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Artifacts

There are undoubtedly millions of ancient artifacts from the past that have served to shed light on the lives of our ancestors from many millennia ago. But some ancient mystical artifacts stand out for their uniqueness, their intrigue, or their ability to expand our knowledge about previously unknown aspects of our history. Here we feature many such ancient history artifacts, from amazing examples of ancient technology, to artistic masterpieces, unexplained objects, ancient texts, and mysterious artifacts that shed light on the daily lives of our ancestors.

13th Century illustration of Mongols laying siege to a Middle-Eastern city using a trebuchet.

Catapult: The Long-Reaching History of a Prominent Medieval Siege Engine

One of the most iconic images of the European Middle Ages is the castle. This defensive structure was often heavily fortified and provided its inhabitants with much-needed safety. It was usually...
The world’s first-known abecedary in ancient Egyptian hieratic script has been deciphered by a Dutch Egyptologist.

Scholar deciphers oldest known alphabet primer, in ancient Egyptian

A Dutch Egyptologist recently deciphered the oldest known abecedary or alphabet-like primer on a 3,500-year-old shard of pottery from an Egyptian tomb excavated 20 years ago. The earliest alphabets...
A detail of the basalt Rosetta Stone

The father of Egyptology suffered a tragic death after deciphering the Rosetta Stone

A mystery surrounds the death of a 19 th century Frenchman who unraveled a great mystery—the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. Jean-Francois Champollion died young after deciphering the Rosetta Stone,...
A collection of tablets displaying Indus Valley script.

Decoding the mysterious ancient Indus Valley script will shed light on powerful ancient civilization

Linguists have cracked many tough scripts, from Mesopotamian cuneiform to Egyptian hieroglyphic to Central American Mayan glyphs, but there are a few ancient, mysterious scripts still in the field...
The Shroud of Turin: modern, digitally processed image of the face on the cloth [left] and the full body image as seen on the shroud [right].

The Shroud of Turin: Controversial Cloth Defies Explanation as Study Shows it Has DNA From Around the World

Believed by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth, but held only as a religious article of historical significance by skeptics, the Shroud of Turin has captivated scholars and scientists...
Section of the Derveni Papyrus

The Derveni Papyrus: The Most Ancient Book in Europe Involved in a Campaign Against Orpheus?

The Derveni Papyrus has recently been inscribed as one of the works for protection within the Memory of the World Register by UNESCO. Named as the ‘Most Ancient Book in Europe,’ the history of the...
Kaolin ceramic vessel with ceramic stopper, 10cm x 4 cm

Looking for Answers: Unknown North American Artifact Unearthed in Pennsylvania

An artifact recovered from a hilltop site overlooking the Delaware River in Eastern Pennsylvania, along with other artifacts recovered during a ten-year investigation reveals there is much to be...
The Folkton Drums were found in East Yorkshire, England, and are on display in the British Museum.

Study sheds new light on mysterious Stone Age drums

Archaeologists have used sophisticated techniques to study the enigmatic Folkton drums—three solid, decorated chalk cylinders dating back thousands of years that were found years ago in the grave of...
Painting of the second Peacock Throne from the Red Fort in Delhi, India. (1850) The first Peacock Throne was taken as a war trophy by the Persian King Nader Shah in 1739 and has been lost ever since.

Thrones of Gods and Kings: Symbols of Power through History

The Iron Throne from the Game of Thrones is perhaps one of the most iconic objects in 21st century pop culture. The concept of the throne, as many already know, has been in existence for a much...
A five-volume treatise concerning medical matters, Dioscorides, De Materia Medica, Byzantium, 15th century.

Could ancient textbooks be the source of the next medical breakthrough?

The discovery that won the latest Nobel Prize for Medicine wouldn’t have been much of a revelation to doctors in ancient China. Pharmaceutical chemist Tu Youyou established that the compound...
: A segment of the exquisite Bayeux Tapestry. In this scene Odo, Bishop of Bayeux (with raised club), half-brother to William the Great, rallies the troops in the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

Nearly 1,000 Years Old, the Bayeux Tapestry is An Epic Tale and Medieval Masterpiece

The ancient Bayeux Tapestry, famous for its epic representation of medieval history, is a long, vividly embroidered cloth stretching hundreds of feet. Through exciting imagery it retells the events...
A Neolithic axe created by the Aboriginals of what is now Australia.

Written in Stone: Neolithic Weapons and Tools of the Australian Aboriginals

The groundswell of interest world-wide in artifacts from our prehistoric past reveals our shared humanity at a time when no written records exist to bear testimony to it. Indeed, 99% of our history...
Detail of Augustinus in betrachtendem Gebet.

Armillary Spheres: Following Celestial Objects in the Ancient World

Astronomy is often considered to be one of the oldest branches of science. In many ancient societies, astronomical observations were used not only for the practical job of determine the rhythm of...
The text resembles Cyrillic letters, according to experts.

Is The Book of Veles a great Slavic text or a charlatan’s forgery?

The Book of Veles is so controversial it is banned in Russia. Its supporters say it lays out cultural, religious and historical facts about Slavs from the 7 th century BC until the 9 th century AD,...
Bronze Age pot of the proto-Celtic Urnfield culture, sporting ritualistic symbols and mathematical markings.

Urnfield Vase Reveals 3,300 Year Old Lunar and Metaphysical Encoding

A vase dating back to Bronze Age Europe has strange symbols and abstract markings. Examination of the pottery has revealed a prehistoric mathematical approach to sacred numbers, as well as a moon...
A volvelle from a 14th century English manuscript is on display at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Volvelle: The paper machine designed to calculate the time and compute the truth of religion

What if you could design a moving device from paper that invoked logical proofs and God’s attributes to settle religious disputes? Or what if you were able to make something more practical—a paper “...

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