe of northern Arizona has performed a secretive, sacred ceremony that embodies the manifold and richly evocative archetypal nature of the serpent. In modern times...
Wewelsburg Caste

Teutonic Knights’ Castle Turned into Nazi Cult Site?

The word ‘crusader’ conjures up images of scarlet-cross Knights Templar. Although these heroes of the 12th century may dominate popular culture, their Order was rivalled by the black-cross Order of...
The laughing jester // Art museum of Stockholm, Sweden.

Jokes and Pranks: Here is the April Fools’ Day Origin Story

April Fools’ Day has a special twist in 2018. This year, April 1st is not only a day for pranksters, but also Easter celebrations. You can imagine there will be many egg jokes and maybe an Easter...
Easter procession in Bilbao, Spain

Under the Hoods: The Brotherhoods (and Sisterhoods) of Spain’s Holy Week

“Spain is different!”. Napoleon took this view after his defeat by Spanish guerrilla warfare tactics. Generalissimo Franco’s government later made use of this slogan to promote Spain’s unique appeal...
Forty days in the wilderness: Temptations of Christ, St Mark’s Basilica.

The Surprising Truth About Fasting for Lent

M J C Warren / The Conversation The excesses of the carnival are over, the clean-up completed. And so begins the year’s traditional period of abstinence. Leading up to Christianity’s most holy day,...
‘God Speed’ (1900) by Edmund Leighton. (Deriv.)

How to Be A Chivalrous Knight in Shining Armor: Follow the Code!

The chivalry of a Medieval knight is indisputable, right? I mean, they had a Code of Chivalry and everything. But wait, not all knights were chivalrous, nor did they have a universally agreed upon...

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