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symbolism

Engraving found in Crimean cave on flint flake from Kiik-Koba layer IV.

Engraved Crimean Stone Artifact May Demonstrate Neanderthal Symbolism

A flint flake from the Middle Paleolithic of Crimea was likely engraved symbolically by a skilled Neanderthal hand, according to a study published May 2, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by...
The Great Serpent Mound, a pre-historic effigy mound, along Ohio Brush Creek in Ohio

Symbolism of the Great Serpent in the Adena and Hopewell Cultures – Part II

Recently, a debate has developed in the Ohio archaeological community over the age and cultural affiliations of the Great Serpent Mound in Adams County, Ohio. So, what does the evidence really show...
Aerial View of Serpent Mound.

Symbolism of the Great Serpent in the Adena and Hopewell Cultures – Part I

Recently, a debate has developed in the Ohio archaeological community over the age and cultural affiliations of the Great Serpent Mound in Adams County, Ohio. So, what does the evidence really show...
Ancient art in the Altai Mountains, Russia. While the world’s best-known cave art exists in France and Spain, examples of it abound throughout the world.

Did Humans Speak Through Cave Art? Ancient Drawings and Language's Origins

When and where did humans develop language? To find out, look deep inside caves, suggests an MIT professor. More precisely, some specific features of cave art may provide clues about how our symbolic...
13,500 year old carved bison bone dredged from the North Sea.

13,500-year-old Artwork Saved from the Abyss of the Continental Shelf

Snared in a fishing net at the bottom of the North Sea, on the edge of the continental shelf, the “oldest Dutch work of art” has been found, according to an article published in Cambridge Antiquity...
Sculpture of a head from 950-1150 AD found at Building Y in the Tajin Chico section. On display at the Tajin site museum, Veracruz state, Mexico

Mexico’s Haunted City of Thunder – El Tajin: Surprising Connections Between Cultures Worlds and Eras Apart

El Tajin is a Mesoamerican archaeological site located in the North of the state of Veracruz, near the Gulf Coast of Mexico. The city, one of the most flourishing of the Classic and early Post-...
 Illustration of missing aspects of Egyptian talatat, design by Anand Balaji.

Objects of Wonder: The Symbolism and Suspense behind Ancient Egyptian artifacts

Ancient Egypt was a land of great mystery and intrigue. Her secrets were not easy to comprehend, even if they were hidden in plain sight. It still takes a keen eye to understand the deep philosophy...
Haifa University Prof. Danny Rosenberg holds the 7,200-year-old model clay grain silo found at Tel Tsaf in the Jordan Valley.

7,200-year-old Vessel Tells of the Rise of the Elites

The oldest evidence of food storage rituals has been found by researchers from the University of Haifa and the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) in Berlin during excavations at the prehistoric...
Bayron Temple, the most notable temple in Angkor Thom

Walking in Shadows of Serenity: The Great Sacred City of Angkor Thom

Angkor Thom (which means ‘Great City’) was the last capital of the mighty Khmer Empire, which was based in modern day Cambodia. This typically intricately decorated Khmer city, which is located in...
Ketchikan, Alaska. Native American totem pole

Witchcraft, Worship or Public Shaming? The Puzzling Purpose of Totem Poles in North America

Totem poles are a type of monumental structure carved from the trunks of huge trees, especially the Western Red Cedar. These monuments are found in North America, specifically along its north-western...
A photo of the White Temple, Chang Rai, Thailand

Nothing Else Like It! Ancient Meets Modern in the White Temple of Thailand

When the rebirth of an ancient building is assumed by a modern thinking artist, strange elements might appear. This is what has happened at the site of Wat Rong Khun, now the White Temple, Thailand...
Payava's tomb from Xanthos, now in the British Museum.

Culturally Mixed Messages in the Tomb of Payava: Is it Greek or Persian?

The Tomb of Payava is a decorative rectangular tomb that was transported in the 19th century from a site in Turkey to England is one of the most remarkable artifacts related to Lycian culture...
‘Jacob’s Dream’ with Jacob’s ladder (1660-1665) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.

Hopes, Fears, Progress…and Maybe DNA? Unravelling the Real Meaning of Jacob’s Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder is the common term (particularly in the West) used to describe a bridge that connects Heaven and Earth. More broadly speaking, the ladder represents an ancient symbol of unknown...
Gods, Goddesses and… Rabbits? The Surprising Ancient Myths of the Moon

Gods, Goddesses and… Rabbits? The Surprising Ancient Myths of the Moon

Before the first moon landing in 1969, the Chinese moon goddess Chang'e was mentioned in the Apollo 11 Air-to-Ground Voice Transcription between the Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas and the Apollo...
The Braganza Brooch.

Celtic Secrets in Enchanting Gold, What is the Story Behind the Braganza Brooch?

The story of a warrior and animals depicted in a small but gorgeous ancient fibula increases the pulse of researchers and others who are passionate about Celtic history. Of the dozens of precious...
Interpreting the Murals of Egypt through the Eyes of the Hopi

Interpreting the Murals of Egypt through the Eyes of the Hopi

There has to be something missing in our explanation of the murals of Egypt. Why are there so many symbols— snakes, birds with human heads, feathers, buzzards, life symbols, monkeys, scarabs,...

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