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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.

Top image:  Moche pottery depicting copulation.  Museo Larco – Lima, Perú

Sexuality and Nudity in Ancient Mesoamerica

The ancient civilizations of Mesoamerica left behind a rich artistic legacy that continues to captivate and intrigue modern scholars and enthusiasts. Among the myriad of themes that Mesoamerican art...
hah Abbas I of Persia and his page boy interacting and sharing wine, circa 1627. Public Domain.

Life of a Male Concubine in the Ottoman Empire (Video)

Male concubines in the Ottoman Empire were symbols of wealth, power, and masculinity. These young men, chosen for their looks and talents, served the sultan and his court in various roles. The...
The starboard toilet on the beakhead of the warship Vasa, displayed in the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden. (Peter Isotalo / CC by SA 3.0)

Toilets on a Pirate Ship and the Sorry Guy Who Cleaned Them... (Video)

Sanitation aboard a pirate ship was far from ideal. Bathing was a rarity, and clean clothes were scarce, often stolen from other ships. Hot baths were a luxury reserved for the sick, usually onshore...
5,500-Year-Old Neolithic Cranial Amulets Shed Light on Ancient Belief System

5,500-Year-Old Neolithic Cranial Amulets Shed Light on Ancient Belief System

In 1914, a Swiss amateur archaeologist, Ernest Roulin, approached the Museum of Science and Art in Ireland with an incredibly rare discovery – two ancient amulets made from fragments of human cranium...
19th-century painting depicting the act of Sati (Wellcome Images / CC by SA 4.0)

Shocking Things That Were Normal in Ancient India (Video)

Ancient India's history is marked by practices that, by today's standards, appear bewildering. One such practice was baby dropping, where infants under 2 years old were shaken and dropped from...
Egyptian painting of dancers and flutists, from the Tomb of Nebamun. (Public Domain)

The Wildest Party in Ancient Egypt- The Festival of Drunkenness (Video)

In ancient Egypt , amidst the grandeur of pyramids and pharaohs, there existed a unique annual event—the Festival of Drunkenness . This mid-August celebration found its origins in Egyptian mythology...
A Chinese physician with a pregnant woman. Wellcome collection / CC by SA 4.0.  By

Weirdest Ancient Chinese Pregnancy and Birth Traditions (Video)

In ancient China, pregnancy and childbirth were influenced by traditions and superstitions. The Chinese valued the balance of Yin and Yang , representing feminine darkness and masculine brightness...
Ancient Roman mosaic of debauchery. Source: Sailko / CC by SA 3.0.

Crazy Things the Ancient Romans Did (Video)

Beneath the refined façade of ancient Rome lie intriguing, lesser-known aspects of this civilization. For ordinary Romans, purple was off-limits. This rich hue, cherished by nobility, symbolized...
Representational image of Kendo training in Japan. Source: jtanki / Adobe Stock

The Ancient Origins of Kendo: From Samurai to Sportsmanship

Kendo, the practice of Japanese swordsmanship, is one of the most popular martial arts today. Yet few people fully appreciate this sport’s fascinating origins and what its evolution can tell us about...
A Mayan woman in a sweat lodge. Source: Peopleimages - AI / Adobe Stock.

Shocking Weird Things That Were Normal for Mayans! (Video)

The Mayan civilization , known for its enigmatic rituals, had customs that may baffle us today. Their saunas, rather than places of relaxation, were considered gateways to the afterlife. Blood...
A woman in the Renaissance getting dressed. Source: YouTube Screenshot / CrowsEye Productions.

The Elaborate Process of Getting Dressed as a Renaissance Woman (Video)

In Renaissance Florence , Italy, fashion was a tapestry of elegance and refinement . The clothing of this era showcased intricate details and subtle displays of wealth. Women of the time donned silk...
Punishment in ancient Japan was brutal. Source: YouTube Screenshot / Crazy Histories.

Shocking Punishments in Ancient Japan! (Video)

Medieval Japan , often romanticized for its samurai culture, had a dark side characterized by brutal punishment and oppression. Peasants faced a grim fate in a society dominated by samurai overlords...
Sumerian priestess. Source: Oleksandr / Adobe Stock.

Sumerian King Iddin-Dagan Copulated with a Priestess in a Public Annual Ritual

In the annals of history, we have witnessed a myriad of unique, and at times, bizarre traditions that have defined civilizations and their leaders. One such tradition that stands tall in its peculiar...
Roman parties were all about grand displays of wealth, power and status. (Public Domain)

The Truth About Secret Ancient Roman Parties (Video)

In ancient Rome , extravagant parties were not just about revelry; they were grand displays of wealth, power, and social status. These gatherings encompassed various types, including dinner parties,...
Syrian man. Source: kichigin19 / Adobe Stock.

The Village in Syria Where They Speak Jesus' Tongue (Video)

In the rugged Qalamoun mountains of Syria lies Maaloula, a village with a remarkable linguistic heritage. Here, the ancient Aramaic language , spoken by Jesus of Nazareth, endures. Amidst the serene...
Snake charming in India. Source: nilanewsom / Adobe Stock.

The Ancient Indian Art of Snake Charming (Video)

Snake charming , deeply rooted in India's rich history, is a practice that has evolved over centuries. Its origins can be traced back to ancient times when it was often associated with mysticism and...
What history is behind that cup of coffee?  Source:  Fabio/ Adobe Stock

9 History Facts about the World's Favorite Drink – Coffee!

Millions of people across the globe have the same morning ritual. They get out of bed and, before they do pretty much anything else, they make themselves a nice cup of coffee. This bitter drink has...
Medieval soldier eating junk food. Source: master1305 / Adobe Stock.

What Medieval Junk Food Was Like (Video)

Medieval Europe's fast food, born out of necessity, offers a glimpse into a different culinary era . Cook shops along London's bustling Thames provided hot meals for travelers and the impoverished ...
Pirate surgeon kit. Source:  Kai Beercrafter / Adobe Stock.

The Gruesome Life of a Pirate Surgeon (Video)

During the Golden Age of Piracy danger was constant. Facing bullets, splinters, and diseases like scurvy, yellow fever, malaria, and smallpox, skilled surgeons were a necessity. 18th-century pirate...
An elaborate loaf of bread in the European Bread Museum, Greece. Photo: Joanna Gillan

From Grain to Glory: The European Bread Museum’s Tribute to a Staple of Civilization

In a world inundated with a rich diversity of histories, the presence of a museum dedicated solely to bread stands as a delightful anomaly. Located in the heart of Varnavas, Greece, the European...
Left; Vejano Castle, Vejano, Italy, street view of tower and entry bridge. Right, the triangular Vejano castle from above. Source: Left; Croberto68/ CC BY-SA 3.0, Right; Google Earth

Unearthing Italy's Hidden Castles 3: Rites and Recreation in the Renaissance

How did people unwind in the Renaissance? Well, spa baths were still popular since the days of the Roman Republic, but also competitions, and of course, who doesn’t love a good feast? All of these...
Limahuli Garden Preserve, Hawaii. Source: stevengaertner / Adobe Stock.

Guardians Protect Hawaii’s Ancient Plants (Video)

Discover the remarkable Limahuli Garden Preserve, a 1,000-acre botanical haven on Kauai's North Shore. Amidst tranquil landscapes, this preserve harbors unique flora integral to Hawaiian culture ...
Weapons and defensive objects are evidence that show that hunter-gatherer communities in the Atacama Desert resorted to violence for conflict-solving. Source:  Standen et al., 2023, PLOS ONE/CC-BY 4.0

Hunter-Gatherers in the Atacama Desert Resorted to Brutal Violence

A couple of years ago, a study alluded to Neolithic farmers in Chile’s Atacama Desert engaging in violent battles over resources. Turn back the clock further, and a newer study points to ancient...
A Sultan of the Ottoman Empire having a feast. Source: AI generated.

How a Sultan of the Ottoman Empire Dined (Video)

Ottoman sultans , including the illustrious Suleiman the Magnificent, held a profound appreciation for culinary extravagance. The kitchens of the Topkapi Palace , during the 16th century, teemed with...

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