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Ancient Traditions

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.

The practice of Onmyōdō. Source: Epiximages / Adobe Stock.

The Oriental Magical Practice of Onmyōdō and Its Checkered History

The practice of Onmyōdō has a contentious history in Japan and, for reasons that will become clear, was outlawed for some time along with its close cousin, Shugendō (修験道). Onmyōdō, means literally, ‘...
Maat, goddess of truth and justice

Maat: Ancient Egyptian Goddess of Truth, Justice and Morality

Maat, also known as Ma’at or Mayet, was a female goddess in the ancient Egyptian religion who represented truth, justice, balance and morality. The daughter of the Egyptian sun deity Ra and wife of...
Cleaned skulls stacked under a tree in the cemetery as per tradition on Skull Island, Trunyan, Bali. Source: dani3315 / Adobe Stock.

The Decomposing Bodies of Skull Island: The Unique Funerary Custom of Trunyan

Trunyan (also spelled as Terunyan) is a village located on the Indonesian island of Bali. This village is known colloquially as the ‘Skull Island’, due to its unique funerary practice , known as...

The Incredible World of Painted Skulls and Bone Houses

Overlooking the Alps, in the idyllic Austrian mountain town of Hallstatt , a few hundred grave markers indicate the resting place of former residents. But those who choose to be buried there know...
The animal trials were common in the Middle Ages. (The Trail of Bill Burns by P. Mathews, 1838)  Source: דוג'רית / Public Domain

Strange But Serious Medieval Animal Trials Were No Kangaroo Court!

One of the more unusual aspects of the Medieval world was that animals could be put on trial like human beings. Yes, there was such a thing as legal animal trials! While the veracity of many Medieval...
Inca in a religious event. The Inca civilization is accredited with the first peanut paste.

Who Invented Peanut Butter? Origins of the Tasty Sandwich Spread

Peanut butter is a popular type of food commonly used as a spread, though it may also be used as an ingredient in various recipes. As many already know, peanut butter is made from ground dry roasted...
Ancient carpenter, woodworking. Source: deanjs / Public Domain.

How Ancient Woodworkers Sculpted Civilization

Humans have a remarkable relationship with trees . Trees not only provide the oxygen we need to breathe, but also wood in its rawest form. For millennia, woodworking by carpenters, turners, and...
Samurai armor is both brutal and delicate.

The Brutality and Delicacy of Samurai Armor: Superior Protection with a God-like Aesthetic

The Samurai class was officially dissolved over 150 years ago. Nonetheless, the warriors’ elaborate armor is still recognized globally as an iconic emblem of Japanese military strength and virtue...
Full Contact Sword Combat during the Medieval combat in Russia. Source: Wranglerstar / YouTube Screenshot.

World Championship in Medieval Combat Unfolds Like a Ukrainian Game Of Thrones

This weekend the ‘World Championship in Medieval Combat’ was held in the Ukraine where hundreds of warriors clanking around in armor , swinging swords and axes, in a scene reminiscent of an episode...
The passage of carts over decades could cause ruts (like the one shown), particularly in high-traffic areas of Pompeii.

Romans in Pompeii Repaired the Roads with Molten Iron

The buried city of Pompeii continues to provide many insights into Roman society , economy, and culture. The ash and pumice , that fell on Pompeii from Mount Vesuvius , froze the city in time. A...
Medieval knight armor with chain mail

Advances in Medieval Knight Armor Could Not Match Weapon Technology!

The knight in shining armor is undoubtedly the first image that comes to mind for most people when they think about warfare during the Middle Ages . The knight in this mental image is often a warrior...
Chamber of torture devices and ancient punishments in Prague Castle

9 Methods of Ancient Punishment That’ll Make You Squirm

For as long as societies have had to deal with crime, they’ve had to deal out punishment. In some, places, and situations the process was only meant to humiliate the guilty, but most of the following...
 Boy went through 14 years of training on the journey to knighthood

Journey to Knighthood: The Hidden Steps of Becoming a Medieval Knight

The knight is arguably one of the most iconic figures of the Middle Ages. Knights were essentially mounted warriors, and in the hierarchy of Medieval society, were considered to be part of the lower...
The Magnificent Treasures of Sutton Hoo, The Final Resting Place of Anglo-Saxon Royals

The Magnificent Treasures of Sutton Hoo, The Final Resting Place of Anglo-Saxon Royals

Sutton Hoo is an archaeological site located near the town of Woodbridge, in Suffolk, East Anglia, England. This site is best known for the Anglo-Saxon burial mounds that were discovered during the...
Beltane Fire Festival Celebrations.

The Pagan Wheel of the Year: What Elaborate Rituals and Events Mark this Sacred Cycle?

As more and more people describe themselves as ‘spiritual’ rather than religious, experts expect eco-friendly pagan movements will continue to grow. Already there are perhaps a million pagans in the...
Vintage magic book. Abracadabra used to be written and used as a talisman.

Say the Magic Word: The Origins of Abracadabra

Magic words are often used by magicians whilst performing magic tricks on stage. One of the most common of these incantations is ‘Abracadabra’. Although this word is known to many, it is likely that...

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