The Abyss of Hell, Sandro Botticelli, 1480s
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 13:45

The recent dispute over whether Pope Francis denied the existence of hell in an interview attracted wide attention. This isn’t surprising, since the belief in an afterlife, where the virtuous are rewarded with a place in heaven and the wicked are punished in hell, is a core teaching of Christianity.

Two Sides to Every Story: The North American Martyrs Shrines and Indigenous/ Roman Catholic Relations – Part II
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 01:51

Jerome Lalemant, the second Superior of the Huron mission, said there were so few converts because no Jesuit had been martyred yet. It is stated more than once that if the “glorious crown” of martyrdom was denied to them, the mission itself could be seen as a living martyrdom.

Head of Marcus Aurelius found at Aswan/Site of the newly discovered shrine at Luxor,
Monday, April 23, 2018 - 22:47

Recent discoveries at two of the major ancient sites in Egypt emphasize the diversity of culture and power that existed in the region over time. In Aswan, the head of a marble statue of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius was uncovered, while at the Karnak Temple site of Luxor, a Late Period shrine to the god Osiris was found.

Two Sides to Every Story: The North American Martyrs Shrines and Indigenous/ Roman Catholic Relations
Monday, April 23, 2018 - 18:58

After the Blessed Virgin Mary and her assorted shrines and grottoes, evangelical Catholics in Canada and United States flock to and draw inspiration from the North American Martyrs’ Shrines in Midland, Ontario and Auriesville, New York; where collectively six clerics and two `donne’ or lay people were killed, supposedly `in odium fidei’ (in hatred of the faith).

Head from a red granite statue of Amenhotep III wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt found at Karnak; side panel of one of the Colossi of Memnon shows a relief of Hapy, the Nile god, and a sculpture of Queen Tiye; design by Anand Balaji
Monday, April 23, 2018 - 15:42

With the empire witnessing an unprecedented era of peace and prosperity, Amenhotep III embarked on a grand building project that spanned the length and breadth of Egypt. The monuments he commissioned were breathtaking in scope, scale and artistry. Nebmaatre dedicated temples and shrines to several gods, primarily Amun-Ra, and also to himself—but most important of all, he built sanctuaries and lakes in honor of his beloved wife, Queen Tiye.

Detail of a copy of the Doryphoros of Polykleitos.
Monday, April 23, 2018 - 14:03

Was perfection possible in the ancient Greek world? If you look at their art, you may think so. Doryphoros (translated from Greek as ‘Spear-Bearer), was a statue created during the 5th century BC. The fine detail for an idealized human anatomy and natural pose of this statue inspired Romans to create several copies and lucky for us, some of the replicas have survived until today.


Archaeology News on Human Origins, Ancient Places and Mysterious Phenomena

A detail from a silk samite shirt made by the nomadic Sogdian people of central Asia.

Ancient Silk Shirt from a Fallen Empire is Set to Fetch a Bundle at Auction

An exceptional silk shirt made by a skilled Sogdian craftsman is going up for auction at the end of April. The honey-golden color of the silk is decorated with ducks wearing flowing scarves while...
Wewelsburg Caste

Teutonic Knights’ Castle Turned into Nazi Cult Site?

The word ‘crusader’ conjures up images of scarlet-cross Knights Templar. Although these heroes of the 12th century may dominate popular culture, their Order was rivalled by the black-cross Order of...
Square & compasses (Insignia of Freemasons) carved into stone. (Public Domain) Part of The Beale Papers Names Cipher C3.

Does Cryptic Code Hidden in Beale Ciphers Reveal Secrets of the Freemasons?

The Beale Ciphers have challenged treasure hunters for almost 200 years. Is the Declaration of Independence the key to finding the gold, silver, and precious stones that Beale buried near Bedford,...
The worn cast copper alloy Chinese coin, from the Northern Song dynasty (960 AD to 1127 AD), minted during the Xining reign between 1068 and 1077 AD, and found in Britain

An Out of Place Chinese Coin Prompts Wonder: Did Medieval Asia and Britain Interact?

Britain’s antiquities experts have written it off as a loss from a curate collection; but the presence of a Chinese Northern Song dynasty (960 - 1127 AD) coin unearthed in Cheshire, England does have...
The mummified head of Djehutynakht.

FBI Crime Team Solves Mystery of 4,000-Year-Old Decapitated Mummy

Just over a century ago, an American archaeologist found a hidden tomb buried 30 feet beneath boulders in an ancient Egyptian necropolis. He was met with one of the finest painted coffins ever found...
Bjorn Ironside as depicted in the TV series ‘Vikings.’

Bjorn Ironside: Viking Trickster and Founder of a House of Swedish Royalty

Bjorn Ironside was a famous Viking leader who legends say ruled Sweden as the first king from the House of Munsö. He lived during the 9th century AD and his father was the legendary Ragnar Lodbrok...
Skulls and bones are piled high at the charnel house Rothwell, Northamptonshire, England.

2500 Bodies fill Rare Charnel Chapel in England - Hidden House of Bones Revealed in 3D

A hidden hall of bones containing the remains of thousands of dead was a secret kept for centuries. 3D scans of the shocking find now bring light to the dark chambers, revealing England’s best-...
Alchemical illustration of a Homunculus in a vial

Alchemical Recipe for a Homunculus: Sperm + Rotting Meat = Mini Artificial Human

The question of how to create life does not just go back to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, when the eponymous character used forbidden science to create life. Humans have been interested in creating...
Witches' Sabbath, 1819-1823 by  Francisco Goya

Killing with Curses: Obscure 17th Century Muggletonian Sect

Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. One of the debates among fans of the ‘Potterverse’ – the fictional universe that is the setting for the Harry Potter-related novels and movies – is where did...
Shows Dr. Catherine Frieman in a field in Cornwall with survey equipment. Credit: ANU.

Property Owner Reports ‘Lump’ on His Land – Archaeologists Find 4,000-Year-Old Burial Mound

An Archaeologist at The Australian National University (ANU) has discovered a prehistoric Bronze-Age barrow , or burial mound, on a hill in Cornwall and is about to start excavating the untouched...
Painting by John Bauer of two trolls with a human child they have raised

The Weird, Wonderful and Wicked Beings in Scandinavian Folklore

In Scandinavian folklore, there are numerous races of beings, the best-known of which (apart from human beings) are the gods and the jötnar, their nemesis. In rather simplistic terms, these may be...
South Indian Sudoku: Archaeologists Find Magic Square Puzzle Inscribed on Temple Pillar

South Indian Sudoku: Archaeologists Find Magic Square Puzzle Inscribed on Temple Pillar

Archaeologists in India have discovered a rare 300-year-old inscription of a sudoku-like game on the pillar of a temple in Palani, India. When added in any direction, the numbers total 15, which is...
The laughing jester // Art museum of Stockholm, Sweden.

Jokes and Pranks: Here is the April Fools’ Day Origin Story

April Fools’ Day has a special twist in 2018. This year, April 1st is not only a day for pranksters, but also Easter celebrations. You can imagine there will be many egg jokes and maybe an Easter...
Easter procession in Bilbao, Spain

Under the Hoods: The Brotherhoods (and Sisterhoods) of Spain’s Holy Week

“Spain is different!”. Napoleon took this view after his defeat by Spanish guerrilla warfare tactics. Generalissimo Franco’s government later made use of this slogan to promote Spain’s unique appeal...
The reconstructed face of Cro-Magnon man.

Scientists Reconstruct the Face of a Cro-Magnon Man, Tumors and All

To mark the 150th anniversary of the discovery his bones, researchers have re-examined the 28,000-year-old remains of a middle-aged Cro-Magnon man. They have found that he suffered from a genetic...
"Zaporozhian Cossacks write to the Sultan of Turkey" by Ilya Repin (1844–1930)

The Cossack Sorcerers of Folk Legends and Historical Chronicles

The image of Cossack Sorcerers was so popular that there are many legends about them. One tells of the Battle of the Cossacks against the Poles. As soon as the Cossack Sorcerer Kravchina (army) hit...