Cult

Sealings from the archive of Doliche.

Discovery of 1,000 Sealings Reveals an Ancient City’s Devotion to the Graeco-Roman Pantheon

Classical scholars from the Cluster of Excellence "Religion and Politics" of the University of Münster discovered a large number of sealings in south-east Turkey. "This unique group of artifacts...
King Herihor and Queen Nodjmet adoring the god Osiris in the afterlife. (Photo credits: Trustees of the British Museum (Wikimedia Commons)); Deriv.

The Hunt for Herihor: Waning Pharaonic Power and Advent of Priest-kings–Part I

Early in the Twenty-First Dynasty, a High Priest of Amun-Re, Herihor, declared himself ruler. The custodians of the cult of the state god finally got what they had always yearned for—overtly and...
Tel Burna, Structures of Libnah

Archaeologists Discover a 3,200-Year-Old Pagan Ritual Hall in Israel

Excavators from Israel have announced the discovery of three millennia-old pagan ritual evidence, which supports the hypothesis of pagan worship at Tel Burna back then. Experts suggest that the new...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

Akhenaten: Imperishable Art of an Iconoclast: Creativity Blossoms in the Desert—Part I

Never before had a pharaoh ushered daring, almost bizarre and inconceivable transformations in religion and statecraft as Akhenaten did. Not only did he oust the pantheon of traditional gods and...
Images A, C and D show incisions while B shows the hole drilled into the skull.

Evidence of the Earliest ‘Skull Cult’ Activity: Drilled and Carved Skulls Found at the World’s Oldest Temple

Just as people at the world’s oldest known temple site in Southeast Turkey began to make the transition from hunter-gatherers to a more settled lifestyle, they also started a “skull cult” in which...
Aerial view of circular henge remains and burials

Archaeologists Discover a Stone Age “Cult” Henge Site and 4,000 Year-old Human Remains

A team of archaeologists has discovered a Stone Age “cult” henge site and human remains that are estimated to be nearly 4,000 years old. Experts suggest that the human remains, found near Stratford,...
Moses’ Horns.

4 Completely Different Versions of the Story of Moses

The story of Moses doesn’t just show up in the Bible. In the ancient world, nearly every culture had their own version of what happened. The Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Romans all had their own...
2,000-year-old Warrior Armor Made of Reindeer Antlers Found on the Arctic Circle

2,000-year-old Warrior Armor Made of Reindeer Antlers Found on the Arctic Circle

By: The Siberian Times Reporter The ceremonial suit was embellished with decorations and left as a sacrifice for the gods by ancient bear cult polar people, say archeologists. The discovery is the...
The excavation site at Mariana, Corsica.

Mysterious Sanctuary Linked to Mithraism Found on French Island

An ancient sanctuary dedicated to the god Mithra was excavated in Lucciana on east coast of Corsica. The site was excavated by France’s National Institute for Preventative Archaeology (INRAP) in...
Birds, Stones, and Jaguars: Piecing Together the Multifaceted Ancient Olmec Religion

Birds, Stones, and Jaguars: Piecing Together the Multifaceted Ancient Olmec Religion

The Bilingual-Mayan inscription of Comalcalco and decipherment of the La Venta celts and Olmec iconography allows one to understand much about the ancient Olmec religion and its cult associations...
Cave of Kelipus: A Place Where Ardent Believers Waited for the Second Coming

Cave of Kelipus: A Place Where Ardent Believers Waited for the Second Coming

Non-believers say that it is merely an old springhouse. Yet many believe that the hard-to-find cave is where the (perhaps) first death cult of the United States sought sanctuary as they awaited the...
Lost in Translation? Understandings and Misunderstandings about the Ancient Practice of “Sacred Prostitution”

Lost in Translation? Understandings and Misunderstandings about the Ancient Practice of “Sacred Prostitution”

In the modern world, the mere mention of “Sacred Prostitution” may receive raised eyebrows or disgusted grimaces. Evidently, this was also the case for the ancients as many ancient authors describe...
Mural depicting Isis in the tomb of Seti I in the Valley of the Kings (KV17).

Isis, An Egyptian Goddess Who Spread Her Wings Across Europe

When the Romans entered Egypt they saw a land of magnificent temples, impressive and monumental statues, and symbolism they did not understand. The Greeks felt the same when they explored the country...
Relief carved from stone featuring Ptolemy XIII of Egypt and the deity Isis. Representational image.

4,000-Year-Old Relief Carvings and Decorated Stone Blocks Discovered in Temple of Serapis in Egypt

Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered two 4,000-year-old reliefs in the Temple of Serapis on the Red Sea. The Egyptian Antiquities Minister Mamdouh Eldamaty announced last week that discoveries...
The head of a mummified cat

Mummifying Millions: Operation of the Animal Cult Industry of Ancient Egypt

Read Part 1 Millions of animal mummies have been found in the dark, carved stone tunnels beneath the location of Egypt’s earliest pyramid, in the Catacombs of Anubis in North Saqqara. The astounding...
Statue of Hermanubis, a hybrid of Anubis and the Greek god Hermes.

Mummifying Millions: The Canine Catacombs and the Animal Cult Industry of Ancient Egypt

Many associate two popular themes with ancient Egypt: animal worship and mummies. The two have been combined on unprecedented levels deep in the Catacombs of Anubis in North Saqqara. The necropolis...

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Top New Stories

Detail of a star chart dating to the Middle Kingdom.
The calendar is one of mankind’s most important inventions. Calendars allowed societies to organize time for religious, social, economic, and administrative purposes. The calendar, or rather, two sets of calendars, were invented by the ancient Egyptians. One of these was a lunar calendar, which was used mainly for the organization of religious festivals.

Ancient Technology

The four-handled tureen adorned with dragons, birds and spikes
Chinese archaeologists have discovered ritual tureen and “soup bowls” next to a badly decomposed body in a Zhou dynasty-era tomb. Among the remains there were also uncovered two wine vessels, which experts suggest were probably used as part of the funerary rituals.

Ancient Places

Healing Temple of Aesculapius (Asklepios) by Robert Thom
In the ancient world, many cultures built elaborate temple complexes dedicated to their healer gods - Imhotep in Egypt and Asklepios in Greece for example. These gods were recognized as having the power to cure supplicants from a variety of ailments within sleep and sacred dreams. Those who desired healing might travel many hundreds of miles to reach such a temple

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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)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)