ceremony

A Hopi Hero’s Journey: How the Snake Clan Came to Arizona

Joseph Campbell, in his classic book The Hero With A Thousand Faces explores in depth the universal mythic narrative of the culture-hero (traditionally male) who goes forth not to conquer but...
Chicanná: Enter the Maya House of the Serpent Mouth

Chicanna: Enter the Maya House of the Serpent Mouth

A menacing serpent-like monster glares down at you as you cross the plaza of Chicanná in Mexico. While it is certainly an unnerving thought, you decide to step inside the gaping serpent’s mouth...
Image during part of the funeral ceremony for Thailand’s deceased King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The Grand Funeral of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Intricate Buddhist Funerary Rites

For Thai Buddhists, funerals are extremely important moments, as they represent rebirth and the passage from one existence to another. The elaborate funeral rites recently held in honor of Thailand’s...
Detail of ‘Shaman’, (1930) by Arman Manookian.

The Real Story of Shamanism: No Need to Don a Headdress or Take Hallucinogens

Over the centuries, many of the world’s natural mystics have succumbed to pogroms of elimination or the steady erosion of traditional practices – witches burnt at the stake, indigenous peoples forced...
Detail of the kudu engraving which is said to depict female initiation rituals in the Namib desert thousands of years ago.

Rock Art Rituals: Namib Desert Engravings Provide Fascinating Insight into Ancient Initiation for Girls

When it is carefully examined, rock art in the Namib Desert may shine light on forgotten rituals and practices from thousands of years ago. One particularly interesting feature appears to show...
‘La Doncella’ (the Maiden), one of the mummified ‘Children of Llullaillaco’ in Salta province, Argentina.

Analysis Shows Children were Given Drugs and Alcohol before Ritual Sacrifice 500 Years Ago

The remarkably preserved mummified remains of three children were found on the summit of Volcan Llullaillaco in Argentina over a decade ago. The ‘Maiden’ was 13 years old when she met her demise and...
A pair of dogs/wolves and the moon

Butchered Dogs Consumed by Bronze Age Wolf Warriors in Rites Ceremonies

Archaeologists claim that remains of dogs and wolves found at the Srubnaya-culture settlement of Krasnosamarskoe in the Russian steppes, dating back to 1900–1700 BC, indicate that a ritual took place...
Where the Fairies Dwell: Irish Ringforts in Our World and Theirs

Where the Fairies Dwell: Irish Ringforts in Our World and Theirs

A cloud of mystery looms over the ringforts that speckle the countryside of Ireland. More than 45,000 ringforts have been documented throughout Northern Europe and yet little is known about the date...
A Polish Stonehenge? Discovery of New Burial Mounds May Rewrite History

A Polish Stonehenge? Discovery of New Burial Mounds May Rewrite History

A group of previously unknown burial mounds has been discovered near Czaplinek in north-western Poland. The most interesting feature found so far is a stone ring, which is shaped similar to the world...
Ten Unusual Ancient Traditions that Would Not Thrive Today

Ten Unusual Ancient Traditions that Would Not Thrive Today

Cultures evolve or change over the ages; this is an undeniable fact. However, many of the practices of ancient people and cultures would be practically incomprehensible for most people today. Be they...
Moche Sacrifice Illustration

By the Cut of a Tumi: An Iconic Ceremonial Artifact of Ancient Peru

The tumi was a ceremonial knife used by several pre-Columbian cultures that inhabited the Peruvian coast, including the Moche, Sicán, Chimu, and Inca cultures, to carry out blood sacrifice and...
Detail of a mural depicting a Moche priestess. Reconstruction of a Moche priestess.

Performance and Power: Moche Priestesses Uncovered

Despite being an agricultural society of ceremonial performance, bold works of art, and innovative irrigation processes, the Moche (100-800AD) are best remembered as one of many Pre-Columbian...
Bizarre 12,000-Year-Old Burial Rituals of Shaman Woman Revealed

Bizarre 12,000-Year-Old Burial Rituals of Shaman Woman Revealed

The woman was laid on a bed of specially selected materials, including gazelle horn cores, fragments of chalk, fresh clay, limestone blocks and sediment. Tortoise shells were placed under and around...
The Jagannath Temple in Puri.

The Jagannath Temple in India: Home to a Trio of Deities and Numerous Religious Festivals

The Jagannath Temple is an ancient temple located in Puri, a city in the state of Odisha on the eastern coast of India. This temple is dedicated to Jagannath, a Sanskrit name which may be translated...
Unfolding the Golden Nuggets of Early Chinese Paper Folding and the Art of Origami

Unfolding the Golden Nuggets of Early Chinese Paper Folding and the Art of Origami

Paper folding is a form of art that most people today associate with Japan. Indeed, Japanese origami is arguably the most well-known type of paper folding today. What is perhaps less well-known is...
A frog changes into a princess in the painting Tsarevna Frog ("The Frog Princess") by Viktor Vasnetsov

Forgotten Rituals and Magical Practices in Ancient History

Over the centuries, historic texts have recorded a large number of rituals – magical or religious – some of which have been preserved in modified forms, while others remain only in obscure, old books...

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A photo of the interior of the Siebenberg House.
The Siebenberg House is a house / museum located in the Old City of Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter. The Siebenberg House is best-known for the archaeological finds that have been made beneath the present structure. The excavations under the house have revealed several archaeological layers, and allow one to obtain a glimpse of the city’s history.

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View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
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