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Ancient Origins brings you articles related to Ancient Traditions from all over the world. Find related articles in the sections of history, archaeology, human origins, unexplained, artifacts, ancient places and myths and legends.

Portrait of an executioner. Warpedgalerie / Adobe Stock

The Dark Life of a Medieval Executioner – A Cut Away from the Rest

It is no surprise that the medieval period was filled with all kinds of undesirable jobs. There were leech collectors, cesspool cleaners, serfs, and gong farmers, to name a few. But one vocation that...
Goddess of Egypt, Bastet. Credit: MiaStendal / Adobe Stock

Egyptian Cat Goddess Bastet, Protector of the King

The wondrous world of Egyptian deities is filled with all manner of fantastic creatures, each one captivating in its unique depiction. This vast pantheon features hundreds upon hundreds of deities,...
The drum has been used since ancient times for rituals and communication. Source: zolotareva_elina / Adobe Stock.

Primeval Communication and the Beat of the Drum

Human beings need complex communication, no matter if it's through speech or music . The invention of drums has become an essential factor in all musical forms of artistic expression. It is through...
In the medieval England magic was a service industry. Source: Вероника Преображенс / Adobe Stock.

In Medieval England, Magic Was A Service Industry

Tabitha Stanmore / The Conversation Chances are that when you hear the words “ medieval magic ”, the image of a witch will spring to mind: wizened old crones huddled over a cauldron containing...
Mysterious Monk Walking Alone During Sunset. Source: Igor Ovsyannykov / CC BY 2.0

Italy’s Ancient Benandanti: Harvest Rites and Ghostly Battles

In the Friuli region of Italy in 1580, during the peak of the Roman Inquisition’s foray into witchcraft, an inquisitorial examination of a local town crier produced the following eerie testimony: “…...
A traditional bedroom in Cappadocia, Turkey. Credit: EvanTravels / Adobe Stock

What Humans Have Been Doing in Bed for 77,000 Years

Groucho Marx once joked , “Anything that can’t be done in bed isn’t worth doing at all.” You might think he was referring to sleeping and sex. But humans, at one time or another, have done just about...
Statue of a woman covering herself. Credit: macondos / Adobe Stock

The Shocking History of Virgin Tests and Cures

Virginity has been the obsession of men for thousands of years. It has driven the best people, like the virgin warrior Joan of Arc, to fight for just cause. Virginity has also lured the worst people...
The Tai Hang fire dragon dance is performed in Hong Kong during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Source: Hong Kong Tourism Board.

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! Explore the Legends and the Myths

Nearly everyone has heard of the Chinese New Year festival, but there is another festival that is very important in China and East Asia. This is the Mid-Autumn Festival , which is an enormous party...
Several of the ancient pigments were deadly. Photo source: Ezume Images / Adobe Stock.

Poisonous Pigments: History’s Deadliest Colors

Throughout history, ancient civilizations have been using all kinds of ingenious ways to create pigments for the coloring of clothing, objects and even buildings. While some of the pigments were...
They newly discovered distillery in China. Source: Ecns.cn

Massive 500-Year-Old Distillery Found in China is on Industrial Scale

Archaeologists have discovered the ruins of a massive distillery in China that dates to the Ming and Qing dynasties. The discovery is believed to be the largest of its kind ever made in China,...
Dia De Muertos. Credit: Yuliya Ochkan / Adobe Stock

Mexican Day of the Dead – Bittersweet Remembrance of Departed Ancestors

The celebrated Mexican Day of the Dead means one thing for city dwellers and quite another for country folks. It is a day dedicated to the bittersweet remembrance of departed family members. It also...
Hysteria was a term used to diagnosis wandering womb a female medical condition branded by ancient Greeks. Source: rodjulian / Adobe Stock

Beware the Wandering Wombs of Hysterical Women

From ancient Greek physician Hippocrates to the infamous doctor Isaac Baker Brown of the 19th century, the pains and ailments of women were thought to be because of a ‘wandering womb’, better known...
Wicker Man

The Fearsome Wicker Man: An Eerie Way Druids Committed Human Sacrifice

The wicker man is purported to be one of the means by which the ancient druids made human sacrifices. According to a number of classical authors, the druids partook in human sacrifice, though these...
Egyptian gods and goddess. From left to right, Sekhmet, Isis, Ra, Horus, Wadjet, and Set. Source: Hotaru Ito / Public Domain.

Understanding the Gods of Egypt: In Unison With Nature

Ancient Egypt is a never ending source of inspiration for many of us – their myths , their history, and their art are so wonderful and enigmatic, that they have intrigued researchers for decades. But...
Matelotage is the marriage / civil union of two male pirates. Source: rdrgraphe / Adobe Stock.

Be My Matelotage! The Civil Union of 17th Century Pirates

Love strikes hard like the broadsiding from a warship, leaving both splinters and buckshot in one’s heart. When it hits, there's nothing anyone can do but accept the bombardment with both arms open...
An ancient gift. Credit: kharchenkoirina / Adobe Stock

Anniversary Gifts: From Medieval Wreaths to Modern Getaways

It is not entirely clear when the custom of anniversary gifting began. However, early records show that marriage ceremonies and contracts were in existence four millennia ago – as far back as in...

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