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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.

Youtube video screenshot from the new movie ‘The Mummy.’

Desecration and Romanticization – The Real Curse of Mummies

Craig Barker / The Conversation This June Hollywood’s tomb of old ideas will creak open yet again and present the tale of an ancient Egyptian tomb disturbed by a bumbling archaeologist and/or action-...
Stones arranged into a Native American medicine wheel pattern.

A Glimpse into the Intuitive Medicine of the Native American Tradition

Many centuries ago, in a land that is quite familiar to the modern American (in some forgotten, ethereal way).... A native boy scurries through a thicket of bramble bushes. His mouth stained with...
The Spirit of the Dead Keeps Watch’ (1892) by Paul Gauguin.

Ghost Beliefs in Polynesia: When Spirits Return and Possess

A belief in ghosts is held by many cultures (both modern and ancient) around the world. Some of these ghost beliefs are well-known, whilst others, such as those held by the Polynesians, are less so...
A modern Pagan Wiccan altar set up.

Secrets of Magic in Modern Paganism Revealed

Magic is one of the aspects that can be found in many of the groups that are part of the movement known collectively as Modern Paganism. According to practitioners of magic within the movements of...
Gerard van Honthorst's 1623 painting ‘The Concert.’

Band Posters of the Renaissance: How Medieval Music Fans Showed off Their Taste

Tim Shephard / The Conversation Did you once put a poster of your favorite music artist on your bedroom wall? Are there a few faded gig T-shirts in your bottom drawer? Have you ever bought an LP or...
Theseus (center) invented wrestling

The Real Reason That Men in Classical Portrayals Were Given Small Manhoods

Today, bigger is widely regarded as better. But was this always the case? This article sheds some light on how the Western culture changed in its phallic preferences. Over the past few decades,...
Egyptian Fellah woman with her child, Elisabeth Jerichau-Baumann, 1872

Did Eternity Obsessed Ancient Egyptians Know How to Prevent Pregnancy?

It is hard to believe that the Ancient Egyptians, a culture completely infatuated with the preservation of life after death, would be concerned with the prevention of pregnancy. But they were one of...
Ancient Book

Say the Magic Word: The Origins of Abracadabra and Other Magical Mutterings

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...
‘The gyri of the thinker's brain as a maze of choices in biomedical ethics.’ (Deriv.) An ancient Greek memory technique suggests imagining a pathway through a location to remember important information.

Enhance Your Memory with this Ancient Greek Memorization Technique

In Greek mythology, Mnemosyne was the personification of memory. In ancient Greece, prior to being written down, stories were recounted orally. Due to that, memory played an important part in the...
Orant, Catacomb of Priscilla. It has been argued that these catacombs provide evidence for women having a stronger role in early Christianity, perhaps even in the priesthood.

No Girls Allowed? Debate for Women in the Christian Priesthood Rages On

In many countries, laws prohibit employers from discriminating based on sex. However, exemptions to this law are often made for religious orders. The Roman Catholic Church is adamant that women...
Two youths engaged in sex, one of them holding a hoop. Detail from an amphora

The Truth About Sex in Ancient Greece

An exhibition at the British Museum promises to lift the lid on what beauty meant for the ancient Greeks. But while we gaze at the serene marble statues on display – straining male torsos and soft...
Cro Magnon diorama showing a mammoth bone shelter.

Did Man and Mammoth Ever Live in Harmony? Not Quite…

Humans and mammoths coexisted in Europe for about 30,000 years. As a result, it makes sense that humans would have used mammoths and their remains for food and possibly for making clothing and even...
Inca in a religious event. The Inca civilization is accredited with the first peanut paste.

Peanut Butter: Who Invented 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...
‘Woman With Brown Hair Near White Painted Wall’ and division of the face according to Mian Xiang

Can Traditional Chinese Face Reading Provide Insight on Your Future, Health, and Character?

面相 (‘miàn xiàng’, or less accurately as ‘mien shiang’) is a type of Chinese divination that relies on the observation of a person’s facial features. Apart from divining an individual’s future,...
Elaborate Ceremonial Samurai Helmet. The helmet was one of the most important parts of a Samurai’s armor.

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...
An Easter postcard depicting the Easter Bunny.

The Very Strange History of the Easter Bunny

While you’re biting the heads off your chocolate bunnies this weekend, you might wonder how rabbits became so central to our Easter celebrations. It’s tempting to assume that because there’s no...

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