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Other Artifacts

Other Artifacts covers many items which have been recovered from the past and give us insights into ancient human worlds. From loaded Roman dice to the Shroud of Turin, these items help tell the stories of the varied culture and everyday lives of our ancestors. 

The ark that contains the Sudarium of Oviedo.

The Shroud of Oviedo: A Legendary Cloth Connected to the Death of Jesus

The Sudarium of Oviedo, also known as the Shroud of Oviedo is one of the most important relics of Christianity. It is believed to be a cloth which was wrapped around Jesus’ head after his death. The...
Plaster face of an older Amarna-era woman

The Unique Sculptures of Thutmose…and a Secret Love for One of His Muses?

When leaving his workshop in Amarna, the sculptor Thutmose may have wanted to forget something very painful. A story which may have been carved in his heart perhaps? He decided not to take some of...
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...
Detail of the Laxe dos Carballos  at Campo Lameiro, Galicia, Spain

A Walk Amongst the Petroglyphs of Galicia: Prehistoric Designs Trace Life and Times of Bronze Age Europeans

From the Upper Palaeolithic and down through the Neolithic, the Chalcolithic and into the Bronze Age, our ancestors in western Europe left behind traces of their thoughts and beliefs through rock art...
Part of a Naval Battle Scroll from the Imjin War.

Not a Shot in the Dark: How Crossbows Changed War in Ancient China

The crossbow is a missile weapon that had a major impact on the way battles were fought in the ancient world. Prior to the widespread use of crossbows, it was the bow and arrow that was the...
A picture of an Egyptian woman applying kohl to her eyes.

Bygone Beauty and Body: The Origins of Cosmetics in the Ancient World

Cosmetics may be defined as “substances that you put on your face or body that are intended to improve your appearance”. The desire to improve one’s appearance is something that seems to be...
Deriv; Sculpture depicting the King Tutankhamun as a child, gold plate with Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun.

The Twin Tragedy of Tutankhamun: Death of a Dynasty

Tossed away callously in a dark corner of the lavish Treasury in the subterranean tomb of Tutankhamun was possibly the most poignant remnant of the boy king’s short life. Positioned next to the...
A painting depicting women inspecting silk, early 12th century, ink and color on silk, by Emperor Huizong of Song.

The Legend of Leizu and the Origins of Luxurious Chinese Silk

Leizu (嫘祖), known also as Lady Hsi Ling Shih (西陵氏) is a legendary figure in Chinese history credited with the discovery of silk and the invention of the silk loom. Silk is undoubtedly one of the most...
Stone at Newgrange and Celtic with X symbol

Research Decodes Ancient Celtic Astronomy Symbols and Links them to Jungian Archetypes

My nonprofit educational corporation, The Celtic Collection Program, exhibits the largest privately owned collection of Celtic artifacts in the United States. When we started purchasing the artifacts...
Jade Cong, c. 2500 B.C.E., Liangzhu culture, Neolithic period, China (British Museum)

Elaborate Jade ‘Cong’ and ‘Bi’ as Grave Goods of the Liangzhu Culture

The Liangzhu culture (written in Chinese as 良渚文化) is a Neolithic culture that existed from around 3300 BC until 2300 BC. The archaeological evidence suggests that the Liangzhu culture possessed...
Two hand-painted Mamluk playing cards and two Venetian playing cards.

Before They Were Divination Tools, Tarot Cards Were Playing Cards

In the English-speaking world, the word ‘tarot’ is most commonly associated with the occult and divination. What is perhaps less well-known is that tarot cards were only used for such purposes...
A 4 Falus coin from Morocco, dated AH 1290 (1873/4 CE).

The Significance of the Sacred Seal of Solomon and its Symbols

The Seal of Solomon (known also as the Ring of Solomon) is believed to be a signet ring that belonged to King Solomon of Israel. This ring is thought by some to have magical powers, and it originates...
Chancay burial dolls.

Chancay Burial Dolls: Ancient Peruvian Grave Goods of a Lost Culture

Chancay burial ‘dolls’ are a type of grave goods that were used by the Chancay culture, a pre-Columbian civilization located in modern day Peru. This civilization was based mainly in the valleys of...
Detail of altar frontal (antependium}, France or Italy, 1730-1740. Silk satin with silk and metallic-thread embroidery, guipure and gaufrure.

Stitching the Story of Cutwork Embroidery, One of the Most Luxurious Goods in Europe

Different types of embroidery are known in the history of every single civilization. It seems that people liked to create beautiful personal adornments almost since the beginning of time. Cutwork is...
The Tereshchenko and Hope Diamonds, two rare, blue, and world famous diamonds.

Dazzling and Dangerous? Examining the History of the Exquisite Hope Diamond

The Hope Diamond is one of the most well-known diamonds in the world. This famous diamond has been on exhibition in the National Museum of Natural History (which is administered by the Smithsonian...
Front view of the Cup of the Ptolemies

Getting to the Bottom of the Captivating Cup of the Ptolemies

The Cup of the Ptolemies is one of the most spectacular ancient cups to have survived the ages. This attractive artifact has also gained a fascinating story over the years of its existence. The cup...

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