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Ancient Writings

There are literally thousands of incredible texts that have survived from the ancient world, which are etched onto copper, beautifully inscribed on papyrus, chipped onto tablets, and even written using the ink of ground down gold and precious stones. Here we feature many ancient writings, which have served to open a window onto the daily lives of our ancestors and enhanced the knowledge we hold about our ancient past.

Arbatel: An Occult Grimoire with a Positive Message

Arbatel: The Magic of the Ancients – An Occult Grimoire with a Positive Message

The Arbatel de magia veterum ( Arbatel: Of the Magic of the Ancients ) is a Renaissance-period grimoire – a textbook of magic – and one of the most influential works of its kind. Unlike some other...
Picatrix: The Ancient Arabian Book of Astrology and Occult Magic

Picatrix: The Ancient Arabian Book of Astrology and Occult Magic

The Picatrix is an ancient Arabian book of astrology and occult magic dating back to the 10 th or 11 th century, which has gained notoriety for the obscene natural of its magical recipes. The...
Phaistos Disc

New Research suggests recent phonetic decipherment of the Phaistos Disc is implausible

Last month, Dr Gareth Owens, a researcher at the Technological Educational Institute of Crete, claimed to have cracked the code of the enigmatic Phaistos Disc , a 4,000-year-old artifact containing...
The Cyrus Cylinder and the ancient proclamation of human rights

The Cyrus Cylinder and the ancient proclamation of human rights

More than 2 millennia before the French Revolution introduced the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizens , an ancient Near Eastern monarch issued a charter that is considered to be the...
1,000-year-old Middle Eastern recipe book

1,000-year-old Middle Eastern recipe book claims to have the ultimate hangover cure

Written nearly a thousand years ago, the Kitab al-tabikh (book of cookery) written by Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq, is the most comprehensive work of its kind. It includes more than 600 recipes for culinary...
Ten incredible texts from our ancient past

Ten incredible texts from our ancient past

There are literally thousands of incredible texts that have survived from the ancient world, which are etched onto copper, beautifully inscribed on papyrus, chipped onto tablets, and even written...
Takenouchi

The Takenouchi Manuscripts and the Story of Humanity Never Told

The Takenouchi manuscripts are a set of mysterious documents that were rewritten by a man named Takenouchino Matori 1,500 years ago in a mixture of Japanese and Chinese characters, transcribed from...
The ancient manuscripts of Dunhuang

The ancient manuscripts of Dunhuang

Dunhuang is situated in the north western part of Gansu province in the west of China. The ancient town occupied a strategic position at the crossroads of the ancient Southern Silk Route and the main...

Earliest surviving copy of epic poem, The Brus, brought back to life

One of the two oldest surviving copies of 'The Brus' – a medieval poem famous for its vivid, early description of the Battle of Bannockburn – has been restored in time for the battle’s 700th...
600-year-old astronomical sketch

600-year-old astronomical sketch brought to life in fully functional model

A 600-year-old astronomical document is now moving into the modern era, with a symposium at the Whipple Museum titled ‘The Equatorie of the Planetis: Manuscript, Models, and Digitisation’ on 28 th...
Image of the world - Medieval Theory of Multiple Universes

Medieval bishop’s theory resembles modern concept of multiple universes

A 13th century bishop’s theory about the formation of the universe has intriguing parallels with the theory of multiple universes. This was uncovered by the Ordered Universe project at Durham...
Binary code from Ancient Text

Creation of binary code inspired by 5,000-year-old text

The binary numeral system – where each position is written as a 0 or 1 – forms the foundation of all modern computing systems. In essence, binary code produces a representation of reality; it is...
Jesus as Shapeshifter - Text from Morgan Library

The ancient text that describes Jesus as a shape-shifter

It was in March last year when reports flooded the headlines about a newly deciphered Egyptian text, dating back almost 1,200 years, which controversially described Jesus as having the ability to...
Sumerian king list

The Sumerian King List still puzzles historians after more than a century of research

Out of the many incredible artefacts that have been recovered from sites in Iraq where flourishing Sumerian cities once stood, few have been more intriguing than the Sumerian King List, an ancient...
Codex Gigas

Codex Gigas (the Devil’s Bible) - the largest manuscript in the world

Codex Gigas, otherwise known as ‘the Devil’s Bible’ is the largest and probably one of the strangest manuscripts in the world. It is so large that it is said to have taken more than 160 animal skins...
Ancient Greek Manuscript

Ancient philosophical writings found hidden beneath a medieval text

A group of scientists and historians have made an incredible discovery relating to some writings made on parchments that were produced in medieval times. Using cutting-edge technology, the...

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