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A modern representation of Humbaba

Humbaba: A Monstrous Foe for Gilgamesh or a Misunderstood Guardian?

Humbaba (Huwawa) is a guardian creature found in the Epic of Gilgamesh , which is generally considered to be the earliest surviving great work of literature. Although Humbaba is traditionally...
Amazon jungle from above.

Lost Amazonian Tribes: Why the West Can’t Get Over Its Obsession with El Dorado

A number of ancient settlement sites were recently discovered in the Amazon’s Upper Tapajós Basin. This is no El Dorado – although you’d be forgiven for thinking so. The press coverage demonstrates a...
Artist’s representation of Vanaheimr.

Where is Vanaheimr, Land of the Norse Nature Gods?

In a realm of nine worlds, one might assume that the gods would be satisfied with one. One world where they could live away from humans and watch over their antics as one might watch a TV show. In...
A photo of the Kummakivi Balancing Rock.

The Kummakivi Balancing Rock and its Unlikely Explanation in Finnish Folklore

The Kummakivi Balancing Rock is a natural feature found in a scenic forest region of Ruokolahti, a municipality in the region of South Karelia, in the southeastern part of Finland. This feature...
The Valle dei Mulini.

The Ruins of Valle dei Mulini: Abandoned by Humans, Reclaimed by Nature

Ruins of old mills dot the landscape of the Valle dei Mulini (‘Valley of the Mills’). Their crumbled walls are the remains of abandoned structures which once filled the valley with human life. Now,...
Yacouba Sawadogo planting.

The Man Who Stopped a Desert Using Ancient Farming

Desertification is a serious problem facing numerous countries in the world today. Various measures have been taken to counter the negative effects, with some providing better results than others. A...
‘End of the World’ artistic representation.

Ancient Fears to Keep You Up at Night - The End Really, Really is Nigh

Historians often declare that at least 3500 end of world prophecies have appeared over the same number of years. And those are only the written ones! Eschatology is theology concerned with the final...
Main: A giant wave (public domain) Inset: This is the skull of a person who lived in what's now Papua New Guinea, 6,000 years ago.

6,000-Year-Old Skull is Earliest Known Victim of a Tsunami

Tsunamis spell calamity. These giant waves, caused by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and underwater landslides, are some of the deadliest natural disasters known; the 2004 tsunami in the Indian...
Artist’s depiction of an Ancient Egyptian girl kneeling by the Nile River.

Volcanic Eruptions and Climate Change Incited Upheaval in Ancient Egypt - and Historians Warn of Repetition

The Nile river was the lifeblood of ancient Egypt. When the waterway flooded nearby lands things were good, but a lack of that precious water caused serious issues. Now, historians have found that...
Kukeri is a type of wild man in Bulgaria. Rituals with this ‘beast’ are believed to scare away evil spirits.

Beasts of the Pagan Wild Man Ritual Come in All Shapes and Sizes

The wild man is a creature found in various pagan traditions across Europe. Generally speaking, a wild man is a man dressed up in a beast-like costume for certain pagan rituals, which were normally...
Priestess of Delphi (1891) by John Collier. (Public Domain) Drawing of the Tholos of Delphi, Greece.

Earthquake Faults May Have Shaken up the Cultural Practices of Ancient Greece

The Ancient Greeks may have built sacred or treasured sites deliberately on land previously affected by earthquake activity, according to a new study by the University of Plymouth. Professor of...
Åsgårdsreien (The Wild Hunt) by Peter Nicolai Arbo (1872).

Omen of Odin: The Wild Hunt Thundered Across European Skies, Bringing Calamity and Doom

Ask anyone who has ever seen Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones —witnessing a Bolton "hunt" is rarely a good sign. So too is the case for the supernatural Wild Hunt of European myth. A phenomenon...
The Apennine Colossus by Giambologna.

Man out of Mountain: The Striking Figure of the Apennine Colossus

"… great father Apennine, lifting elate to heaven his snow-crowned head…" At the feet of the Apennines, Aeneas and his men defeated the Latins in one of the first victories of the early Romans. Amid...
Magu, Goddess of Longevity and immortal hemp maiden.

Magu: The Hemp Goddess Who Healed Ancient Asia

"Cannabis" and "criminal" are synonymous in many countries. While cannabis has been steadily weaving onto the "right" side of the law in recent years, the "high" people get from the plant is still...
An aerial view of the aqueduct.

An Enigma Wrapped in a Mystery: The Living, Growing Aqueduct of Alicún de las Torres, Granada

Not far from the Moorish splendors of the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, and close to the troglodyte cave-dwellings of the residents of Guadix, is the spectacular, living, El Toril Aqueduct. It is...
The Badlands Guardian and Other Uncanny Products of Pareidolia

The Badlands Guardian and Other Uncanny Products of Pareidolia

Amidst the rugged terrain of the badlands of southeastern Alberta, Canada is a geologic feature that, from the air, bears a striking resemblance to an indigenous Canadian wearing a headdress...

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